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The Cloisters

The Cloisters building is located at 200 St George’s Terrace wedged between towering high rises, in Perth, Western Australia. The building was built in c1850 as a shop. Over the years it would became the colonel’s home, a boy’s school, a high school, a girl’s school, a boarding school, a university hostel, W.A.A.A.F barracks, Dutch Club and a cafe.

Matthew Blagden Hale purchased the Cloister in 1857 after he became the first Anglican Bishop of Western Australia. The Cloisters was soon opened as the Bishop Hale’s Collegiate School for Boys. If you look closely you will find the Bishops coat-of-arms on the wall, just below the oriel window. The school’s most successful student was John Forrest, who became the State’s first Premier and first Australian Member of the House of Lords. His brother Alexander Forrest, who become a well known explorer and surveyor in Western Australia, also attended.

The Cloister was built in Victorian Tudor style and was constructed of handmade bricks that came from Queens Gardens.

The name Cloisters was derived from the cloistered verandah on the north of the building and the smaller one on the south. The building was designed by architect Richard Roach Jewell . The main feature of the building is its diapered diamond design brickwork completed in Flemish Bond style. The building also features an oriel window. The roof was originally laid with shingles but was replaced in 1931 after a fire swept through the building.

The site also features a Port Jackson fig tree which was planted in 1887 by a tenant of the Cloisters. The Port Jackson Fig is registered as a Tree of Significance.

Mt Newman House is set back from The Cloisters. It was the Mt Newman mining company that restored The Cloisters.

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