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Mt Lawley

Brief History of Mt Lawley

Chapel of St Michael , Mt Lawley
Chapel of St Michael

The suburb of Mt Lawley was named in honour of Sir Arthur Lawley, who was governor of Western Australia from 1901-1902.

At the beginning of the 1900’s, Mt Lawley was nothing more than bush land. Samuel Copley and R.T. Robinson purchased the Mt Lawley estate with the idea of creating a garden suburb with the “right” type of homes.

The early population of Mt Lawley grew around the railway line and slowly spread to Beaufort and Walcott Street. During this time the Beaufort Street tramline was extended to Walcott Street, this helped solve the transport issues and encouraged residential development further afield. With Mt Lawley expanding, the need for street lighting grew. In those days gas lamps had to be hand lit. Every evening an employee of the Perth Gas company and later the City of Perth Electricity & Gas Dept, had the fun job of riding his bicycle around Mt Lawley turning on the gas taps and lighting the lamps, using a long hollow stick. He would later return to extinguish the lights, by turning off the gas taps of each lamp.

Things You May Not Know About Mt Lawley

As legend has it, Lady Lawley would only allow the area be named after her husband on the condition that there were to be no pubs built in the area. The promise did not last for long!

Western Australia’s oldest FM radio station, 6UVS, now broadcasts out of Mt Lawley, as RTRFM at 92.1FM. Originally established by the University of Western Australia, it changed its name and moved to Beaufort Street, in 2005.

The Streets of Glenroyd, Longroyd, Woodroyd, Learoyd, and Highroyd were all named in honour of Samuel Copley’s wife, whose maiden name was Royd.

The Albany Bell Castle , located along Guildford Road, was originally built as a confectionary and cake factory.

The Ugly Men’s Association was formed in the Mt Lawley area in the early 1900’s to assist poor families living in inadequate housing. Formed by a local builder, the idea was to get men in the community to help build extensions for struggling families.

Things Are Looking Up in Mt Lawley

Mt Lawley is well known for its magnificent homes built on large blocks. The suburb boomed, following the construction of a tramline from the Barrack Street Jetty to Walcott Street in 1902. Many members of the Road Board lived in the area. Click here for more info on the Architecture of Mt Lawley

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