The Albany Bell Castle is located on the corner of Guildford and Thirlmere Road in Mt Lawley . The castle was originally built as a confectionery and cake factory for Albany Bell Ltd. The Albany Bell factory was built to cater for a chain of thirteen tearooms located in Perth, Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. At its peak, Albany Bell employed over 400 people.
The Inter-war Medieval Revival Style castle was designed by architect Alexander Cameron and features crenellated towers and parapets. Cameron based his design on a building he had seen on a visit to America. The building was set in 1.25 hectares of gardens and completed in two stages. The first in 1914 which included the single storey north wing (bakehouse) and two storey south wing. In 1919 the central section was completed.
Albany Bell Closure
In 1928 the factory closed, leaving hundreds out of work. The closure was the end result of catering strikes, rising costs and increased competition. The factory/castle changed hands numerous after being being sold by Mr Bell in 1928. At one stage becoming a chicken hatchery.
Between 1950-52 the building was used as a storage depot for the Coco’s Island Project and since recently it has been used as regional workshops for the Commonwealth Department of Transport.
During the 1960s the Royal Institute for the Blind established their Blind School on the grounds. Later in the 70s the West Australian Opera used it for rehearsals.
The property has now been redeveloped into apartments.