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History of Swanview


“The Swan River Colony, established in June 1829, was the only British colony in Australia established on the basis of land grants to settlers. Under the conditions stipulated by the Colonial Office, settlers would be granted land in proportion to the value of assets and labour that they brought to the colony. To ensure "productive" use of land, settlers were not given full title to their grants until they had been sufficiently "improved". The system of land grants continued until 1832, after which crown land was disposed of by sale at auction.

To ensure that land holdings were used productively, and to discourage speculation, settlers were initially granted only right of occupation. Full ownership of the land, including the right to sell, was withheld until every acre had been improved by at least one shilling and six pence, through clearing, fencing, cultivation, and so on. Settlers who failed to improve at least a quarter of their grant within three years could be fined, and land not wholly improved within ten years would be resumed by the crown.” 

On September 29 1829 The first grants of land along the banks of the Swan River were allocated. The land on the banks of the Swan River from Guildford north to Upper Swan was considered to be the best for agriculture so the first land grants in the Swan River Colony were along this part of the river.  Grants on the western bank were given and Alpha identifier e.g. A,B,C... grants on the eastern bank were given a Numeric identifier e.g. 1,2,3,...


The "Arrowsmith map": an 1839 map of the land grants in the Swan River Colony, drawn by John Arrowsmith from the survey data of John Septimus Roe. See attachment below "Arrowsmith map 1839.jpg"

The focus of this narrative is Swan River Location 16. See attachment "Location 16 enlarged.jpg"

On the map below Swan River Location 16 has been shaded black See attachment "Location 16 Shaded Black.jpg"


Swan River Location 16 was the land allocation given to Capt James Stirling the first Governor of the Swan River Colony

The following is from Governor Stirling’s biography:

“At Woodbridge, Surrey, he became acquainted with the Mangles family, in 1832-37 Mangles represented Guildford in parliament. His third daughter, Ellen, attracted Stirling's attention. The couple were married at Stoke Church, Guildford, on 3 September 1823 on Ellen's sixteenth birthday; they had five sons and six daughters. The Stirlings toured the Continent, and after their return lived at Woodbridge.”

Some names from that biography would be familiar to people of Swan View.

Returning to Swan View and Swan River Location 16.

Look closely at the borders of Swan River Location 16. It starts at the river near Governor Stirling High School then follows the Road from Guildford to York, then branches North then branches East for a distance then the border turns South for a distance then West, crossing the Helena River then heading in a North West direction back to the Swan River.

People receiving the land grants had to develop the land to a certain level or loose it back to the Government. Governor Stirling built a cottage at Guildford and spent some time there. He did not spend much on developing his land grant but he had a habit of riding the boundaries of his land grant. He did this so frequently that he established a track around his land grant.

These tracks were later given names, the part that branched off the Road from Guildford to York (Great Eastern Highway) became Boundary Road later named Morrison Road, (did you ever wonder why Morrison Rd has a bend, it is because it followed the boundary). Where the track turned South it was renamed Stirling Road. The Southern boundary tracks eventually became Helena Valley Road, Bushmead Road and Swan St.

Governor Stirling’s land grant was the area enclosed by Great Eastern Hwy, Morrison Rd, Stirling Road,  Helena Valley Road, Bushmead Road and Swan St. This was a considerable land grant as befitting the Governor.

On October 2nd 1837  Governor Stirling resigned as Governor and later left the Swan River Colony to resume his Naval Career and the land grant he allocated to himself reverted back to the Government because Governor Stirling had not developed the land sufficiently to retain ownership. So the ownership of the land reverted to the Government of Western Australia.

When the Colony wanted to build a railway system the builders needed land to establish a depot. With the Government owning this large tract of land close to Perth, land was allocated for the Railway Depot which after several name changes became the Midland Workshops.

With the outbreak of World War 1 a training base was needed so the State Government established Blackboy Hill training camp in the eastern area of Swan River Location 16.

The name Swan View was first applied to a station established on the new railway line built by CY O Connor. The name was given as the view from the hills around the station offered commanding views of the Swan River Colony.



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Unknown user,
Sep 26, 2010, 8:54 PM
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Unknown user,
Sep 26, 2010, 8:57 PM
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Unknown user,
Sep 26, 2010, 8:57 PM
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