3. Percy Estate

Percy Estate North Perth

In North Perth, the earliest subdivisions were developed from c.1895 on Swan Location 653. Percy Estate, named ‘for no obvious reason beyond its vaguely aristocractic sound’, was located south of Angove Street.  The Toorak & Woodville subdivisions of the Percy Estate included Olive, Peach, Vine and Persimmon Streets. One of the early advertisements from c 1896-7 shows View Street running parallel to Wanneroo road (renamed Charles Street south of Walcott Street) from Albert Street.  View Street was renamed Vine Street by the late 1890s, and the street parallel to Albert Street was designated View Street. View street was to become the civic centre of North Perth, while Angove and Fitzgerald Streets were the commercial streets.

Percy Estate Extension Subdivision
Percy Estate Advertisment c1896 

In 1904, only 12% of land in North Perth had been developed, but over the next six years the suburb grew rapidly. The area under housing trebled by 1911, when North Perth was described as ‘‘a thriving municipality of some 5,000 people”. In the central and east wards, closest to central Perth, more than half the land was developed for residential use.

Many early houses in North Perth were built in the Federation style, which was an Australian version of the English Edwardian house. Federation Bungalows vary quite often from one to the
other in appearance but common features included tuck-pointed brick, steeply-sloped roofs covered with terracotta tiles or painted corrugated metal, verandahs with turned timber or cast iron columns. Front gardens had a neat public appearance, while in the more productive back garden there was also a night closet (toilet) located at the rear. Septic tanks and deep sewerage were introduced after 1910. The house below in Daphne Street is an example of one of the homes built in the first full decade of North Perth’s development. The photo features Ruby Eames, baby Bonnie and Percy, Hettie and Winifred Summers outside their home.

House at 4 Daphne Street North Perth 1908
House at 4 Daphne Street, North Perth 1908

Not all of the blocks in Percy Estate were sold immediately, and some were used as commercial rather than residential lots.  The images below show the premises of F.W. Smith Family Butcher at 312 Charles Street, then their horse and cart at 31 Vine Street (behind the Charles Street premises) which appears to have been a vacant block until the 1930s.

FW Smith Butcher 312 Charles Street
F.W. Smith Family Butcher, 312 Charles Street North Perth, c 1920s
Horse and cart belonging to F.W. Smith Family Butcher Vine Street North Perth
Horse and cart belonging to F.W. Smith Family Butcher at 31 Vine Street, 1920s

Further estates were added around North Perth including Monastery Grounds Estate near the Redemptorist Monastery around 1910, Forrest Hill, Lurline Park, View Park, and North Perth Estate. Between the two World Wars, the population continued to increase and the suburb came to be considered as a desirable residential area. The Daily News reported in 1938:

“The foresight of North Perth’s early rulers has been amply vindicated. Since its amalgamation with Perth, North Perth has made remarkable progress. Comfortable residences, with well-tended gardens have replaced the former waste areas. Modern shopping areas have come into being, until today the district symbolises modern smartness, comfort and good appearance.”

Assets and References

Image sourced from the collections of the State Library of Western Australia and reproduced with the permission of the Library Board of Western Australia.

  • 33/19/88 The Percy Estate Extension, Woodville, c 1896

Images Sourced from City of Vincent Local History Collection

  • PH01716: House at 4 Daphne Street North Perth 1908
  • PH02834: F.W. Smith Family Butcher
  • PH02835 Horse and cart belonging to F.W. Smith Family Butcher

City of Vincent Housing Styles in the Town of Vincent 

Heritage and Conservation Professionals North Perth Police Station Conservation Plan 2009

The Daily News 14 December 1938 p.13 (Trove)

Battye, J. S. Cyclopedia of Western Australia The Cyclopedia Company, Perth, 1913, Fasc. Ed. Hesperian Press, Carlisle, Western Australia, 1985

Stannage, C. T. The People of Perth: A Social History of Western Australia’s Capital City, City of Perth, Perth, 1979

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