Cottage History – Fairbridge Village

1921 Belfast One of the original cottages built on the site along with Clive, Shakespeare, Wolfe and Warren Hastings. Two storey, timber framed with weatherboard external cladding & shingled roof. Used to house girls, and was in full use until the second world war but closed during the 1950’s due to lack of numbers at the Farm School.
1921 Clive Built and used as a girls’ cottage.
1921 Exeter Administrative office & gatehouse later to become the Assistant Principal’s Residence. Burnt down in 2004 and the ‘new’ Exeter built in its place has returned to the building’s original purpose of an admin office.
1921 Shakespeare Kingsley Fairbridge and his family lived in Shakespeare until Fairbridge House was built. For a short time Shakespeare was used as a mixed cottage, then became for girls only.
1921 Wolfe Housed around 14 girls aged between 5 & 16 years. Sleeping quarters upstairs consisted of one large dormitory.
1921 Kitchen/Dining Hall The original kitchen constructed in pise walls and shingled roof has been completely demolished. The dining hall section constructed in 1928 had a scullery added in 1938 and the main kitchen was built in the 1970’s. Children in the dining hall for most meals supervised by their cottage mother. Film evenings, dances and concerts were regular entertainment enjoyed by staff and students alike.
1921 General Store Extended 1923. Used to dispense weekly grocery orders to the cottages. Children would spend their pocket money in the store. Petrol & kerosene were also on hand for equipment. The veranda and room on the east side were part of the 1923 extensions. One petrol bowser missing since the 1990’s.
1921 Fairbridge House Built as the family home for Kingsley Fairbridge. Unique pise (rammed earth) construction of the ground floor is the only one of its type on the site. Kingsley has anticipated building all the lower part of the buildings in pise but was unable to find a contractor who was familiar with the method. After 1924 was known as the Guest House boasting many notable visitors including the late Queen Mother, whilst she was the Duchess of York.
1920’s Laundry Original building was replaced by a cement brick building in 1938. Laundry was used for cottage linens and clothes at the Farm School and as a training centre for girls prior to leaving for their first employment. Lord Nuffield donated £5000 for the construction.
1923 Darwin Boys cottage both pre and post war. During restoration in the 1990’s was  modified to cater for the disabled.


1923 Glasgow Used as a boys cottage before the second world war and remained a boys  cottage when child migration to Fairbridge recommenced after the war.
1923 Hudson Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war. During restoration in the 1990’s was modified to cater for the disabled.
1923 Jenner Used as a boys cottage pre-war and post-war to house married staff.
1923 Lister Used as a boys cottage pre-war and post-war to house married staff.
1923 Nelson Used as a boys cottage, both pre and post war.
1923 Newton Used as a boys cottage pre-war and post-war to house married staff. Modified to cater for disabled during the 1990’s.
1923 Raleigh Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war.
1927 Cook Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war.
1927 Forrest Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war. During restoration in the 1990’s was converted into three separate self-contained flats
1927 Kitchener Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war.
1927 Lawley Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war. During restoration in the 1990’s it was converted into three separate self-contained flats.
1927 Livingstone Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war.
1927 Rhodes Used as a boys cottage both pre-war and post-war.
1928 Oxford Originally proposed as a Manager’s residence, in the post war period it was used by the engineer and his family.
1928 Heath House Principal’s residence pre-war, post war it was used to house the After Care  Officer and his family.
1928 Headmaster’s House 1931 – 1936 described as the Farm Managers residence, 1948 again became  the Headmasters residence, currently a private residence known as Elliott’s nest.
1930 Nightingale Known as the hospital. The building housed a resident nursing sister, had two wards and outpatient department and sisters quarters. The Victoria League  donated the beds and other furnishings.
1931 Church of the Holy Innocents Built on the site of the old stables and tank stand, this building was largely the gift of Sir Thomas Wall of England who gave $6000. It was designed, free of charge by Sir Herbert Baker and is renowned as his only building in Australia. The builders Sumpton & Sons were supervised by the Principal Architect of PWD Mr H Rhodes. Fairbrigians Percy Quartermaine, Fred Rogers & William (Snowy) Wilkinson were employed to work on the church for a time.
1932 Middlemore Funding raised by Mr Paul Cadbury. Pre-war the cottage was used to house older girls, after the war with numbers down it was left vacant. Later used for staff housing.
1932 Old Fairbridgians


Purpose built for the OF’s to return to the fam school for holidays, when sick or between jobs. $1000 from Mrs Creigh and other donations from supporters in England got the building underway. Opened in 17.6.1933. $360 raised by OF’s provided gams and sports equipment. After WWII cubicles were removed in the east wing for a movie theatre. Later used as the OFA museum.
1934 Scratton Lodge Provided accommodation for 32 trainee boys aged 14 and over. Each boy responsible for his own cubicle. Supervised by cottage master and cottage mother. Post was used by female staff including state school teachers, also old girls returning due to ill health, job loss or holiday. The clock was a gift of Major General Sir Howard Vyse who was chief of staff to HRH the Duke of Gloucester when visiting Australia. Built by Rev RE Davies of Busselton, the only 4 dial clock made by amateur in WA at that time.
1935 Saumarez Used to house senior and trainee girls prior to them going out to work. Post war the cottage remained empty due to lack of numbers, except a short period in 1951 when girls moved into Saumarez while their own cottages were renovated.
1935 Evelyn Used to house the Matron, Miss Hilda Fraser, also her assistant, Mrs Goodman for a time Miss Lutey who works in the office. Later the new Matron, Mrs Bettina Fry, moved in and the upper level was used as a clothes storage area.
1938 Staff Kitchen & Dining Room Used for all staff meals and also by any OF who happened to be staying on the farm. The staff library was also housed in this building. Today is used as the  Community Education Centre particularly for school groups.
1963 Colonnade Financed by the Old Fairbridgians Association. An ANZAC memorial service is held at the site each year on the Sunday following Anzac Day.
1966 Old Fairbridgians

Memorial Wall

The memorial wall and garden in maintained to enable the families and friends of Old Fairbridgians to scatter their loved ones ashes or place a plaque on the wall.