The settlement at Barmup: Britain’s first farm in Western Australia

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The National Trust of Australia (W.A.) property ‘Old Farm Strawberry Hill’ in Albany, Western Australia is one of the state’s most significant heritage locations. It is a registered Aboriginal site where British colonists established the first farm in the fledgling colony, and where Governor Stirling was housed briefly. Long running archaeological investigations from University of Western Australia researchers at the site since the late 1990s have revealed the shift from a solely Noongar Mineng landscape around the site of Barmup to the arrival of the colony’s first farm, the history of the early buildings associated with Governor Stirling and other early colonists, and material evidence for the various phases of life at the site. Four different phases of investigation, each with different aims, have rewritten the history of the site, and provided the National Trust with a range of positive heritage outcomes, allowing new interpretations of the site. In particular the hidden histories of the undocumented residents of the site have been shown, and the general failure of the upper class Spencer family to establish a British style country estate in Western Australia has been demonstrated through the analysis of archaeological material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-43
Number of pages12
JournalAustralasian Historical Archaeology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


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