HOME > Historical
St. Werburgh's Chapel
A trip to Mount Barker would not be complete without visiting the historic St Werburgh�s Chapel. Built in 1873 by George Edward Egerton-Warburton this serene heritage icon was made of pug and clay dug from a nearby hole. A carpenter from Albany Mr Blechynden carried out the exquisite woodwork probably using sheoak from near Albany and locally sourced jarrah. There are 32 religious buildings dedicated to St. Werburgh�s, 29 are located in England, one in Zimbabwe, one in Ireland and the other just 12 minutes from Mount Barker�s town centre. Services, weddings and christenings have all been held by candlelight as the chapel has never had power.
The Old Police Station
The Old Police Station built by convict labour in 1868, consolidates much of Mount Barker�s heritage in one convenient location.
Surrounded by magnificent lawns and gardens, the Plantagenet Historical Society opened the Cottage as a museum in 1968, furnishing it with artifacts donated by residents of the Shire. In 1971 the Pioneer Room was built to display more artefacts and in 1985 and 1987 the cottage and stables were restored.
At the Museum there are sheds full of old machinery with restored wagons also on display. A house built in the 1870�s from hand-split wooden slabs has been erected nearby.
A complete apple packing shed has been assembled in honour of the industry while a Whitchapel buggy sits resplendent in the stable. His and hers wooden �thunderboxes� are adorned with creepers and beautiful blue wrens hop from blooming flowers.
Occupied until 1908, before a new police station was built next door, the Court House office was added in 1919. The stables had a portion divided off for the lock-up in the 1880�s. The Napier Creek one-teacher school was moved to the museum in 1994 and also has its history displayed on the walls.
Police duties included having a change of horses ready for the mail coach which operated from Albany to Perth. They also patrolled as far as Esperance on horseback and other duties included census, weather reporting and mail deliveries.
In 1997 the second Police Station and Court Room were acquired. The whole complex is well worth a visit and needs more than an hour to cover all facets of this historic time capsule.
Mount Barker�s charming main street is lined with historic buildings used by specialist retailers and is blessed with two character pubs pushing 100 years each. The surrounding streets are dotted with charming heritage houses. There are also some spectacular examples of heritage farmhouses along the picturesque Porongurup Rd drive on your way to the area�s vineyards and natural attractions.