Strawberry Hill visitor facilities take shape

Building under construction

Work is under way on new visitor facilities at the Old Farm Strawberry Hill. Regional Economic Development Grant funding of $191,964 through the GSDC is supporting the refurbishment of the workers’ quarters building as a volunteer hub and the construction of an adjacent ticketing office.

Due to be completed in spring, the new facilities will enable the National Trust WA to provide a more accessible and informative welcome for visitors to the historic site. The two-storey farmhouse was built in the 1830s for Sir Richard and Lady Anne Spencer.

Community consultations and workshops with traditional owners and the venue’s volunteers informed the design of the new building. Denmark’s PTX Architects drew on Aboriginal dwellings and the Wardian case as inspiration for the building. A Wardian case was a wood and glass enclosure used for seagoing transport of live plants in the 19th century.

GSDC Chief Executive Officer Bruce Manning said the project was a timely development for the National Trust site.

“As planning for the bicentenary of European settlement gets under way, we are delighted to see the National Trust is actively pursuing opportunities to increase awareness and tourism programs in the Great Southern,” Mr Manning said. “With local architects and builders employed and these additional tourist offerings, the social and economic benefit will be evident across the region.”

National Trust Chief Executive Officer Julian Donaldson acknowledged the support of the GSDC and Lotterywest. Mr Donaldson said the new facilities would give visitors the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the significant of the site and to enjoy its attractive setting.

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