Crawley history: area named in honour of landowner’s mother

Crawley history: area named in honour of landowner’s mother
Crawley history: area named in honour of landowner’s mother
Crawley history: area named in honour of landowner’s mother

CRAWLEY is a small suburb along the Swan River bordered by Kings Park.

The land was first released to Captain Mark Currie in 1829.

He was granted Swan Location 87, 32 acres of land on Eliza Bay (later named Matilda Bay after the wife of John Septimus Roe) and Point Currie (now Pelican Point).

He sold the property to Henry Charles Sutherland for 100 pounds in the 1830s.

Sutherland named the area Crawley Park in honour of his mother, whose maiden name was Crawley, and the bay became known as Crawley Bay.

After his death, the property was sold to Sir George Shenton, who bought Crawley Park and several adjoining properties in 1876 for 1800 pounds.

He developed this area until his death in 1909, after which the property was purchased by the Government and a portion of the land granted to UWA.

His house, Shenton House, still stands in the university grounds.

Matilda Bay, known by Subiaco residents and others as Subiaco Beach, was a popular camping ground in the early to mid-1900s and there were tearooms and tennis courts on the foreshore in the 1920s.

The Crawley Baths were the largest enclosed body of water in the southern hemisphere and were Perth’s prime competition and recreational swimming venue from 1914 to 1964.

Pelican Point played an important role in World War II and was the site of the former US Catalina Base. US and Royal Netherlands Navy personnel occupied many campus buildings at UWA between 1942 and 1947.

The Crawley Edge Boatshed, thought to have originally been built in the early 1930s, is a well-known landmark, as is the statue of Eliza in Matilda Bay.

Today, Crawley has a population of more than 3000 living in a mix of lower cost student accommodation and premium apartments.

Most residents are renting (64 per cent) and only 4.5 per cent of dwellings are houses. n