About Us

The town of Guildford was established in 1829. Due to its location at the confluence of the Swan and Helena rivers, it was an important place for the transport of goods and services along the Swan River. A vibrant river trade was quickly established, with the inland port assisting in the movement of produce to markets in Guildford, Perth and Fremantle. It was also strategically placed for transport of supplies back to developing inland areas within the Swan River Colony.

The Swan Guildford Historical Society was established in 1962, due to the foresight of Judy Hamersley, granddaughter of Fanny and Charles Harper of Woodbridge. Her aim was to promote Guildford as a town of great importance, both to the local Aboriginal people before white settlement, and also as a major contributor to the growth of the Swan River Colony from 1829 onwards.

Today the Society continues to promote and foster an appreciation and understanding of the history of the Guildford and Swan Valley regions. From conserving an important collection of artefacts, through to opening historic buildings to the public – the Society is at the heart of history in Guildford.

Take the time to visit the Heritage Precinct in historic Guildford, a National Trust town. Our museum attraction includes the Colonial Gaol, a fine example of architecture in that era. Selected items from the Society’s collection are displayed here. A visit to Taylor’s Cottage then gives visitors an appreciation of convicts and their contribution to the State’s development Visitors also get an idea of home life for large families in the 1800’s through to the early Twentieth Century.

In the Prison exercise yard, a collection of farming machinery, horse trough, a blacksmith’s forge and tools gives a further glimpse of life in pioneering times.

Come and visit us in Guildford. We would love to show you around!