Swan Guildford Historical Society

Swan Guildford Historical Society

Swan Guildford Historical Society is a not-for-profit dedicated to preserving and promoting the rich history of Guildford and the Swan region.

Front of Colonial Gaol with visitors


Come on a guided tour to hear stories about law and order in Guildford. The perfect day out for the family, our tour includes the Colonial Gaol, Taylor’s Cottage, the prison exercise yard and lastly the Wash House.

Donated art deco cigarette lighter


Swan Guildford Historical Society collects objects that are linked to key moments, people and places, showcasing the history of Guildford and the Swan Valley.

We appreciate offers to donate items that fit the following criteria:

We recommend you contact us first to discuss donating objects. Phone (08) 9379 1829 OR email sghistsoc@gmail.com. The Curator will then advise if the object is suitable for donation.  The next step it to sign a Donor / Deed of Gift Form.  The object would then become the property of the Swan Guildford Historical Society.

Our headquarters: Judy Hamersley House


Swan Guildford Historical Society was founded in 1962 thanks to the foresight of Judy Hamersley, granddaughter of pioneers Charles and Fanny Harper of Woodbridge.

Judy understood the importance of the area, firstly to Aboriginal people who had met in the area for generations, in the area they know as Mandoon. With the establishment of the Swan River Colony in 1829, Guildford became a market town and a transport hub, the agricultural cradle of the new settlement.

Judy’s mission was to gather artefacts for a museum and record the history of the area for current and future generations. Today Guildford is a recognised historic town, classified by the National Trust, and the Swan Valley is one of Western Australia’s most visited tourism destinations.

From these early beginnings, the Society’s museum collection has grown to be a must see attraction. We display items from our collections in the Colonial Gaol and in Taylor’s Cottage. A display of farming machinery and a blacksmith’s forge are located in the Gaol’s exercise yard.

Upcoming Events

Schubert photo gaol cell
Event Post 3
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Boy in Taylor's Cottage
Event Post 2
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Collection of Irons
Event Post 1
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Upcoming Events

Monthly History Talk | 9th October 2023
St. Matthews Anglican Church Hall, Stirling Square Guildford
7:30 pm
Join us for our next Monday night meeting with a guest speaker on 9th October 2023.
Shane Burke, Senior Lecturer Archaeology and History at Notre Dame University, and Vice President of Swan Guildford Historical Society presents a talk called 'Results of early archaeological surveys of the site of the first British camp of the Swan River colony, Cliff Head, Garden Island'.

'Since 2010, staff and students from the University of Notre Dame Australia have surveyed the site of the first British camp associated with the Swan River colony established on Garden Island in June 1829. Preliminary results suggest that previously unrecorded archaeological evidence in the form of structural remains and other artefacts support a thesis of a well-organised early settlement event'.

After the talk, light refreshments will be served. We look forward to seeing you there.

Time: 7pm for a 7.30pm start
Venue: St. Matthews Anglican Church Hall, Stirling Square Guildford.



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Historical Newsletters

Newsletter | July - August 2023
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Newsletter | May - June 2023
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Newsletter | March - April 2023
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Opening Hours


Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday


10AM to 2PM

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