Celebrate the reopening of the historic Old Mill

Media Release 20 January 2021

After more than a year carefully rehabilitating the City of South Perth’s historic Old Mill and adjacent Miller’s cottage, the major conservation project is complete. 

The restoration of Western Australia’s second oldest building was carried out in two stages led by the City in collaboration with Hocking Heritage + Architecture, an award-winning practice specialising in architecture, heritage and conservation. 

Stage one of the works (July-September 2019) involved the restoration of existing timber joinery and carefully replacing the sheoak timber roof shingles. Stage two (August 2020-Januray 2021) included major rehabilitation to the building fabric, comprising of limestone and bricks, repainting of internal and external walls and new sails. 

Built in 1835 and operating until 1859, the Old Mill is the oldest physical link with the pioneering days of the colony of WA. 

New sails installed are a reproduction of the original sails that once helped the Old Mill produce a massive 680kg of flour every day. 

The newly restored second floor, used to grind flour and later as a sophisticated 'ladies lounge', will be open to all visitors for the first time in almost 20 years. 

The City will celebrate the historic building with a reopening event on Saturday 30 January from 10am to 3pm. 

Visitors will enjoy lawn games, croquet demonstrations by the Como Croquet Club, stories, craft activities, free history tours running every half hour, and screenings of Nyungar Waginj Nidya Bilya, a short film about Nyungar history and the importance of the Swan River in South Perth. 

Dinah Mujati, Director of Hocking Heritage+Architecture, will present three exclusive tours (free ticketed events, booking essential) of the recent renovation and conservation work.

The tours will delve into how the Mill has been repaired, restored and preserved, and examine the techniques and challenges of heritage architecture projects. 

The RAC Intellibus® and RAC Rescue Experience will also be available for members of the public to try at the event. 

The day’s festivities will spill into the evening with a separate series of entertainment running from 5pm to 7.30pm, including stand-up comedy from the Theatre Gardens Comedy Club (sold out), live music from the South Perth Lions Jazz Band, stories in the cottage and an interactive performance by Genrefonix which will bring Old Mill entrepreneur, Satan Browne, back to life. 

City of South Perth Mayor Greg Milner said he was looking forward to honouring South Perth’s most iconic landmark, valued for its cultural heritage significance and aesthetic appeal. 

“The Old Mill and Miller’s cottage provide valuable insight into the early commercial endeavours in the Swan River Colony of Western Australia and about the people who have been associated with the property since 1835,” Mayor Milner said. 

“The important conservation works undertaken by the City of South Perth will protect the historical value of the 186 year old flour mill for future generations. 

“The reopening celebrations will mark another chapter in the life of this historic building. I invite our whole community to attend and learn a little bit more about the Old Mill.”

Old Mill opening hours

Free entry

School Terms
Monday, Thursday, Friday 10am-4pm
Saturday and Sunday 1pm-4pm
Tuesday and Wednesday - Closed to the public for RAC Education program

School Holidays
Tuesday - Friday 10am-4pm
Saturday and Sunday 1pm-4pm

Guided tours available during the week. Bookings recommended, cost $2 per person.

Contact 9367 5788 and oldmill@southperth.wa.gov.au.

Media contact

For media enquiries, please contact the City’s Communications Officer.