Beverley

A small farming community in the Avon Valley. In many ways it is a typical wheatbelt town (of the larger variety) but its size and the attractiveness of its main street make it more than just another simple service centre. It has a population of over 1200.

Beverley Aeronautical Museum

Situated in the centre of town, this museum is a tribute to the aviators of Western Australia. Historical highpoints of aviation in this State are told in photographs and stories and there are replicas of a 'Plank Glider' and the 'Flying Flea'.

The Aeronautical Museum which was built in 1967 to honour the local inventor Selby Ford who, with a cousin Tom Shackles, built a biplane which they called the 'Silver Centenary'. Although neither man was a flier, the plane was. The two men had literally designed the plane in chalk on their garage floor. They spent two years building it. It first flew in 1930. Later it was taken to Maylands Airfield where Major de Havilland and the aviatrix Amy Johnson flew it. Unfortunately it was never licensed because there were no blueprints of its design. It's hard taking a garage floor to the licensing board.

The Town Hall and the Hotel

Although Beverley is one of the earliest settlements in Western Australia, it lacks very early buildings. It does, however, have two fine examples of Art Deco style buildings in the Town Hall and Beverley Hotel. The oldest building in town (now immaculately restored) is the 'Dead Finish' Hotel. It was built in 1872 and known variously as the Wheatsheaf Hotel and The Old Settlers Arms. However the habit of workers, particularly local sandalwood cutters, of stopping in before they headed out for more sandalwood resulted in it being nicknamed the 'Dead Finish'. There was a time when it was centrally located in the town but the arrival of the railway in 1886 saw the town slowly move towards the railway station. Keys are available at the Shire Office.


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Where is it?

132 km east of Perth; 33 km south east of York.


The Cemetery

Across the river from the town centre (follow Vincent Street out of town) is the local cemetery where the Aboriginal tracker Billy Noongale, who accompanied the explorer John Forrest on his trek from Perth to Adelaide in 1870, is buried.


Avondale Discovery Farm

The farm offers visitors a chance to see a working farm. You can find out about agricultural practices at the Landcare display centre and take a drive trail through the property seeing many agricultural activities.


Natural features: Avon River; Bilbarin Hill; Mount Gnurdungning; Babbyalla Hills

Heritage features: Railway Station (1886); Dead Finish Coaching Inn Museum (1872); Town Hall; St Paul's Church (1862)

History of Beverley

Land was assigned in the area around Beverley as early as 1832 when both the Governor, James Stirling, and Captain Mark Currie were granted land.

The town of Beverley was established in 1838, only nine years after the Swan River settlement. The Colonial Surgeon at the time, Charles Simmons, named the town after Beverley in Yorkshire, England.

It remained a small centre until the arrival of the railway in 1886 when it became an important arrival point for people from the east and Albany.

It is hard to imagine that between 1886 (when Beverley was the rail terminus) and 1889 when the line was extended to Albany, travellers would arrive at Albany, travel by coach to the railhead at Beverley, and then travel the final leg of their journey to Perth by rail. However this did occur and it made Beverley an important point on a major transport route. The railway station was built in 1886 and is now one of the oldest buildings in the town. It closed down in 1975 and has recently reopened as a bric-a-brac shop.

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