A typical northern wheatbelt town centred around the railhead and the bulk loading facilities.
Mullewa is the home of some of Monsignor Hawes' finest buildings,
having the greatest number of any town in the Central West. There is
the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Holy Apostles St Peter
and St Paul, the Priest House (now known as the Monsignor Hawes
Priesthouse Museum) which stands nearby, and the headstone for Selby
John Arnold in the town's Pioneer Cemetery.
Outside Mullewa on the Mount Magnet road is an area known as the old
show ground. It was here that Monsignor Hawes, as Mullewa's first
resident parish priest, carved a simple altar in the rock and held mass
for the local Aborigines. This was not racism but a recognition that
the Aborigines were unlikely to attend mass in the formal and very
European surroundings of the church.
The Church of our Lady of Mt Carmel and the Holy Apostles St Peter and St Paul
The building which was mostly built by Hawes - he was architect,
foreman and labourer - is an attempt to recreate a Romanesque church
typical of the village churches in Italy and Spain. It is a low church
designed to keep the sun out and to blend into the harsh semi-desert
environment. Hawes, who saw each of his churches as expressing some
aspect of his faith, saw the church and its buildings as symbolising
the antiquity of Christianity.
The church has been internally altered in recent times but there is
still plenty of detail for the visitor to enjoy. It is claimed that one
of the gargoyles is a caricature of the Bishop of Geraldton with whom
Hawes was engaged in a bitter dispute at the time of construction. The
bell tower has seven bells the largest of which was cast in Oregon as a
railway bell and the pipe organ was given to the church by Hawes'
The Priest House
Next to the church is The Priest House which is open to the public
from 10.00-11.45 and 1.30-3.00 Monday to Friday. It was completed in
1927 and is now a museum. It is a truly unusual and charming building
with an ingle–nook fireplace, half-panelled walls, latticed bow
windows with box seats and lots of Hawes' memorabilia including a
plaster bust he made as an arts student and a cup he won at the races
About 1 km north of the town on the Mullewa-Carnarvon road is the
Pioneer Cemetery. Here is the only example of a Hawes' designed and
constructed headstone. The stone was carved for Selby John Arnold, one
of the altar boys in the Mullewa Church.
Butterabby Graves is a site of conflict where the Wajarri and the
Nhanhagardi/Wilunyu peoples attempted to resist pastoralist expansion.
The site contains the grave of James Rudd who was killed by
aborigines and the graves of five aboriginal men who were hanged for
the spearing of Thomas Bott who later died from his
injuries. The deaths followed a classic conflict over
limited food and water resources, violence was inevitable and the
two white men died in separate incidents in 1864. The five aboriginal
men Wangayakoo, Yourmacarra, Garder, Charlacarra and Williacarra were
arrested and sent to Perth for trial, found guilty and sentenced to
death. They were taken back to Butterabby and hanged near the scene of
the crime as an example to other tribesmen.
In 1973 a Mullewa farmer, Albert Keeffe, arranged for a huge
granite rock to be erected on the infamous site. To get to the
Butterabby site take the Mingenew Road west of Mullewa and proceed
along it until you reach the sign: 'Gravestones - Butterabby'.
Tallering Peak and Gorge
Tallering Peak and Gorge (61 km north): located in the heart of the
Murchison pastoral country, Tallering Peak stands as a landmark which
can be seen long before it is reached. Coupled with the gorges at its
base are the mining workings on its slopes. Many varieties of
wildflowers can be seen here in spring.