Re­pairs will pre­serve his­toric inn’s struc­ture

Kwinana Courier - - News -

ROCK­ING­HAM’S his­toric Ch­ester­field Inn is be­ing given a new lease of life.

Es­sen­tial re­pair works by Land­Corp are un­der way to pro­tect and pre­serve one of the re­gion’s old­est struc­tures.

The inn is the old­est com­mer­cial build­ing in the area, trac­ing its his­tory back more than 160 years, and has stood va­cant for the past 25 years.

Land­Corp chief ex­ec­u­tive Frank Marra said the re­pair works would help pro­tect the struc­ture of the build­ing for fu­ture use, and pre­serve the sig­nif­i­cant his­toric and so­cial value of the site, which is part of the Rock­ing­ham Industry Zone.

“As one of the State’s only sur­viv­ing 19th cen­tury ho­tels, the Ch­ester­field Inn has earned a spe­cial place in the his­tory and hearts of the Rock­ing­ham com­mu­nity,” Mr Marra said.

“The pri­mary re­pair works will fo­cus on sta­bil­is­ing the ex­ist­ing sin­gle-storey build­ing and re­plac­ing es­sen­tial fea­tures such as the roof and front wall to pre­vent fur­ther de­te­ri­o­ra­tion.

“The new front wall will be con­structed us­ing orig­i­nal ma­te­ri­als to pre­serve the Fed­er­a­tion style of the inn, which still fea­tures the same lime­stone and brick used to build it well over a cen­tury ago.”

In ad­di­tion to the re­pair works, Land­Corp is also in­stalling a new se­cu­rity fence and board­ing up the build­ing en­try­ways to bet­ter pro­tect the site from van­dal­ism.

Ad­di­tions made to the build­ing in the 1970s are be­ing de­mol­ished, in ac­cor­dance with the ap­proved her­itage con­ser­va­tion plan.

The inn was her­itage listed in 2003 in recog­ni­tion of the sig­nif­i­cant so­cial and his­tor­i­cal value of the build­ing, which has con­nec­tions to a num­ber of pi­o­neer­ing fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als who played im­por­tant roles in es­tab­lish­ing the Rock­ing­ham re­gion.

With ori­gins dat­ing back to 1855, the inn and sur­round­ing land in East Rock­ing­ham have taken many forms, in­clud­ing op­er­at­ing as a ho­tel, a farm­house used as an en­camp­ment for the 10th Light Horse Reg­i­ment from 1912, and later a dairy farm.

Most re­cently, the inn func­tioned as the Ch­ester­field House youth hos­tel from 1979 un­til 1992, when fire dam­age forced the site to be aban­doned.

Re­pair work has started on the Ch­ester­field Inn in Rock­ing­ham.

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