282 LORD STREET, PERTH The Norwood Hotel, 1995


The portion of Swan Location A4 to the west of the Eastern Railway, bounded by Old Guildford Road and Summers Street was purchased by the WA Norwood Estate Company in October 1887. This was later subdivided and sold in stages.

Norwood subdivision poster

This poster advertised the first Norwood subdivision for auction in 1892. The lots were each a quarter acre.

At the auction of Section A on Saturday 30 July 1892 Lot No. 22 sold for £70 and Lot No. 23 also sold for £70. (Vol.64 Folio 157)

SAMUEL MOORE was the owner of Lots 22 and 23 when he applied to build a hotel on the south corner of Old Perth Road and Windsor Street on 11 February 1897. At that time he was a contractor living in Bayswater.

His character references and application were supported by some leading businessmen and lawyers of the time, including Lyall Hall, FW Percy and Thomas Coombe. However the application was refused.

Samuel Moore reapplied to the Justices of the Peace in the District of Perth on the 19 May 1897, by which time he was living in Perth, and he was granted a provisional license to erect a hotel.  The hotel was situated on a major traffic route and close to a railway station and yards. 

The hotel is constructed in 1897

Built in a Federation Stripped Classical style on a U-shaped plan, the construction of the brick and iron hotel was speedy and by 26 August 1897 Moore was advertising for painters.

An application was made for a Publican’s General License on 17 August 1897. Now named the Norwood Hotel, the application detailed the hotel rooms and facilities. It also stated that Moore and his family now lived there and that he had never previously held a license. 

On 10 September 1897 tenders were invited for asphalting the footpath outside the Norwood Hotel.

Samuel Moore may have had financial difficulties in his new venture, as by 25 May 1898 the Norwood Hotel was advertised to let. A month later Samuel Moore applied to transfer his license to the Empire Hotel on the corner of Murray and George streets, Perth. (By 15 December 1898 he was facing bankruptcy.)

Thomas Coombe's takes over the ownership

Thomas Coombe’s financing company, Coombe, Whiting and Co, was noted as the agent for the property in a change of owner in the 1898 rate books, and they advertised for a tenant in May 1898. Original documents in the Local History Collection reveal that on 30 June 1898 Thomas Coombe signed an agreement with the Swan Brewery Company for them to lease the premises on a seven year contract.

(Thomas Coombe was a South Australian timber merchant who followed many to the West after the discovery of gold.  He formed a timber company in Perth with Mr Wood in 1897, with the head office located at the timber yard in Lord Street, East Perth. This business was claimed to be the largest and best equipped in the State. In 1898 Coombe joined with Mr J Whiting to form Coombe, Whiting and Co with offices in Barrack Street. They were house, land and general commission agents, valuers and financiers, who advertised in the classifieds ‘Why pay rent’ and that they would assist people to build their own house.  By 1902 they had also created the Coombe, Whiting Brickyard in Armadale, with the brick kiln producing 250,000 bricks per month by 1905.)

The first decade

1898-1899: ROBERT T HOWSON was the Publican.

The hotel was located nearby the Highgate Police Station in Lincoln Street. As with many publicans, Howson was reported in relation to trading within the Licensing Act. The Court reports appeared in the newspapers of the day.  He was reported in the Daily News in January 1899 in court for supplying liquor to a boy under 16 years of age. William Meeks was found walking away with a bottle of stout. The boy claimed his age was 15. This was proven with a birth certificate. Mrs Howson and a witness said the lad claimed himself to be 16. The case was dismissed.


R.Howson, Licensee of the Norwood Hotel at Highgate Hill, East Perth, was defended by Mr Purkiss on a charge of Sunday trading, which he pleaded not guilty. Constable O’Brien did witness two men being served a bottle of beer. Both men denied being asked about a being a bona fide traveller. The men resided within a mile. Mr Roe gave the defendant the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case.                                                                                                                                                                                          Daily News: 20 July 1899


October 1899: A transfer of the licence of the Norwood Hotel from R.T Howson to SEPTIMUS HUGHES was granted by Mr A S Roe, PM.

In 1900 Septimus Hughes appeared in the Perth Courts accused of serving beer to a drunk man. The case was dismissed as proof of drunkenness was hard to assess.

Hughes remained the licensee until 1901, when he moved to the Golden Age Hotel in Alfred Street, Leederville. Unfortunately, in 1904, he died from injuries sustained in an accident.

Mr Septimus Hughes of the Golden Age Hotel Leederville died at the Perth Hospital December 29th. His death was accidental when he was returning home from the race course. The buggy in which he was travelling collided with a stray horse, and Mr Hughes was thrown out.  He succumbed to his injuries the next day.

WA Record: 9 January 1904


14 January 1901:  DAVID MULCAHY signed an agreement with the Swan Brewery to take over as licensee.

The following advertisement was placed in The WA Record in October and November 1901:

THE NORWOOD HOTEL (Old Guildford Road)

The Proprietor Mr D Mulcahy, trusts by personal attention to business to meet the wishes of his numerous customers. Visitors from the country would well patronise this well-known Hotel.

Only best brands wine, beers and spirits on hand



This section of Old Guildford Road was incorporated into Lord Street in 1903 resulting in the hotel address changing to Lord Street.  

In 1904 the Stanley Brewery Company purchased the Norwood Hotel. This brought to an end the lease with the Swan Brewery Company. Mulcahy continued on as the licensee.

(The Stanley Brewery, one of Perth’s earliest breweries, opened in 1848. In 1887 it became the Stanley Brewery Company Ltd. with eight local directors in the hope that the sale of shares would inject capital to produce a higher class of beer. The newer Swan Brewery was becoming more a dominant competitor. The name changed again in 1891 to the Stanley Brewing Company Ltd. In 1905 the company split with the Stanley Co-operative Co Ltd. controlling beer manufacture and the Stanley Brewing Company carrying on as the owner of freehold hotel properties in the metropolitan area. Around this time offers had been made for the Swan Brewery to buy out the Stanley Brewery, but they declined. The Stanley’s output of bottled their bottled beer bearing the ‘Emu’ label soared from 300 dozen to 3,000 dozen. In March 1908 the name was changed to the Emu Brewing Company to avoid any confusion.)

The value of the Norwood Hotel was assessed at £1,000 in 1906 with rates due of £78. David Mulcahy appeared in the Perth Licensing Court in regard to the value being assessed so highly, as he had previously paid rates of between £28 and £30. It was determined that the City Council officers had made a mistake in calculating the 1905 rates to be £26.

In 1907 the Stanley group once again offered themselves for amalgamation with the Swan Brewery, who refused the offer. David Mulcahy remained the Publican until 1911.

Story researched and written by Michelle Vercoe (Friend of Local History) and Julie Davidson (Senior Librarian, Local History)

Read the full story up to the demolition of the building in 2008.