History and Heritage

The Town of Cambridge has a rich mix of history. In the early days of the Swan River Colony, the area surrounding Herdsman Lake and Lake Monger was known as the Large Lakes of the Perthshire district.

Ph0104-01 West end of Lake Monger Drive, Feb 1939 - colour1.jpg 


Spanish Benedictine monks built a monastery south of Lake Monger in 1859 which later became an orphanage. Today it's the Catherine McAuley Centre. Since 1901 the Sisters of Mercy have had a continuous mission on this site in the service of children and families.

First Beach Road

The first road from Perth to the beach was completed in 1918. This 'plank road' was the extension of Cambridge Street and followed the same route as today's Oceanic Drive.

Old plank road

The name

The Town of Cambridge takes its title from Cambridge Street which was built around 1890 as part of Leederville. Cambridge Street was originally named after Cambridge University in England. 

Tram Line Terminus

The Wembley Hotel was popular with local and country holiday-makers. Built at the terminus of the tram line, it was the extent of suburban development in 1932. The hotel was the departure point for expeditions along the 'plank road' to the beach.


Ph0186-02 Wembley Hotel, circa 1945 - 300dpi1.jpg


The Wembley Hotel is classified by the National Trust for its architectural significance in elements of Federation and Art Deco design.

 For more information on the history and heritage of the Town visit the following pages:

Town of Cambridge History Pin Profile

Heritage Trail

Municipal Inventory of Heritage Places 

Town of Cambridge Local Studies Blog

Additionally please visit the Town's Library page for more information.

Last Updated: 14/10/2014