Built in 1871 on the banks of the Canning River, the heritage-listed Woodloes Homestead is the oldest building in Canning and one of the earliest designed homes in the Swan River Colony.

Situated among towering trees, the solid-stone, Victorian-Georgian home was built by pioneer and architect Francis Bird and his wife.

Mr Bird was a partner of the Mason, Bird Timber Company which transported timber from a mill in the Darling Ranges via a horse-drawn railway to Mason’s Landing, just downstream of Woodloes. The company ceased operation in 1882 and Bird left the area, taking up residence at Strawberry Hill Farm in Albany.

However, in 1971 restoration work was commenced by the City of Canning, providing the homestead with a new lease of life as a museum which opened in 1978.

Following the extensive renovation of the homestead's exterior, the dedicated and enthusiastic members of the Canning Districts Historical Society restored its interior to reflect the way a well-to-do family would have lived during the early years of the Swan River Colony. The homestead now houses a large collection of colonial and post-colonial artefacts that demonstrate daily life from years past. It also contains a small collection of Bird family material and items from historic Canning.

Woodloes is unique in that it is an architect-designed house and was constructed as a complete residence, unlike some other homes of this period which show many additions and alterations.

Opened by the Canning Districts Historical Society on two Sunday afternoons each month (except January), visitors are able to get lost trawling through memorabilia and Victorian times past. A reconstruction of a local church is also located within the grounds and the whole site is available for wedding ceremonies and similar functions.

Woodloes Homestead is located on Woodloes Street, Cannington.

For more information, contact the Canning Districts Historical Society via woodloes@dodo.com.au or 0427 780 490.

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