Upton House 1844

Built in 1844/5, State Heritage Listed Upton House is one of the oldest privately owned houses in Western Australia and provides a rare example of an 1840s Georgian house.

Originally planned as a residence for Chief Commissioner Marshall Waller Clifton’s wife’s cousin, Elizabeth Fry, it became the home of the Clifton family when Elizabeth sadly passed before emigrating to Australia.

The name Upton House is derived from Mrs Fry’s residence in Upton Lane, London.

William Pearce (Pearce) Clifton, son of Marshall Waller Clifton of Alverstoke, constructed the home with the use of locally cut jarrah and nails manufactured at Australind. Upton’s original building bricks plus eight sets of French windows and twelve sets of cast iron windows are believed to have been cargo or ballast on the Trusty during her second voyage to Australind in 1844.

Mrs Fry’s husband sold Upton House to Elinor Clifton, wife of Marshall Waller Clifton and the mother of Pearce Clifton, who is credited with establishing the splendid gardens.

The original building bricks are believed to have been cargo or ballast on the Trusty during her second voyage to Australind in 1844. The original house is the two-storey section.

Earlier timber additions were replaced with brick additions in the 1960s, with further alterations undertaken in the 1990s and 2006.

Numerous outbuildings were built on the property, but only the former dairy remains as the present-day garage. On the right of the house is a stone section which is known as the “Honey Room,” as the Clifton’s kept bees.

The property remains the property of the Clifton family until the present day.


Returning to the estuary, an avenue of gum trees was passed through to reach the Clifton domain with the two-storey Upton House and its buildings facing the water, where black swans cruised around in great numbers.


Meet Elizabeth Fry 1780-1845

Elizabeth Fry, sometimes called Betsy Fry, was an English prison reformer, social reformer, philanthropist and Quaker.

Elizabeth was born into a prominent family of Quakers, known as the Gurneys, in 1780. The family had strong ties with the banking industry and her father, John Gurney, was a partner in Gurneys Bank.

She used her privilege well and was a major driving force behind new legislation to improve the treatment of prisoners, especially female inmates, and was called the “Angel of Prisons”.

The first woman to address the British Parliament, Elizabeth also had the support of Queen Victoria and Emperors Alexander I and Nicholas I of Russia.

In commemoration of her achievements, she was depicted on the Bank of England £5 note, in circulation between 2002 and 2016.

Upton House 1844

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