Holyrood Street lights

1. Overview

 "Holyrood Street, West Leederville, comprises a mostly Federation period streetscape, which developed in the first decade of the twentieth century, at which time the street was named Derby Street.

"Most of the development of cultural heritage significance is located on land which was subdivided by 1903. The development is composed of single storey residences and their associated buildings, with one or two residences that have been adapted in recent times to add a second storey.

"Holyrood Street has continued to develop and evolve to respond to the changing needs of society and economic growth. It remains a remarkable and attractive street with rich historical architecture, an attractive streetscape, and setting.

"Holyrood Street conveys the essence of a working class Federation period street, notwithstanding later adaptations." (1)

Holyrood Street was the first heritage listed street in the Town of Cambridge. To celebrate the heritage listing, the Town installed two art deco light boxes which project a collage of historic images on the trunks of two street trees at the Cambridge Street entrance.      

The tree on the right shows images depicting times prior to 1915 when the street was known as Derby Street. The tree on the left shows images post 1916 when the street became known as Holyrood Street.

You can see the lights any night of the week from around 7.30pm. 

2. Holyrood Street Stories

History of Holyrood Street

"On the original Title Deeds in 1905 Holyrood Street was known as Derby Street, because at the time I believe there was another Derby Street in Shenton Park which still exists today, and in 1905 possibly both streets having the same name would have caused a mix up of mail. Street naming at that period in time was under the direction of the Town of Perth.

"I first came to live at Holyrood St when I was 16 and my parents rented the house when we moved in; the year would have been 1937.

"Later, they purchased the home when it was for sale.  Across the road in Woolwich Street there was a handy-food shop with bay windows.  It is still there but since 2010 is no longer used as a shop, but that is where I caught the tram from to go to work in St Georges Terrace Perth.  From Woolwich Street the tram joined Oxford Street and turned right into Newcastle Street, and then right again into William Street up and over the horseshoe bridge and continued down William Street towards the Swan River; the terminus was at St Georges Terrace and the conductor would then turn the seats back ready for the return journey. 

"On the return trip the tram would head west along Woolwich Street and turn left into McCourt Street.  The terminus was on the corner of McCourt Street and Cambridge Street.  Trams also went to Mt Hawthorn and Osborne Park in Main Street.  That terminus was where the Osborne Park hotel is today.

Trolley buses – electrically controlled by an overhead trolley arm (similar to a tram)

"In 1945 trolley buses were introduced in Perth and the bodies for these buses were built by Boltons (they were truck body builders) and situated in Sutherland Street, West Perth.  They ran from Wellington Street (opposite the horseshoe bridge) to Floreat Park.  From Perth, they turned right into Sutherland Street, under the West Perth subway and continued along Cambridge Street.   There were two routes heading west.  The first route continued along Cambridge Street to Floreat Park and the terminus was on the corner of Cambridge and Lissadell Streets (on top of the hill).  The second route continued along Cambridge Streeat and turned right at Gregory Street, Wembley then turned left into Grantham Street and I believe the terminus was at the end of Grantham Street, Floreat Park.

"I might mention when I was living in Wembley and I caught the trolley bus to go to work, if I was on the bus before 8am, I would only pay three pence on any day except a Sunday!" (2)


(1) Considine and Griffiths Architects (no date), Holyrood Street Heritage Development and Design Guidelines, Considine and Griffiths Architects Pty Ltd, p. 1.

(2) Dennis, J. Ferris (Jim) 2011, 'History of Holyrood Street'. Jim was 90 years old at writing these memories, being born on the 9th April, 1921 and long term resident at 29 Holyrood Street, West Leederville WA 6007.

3. Holyrood Street War Heroes

Five men are known to have lived in Holyrood Street and to have served their country in conflict.

The names of these men are listed on the Fallen Soldiers' Memorial on Cambridge Street in West Leederville.

  1. George Parkman Debnam - World War I - 5 Holyrood Street
  2. Carl Alfred Eliasson - World War I - 13 Holyrood Street
  3. Edward Rawes - World War I - 25 Holyrood Street
  4. David John Simcock - World War I - 4 Holyrood Street
  5. John Joseph McCormack - World War I - 7 Holyrood Street