The main pedestrian thoroughfare through Fremantle’s Kings Square will be named ‘High Street’ under a proposal endorsed by Fremantle Council’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee.
Previously High Street ran all the way from the eastern entrance to Fremantle through to the West End and the Round House, but the stretch through Kings Square was closed to traffic in the 1960s.
Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said although the area would remain closed to through-traffic, giving it a street name would make it easier for people to find the new businesses and services that will move into the square when the renewal of Kings Square is complete.
“Currently the land between the Fremantle Town Hall and St John’s church doesn’t have a name, only a reserve number,” Mayor Pettitt said.
“Naming that area ‘High Street’ would reinforce the historic east-west spine that runs right through the middle of Fremantle, and it would also facilitate logical street addressing and numbering into the future.
“For example, if this proposal is supported it means the City’s new civic centre and library will have a High Street address.”
The FPOL committee also supported extending the name ‘Newman Court’ to include the currently unnamed portion of road reserve in front of the old Myer building, which would allow for street numbering of Sirona Capital’s FOMO building.
The City’s preferred road names will now be submitted to Landgate and the Geographic Names Committee for consideration.
Meanwhile, a team of archaeologists will soon be returning to Kings Square to try and find the precise location and condition of part of the limestone footing of the original St John’s church.
The old church was built in the middle of Kings Square in 1843 but was demolished and replaced by the current church in 1882.
An archaeological dig conducted in January last year made some unexpected discoveries, including that the original St John’s church was larger than historical plans indicated.
The dig also revealed shop foundations and artefacts from a blacksmith business from the late 1800s, the remains of a 1900s corner newsagent and the 1890 Temperance Hall which fronted High Street.
Artefacts dating back as far as the early 1800s included clay pipes, ceramics, black glass, a Snider rifle bullet, horseshoes and 19th century tools.
The City of Fremantle is continuing to investigate ways to incorporate the remains of the church into the design of the public spaces around Kings Square.