Northampton is a vibrant rural community located 475km north of Perth and 51km from Geraldton in Western Australia. It may be small in numbers, but Northampton has a wealth of traditions and many stories to tell since it was founded in 1864.
We invite you to visit Northampton, meet its people and learn more about what makes it a unique AUSBUY Town.
Northampton and the Surrounding Districts:
- Northampton: 800
- Shire: 3000
Towns in the Shire:
- Northampton (Largest population & Shire Office)
- Kalbarri (Tourist town)
- Port Gregory
- Horrocks Beach
For more information visit the Shire of Northampton
Surrounding Region and Villages:
- Horrocks Beach is 22 km drive with great fishing and swimming.
- Port Gregory is 47km from Northampton with the historic Lynton Homestead and restored convict hiring station.
How do you get there:
- Fly - Airport at Geraldton
More information when you arrive:
Map of Location: Map of Northampton
- Horrocks Fun Run - June
- Purple Bra Day - June
- Airing of the Quilts Festival - October (9th October 2010)
- biggest festival
- renowned world wide
- attracts interstate and international visitors.
- Northampton Agricultural Show - September (11th September 2010)
- Dirt Drags - November
For more information visit upcoming events.
Northampton is Renowned for:
- Wheat, Crayfishing, Agricultural production
- Heritage listed buildings including stone churches or stores operating since the early 1900’s
- Railway – 1st government railway of WA (stationed in Northampton)
- 1629, the ‘Batavia’ wrecked off the coast
- Long standing heritage roots within community
- Churches / Architecture
- Hutt River Principality - a Country within a Country
For more information visit attractions.
- B & B's
- Caravan parks
For more information visit accommodation.
- Supermarket (local) – Northampton IGA Plus Liquor
- Local Butcher
- Green Grocer
- Newsagency - Northampton Newsagency
- Post Office
- Hardware Store - Hasleby's Hardware & Rural Store
- Service Stations
- The Northampton Family Store - an icon in the town and a drawcard for tourists
- Agricultural stores
Major Industries and Exports:
- Sheep (merino) & wool,
Northampton’s Historic Background:
- Settled in late 1840’s after lieutenant George Grey passed through.
- Exploration led to lead ore and copper discovery and the establishment of mines. Geraldine Mine was the first lead mine in Australia.
- Original name of Northampton was ‘The Mines’
- The present name is a combination of Northampton in England & an honour of the then governor of WA, John Stephen Hampton.
- The first government built railway in Western Australia went from Northampton to Geraldton and continued to run until it was finally closed in 1957.
- The town boasts three buildings of genuine historic interest:
- Chiverton House - now the local museum
- Church of St Mary in Ara Coeli - is one of the many buildings in the Central West designed by the architect-priest Monsignor John Hawes
- The ruins of Gwalla Church - built by the ex–convict Joseph Horrocks, it was a true experiment in non–denominational religion.
For more information visit the history.
- Northampton District High School
- St Mary’s Catholic School (primary)
- Binnu Primary School
For more information visit schools.
About the People:
- Deeply family oriented
- Prominent families in the area have been resident since early settlement – all farming and fishing families
- Local businesses in the area 90 - 100 years
Northampton’s Pastoral and Agriculture History
In Australia we can trace when settled communities started, unlike most other countries. In November 1850 William Burges and his brother Lockier drove 2300 sheep and 200 cattle from York to Bowes River, near Northampton. Ahead of them by two days the Gregory brothers, Augustus Charles and Frank, scouted out the most suitable route. Two days behind Burges was Thomas Brown, also with a flock of sheep, and he was to settle at 'Glengarry' east of Geraldton.
William and Lockier arrived at the place they were to call 'Knockbrack' later to be called 'The Bowes' and immediately set about the construction of accommodation in the form of three A-framed dwellings made from locally gathered material.
In about 1864 construction of the 'The Bowes' homestead began and took several years to complete.
Burges gave a glowing appraisal of the country and approval of the pasture suitable for sheep. Within a few years others followed and soon saw the establishment of other well known pastoral homesteads - 'Lynton', 'Oakabella', 'Murchison House' and 'Trevenson'. About ten years later William Burges helped set up John Williams, who had been one of his most trusted servants at 'Willow Gully'.
By the end of the 19th century, Government re-appraisal of pastoral leases decided to resume parts of the leases for ‘closer settlement’ and released the resurveyed smaller lots as agricultural lands.
In the 1910's many of these lands were taken up by farmers from interstate and with the extension of the railway from Northampton to Ajana in 1913, which facilitated the import of farm machinery, many farms were established to the north of town.
William Burges (c.1806 or 1808 – 16 October 1876) was an early settler in Western Australia who became a pastoralist and a Member of the Western Australian Legislative Council.
Born in Fethard, Tipperary, Ireland in c.1806 or 1808, William Burges was a brother of Lockier Clere Burges and Samuel Burges, and uncle to Thomas and Richard Burges. In 1830, Burges and his brothers emigrated to Western Australia on board the 'Warrior'. Until 1837 they farmed together in the Upper Swan district. In 1837 the brothers obtained land at York. Their homestead, which they named 'Tipperary', is still held by their descendants.
Burges travelled to Ireland in 1841, and returned to York in 1844. In 1846 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace. Appointed secretary of the York Agricultural Society in 1847, he was closely involved in that body's ultimately successful petition for Western Australia to become a penal colony. In 1850, he moved to the Champion Bay district, establishing 'The Bowes' homestead. From 1851 to 1860 he was resident magistrate for his district, and in 1853 he was sub-collector of customs and visiting magistrate for the convict depot at Port Gregory. He returned to Ireland in 1860, but revisited Western Australia in 1868 and 1875. In November 1875, he was nominated to the Legislative Council. He held the seat until his resignation in July 1876. He returned to Ireland shortly afterwards, dying at Fethard on 16th October 1876. He was unmarried.