Guildford is firmly situated in Whadjuk Noongar booja country. Noongar people have lived in this part of booja since the Nyittiny, or creation times.
When Captain James Stirling explored the Upper Swan River in March 1827, he was amazed at the ‘park-like landscape’, which had ben created by Noongar fire-stick farming. For generations Whudjuk people burned sections of dry bush before the rainy season to encourage re-growth of sweeter grasses. This enabled easier hunting of kangaroos and other animals who were enticed by the new growth.
From Guildford to the surrounding areas of Success Hill and Pyrton, the area has always been a meeting place for Noongar peoples. The Helena River was a moort bidi, a main route for Noongar people coming to and from Guildford where corroborees were performed. The west of the Swan River is known as Yellagonga’s country while the east bank is Weeip’s country. Wudjuk and Ngoonar groups still meet in Stirling Square, or ‘Gilly Park’ in the centre of Guildford.
Stirling established the town of Guildford, named after his father-in-law’s electorate in Surrey UK, as a market centre for the surrounding agricultural areas. The young colony had set up food production in the area, taking advantage of the rich soils that washed down from the Darling Ranges, as generations of Wadjuk peoples had done.
Today Guildford is a beautiful and picturesque town and the gateway to the Swan Valley. Steeped in history, the town was listed by the National Trust in 1989. It is a popular weekend destination known for its boutique shopping, antiques, fine dining, and excellent hotels including the oldest established hotel in WA, the Rose and Crown.
The centrally located visitors centre is a wealth of information on the town, its history and the countless attractions both within and surrounding the town. It is also a central booking place for all your weekend accommodation needs.