LIKE kids with their noses pressed against the lolly shop window, passersby regularly stop and gaze through the ornate iron gates at the old port mill complex on Essex Street.
“Oohs” and “ahhs” are mixed with “quaint” and “gorgeous” as they are taken by the beautiful cobbled courtyard and character limestone homes forming a square around it.
The original 1862 mill was fully restored into cute two and three storey homes in 1993.
It was a virtual wreck when the late Fremantle architect Edward Bessant took on the daunting job of saving it.
He complemented the original building with an “eastern wing” that blends beautifully with the original mill.
The result is the sort of abode travellers dream of finding in places like Tuscany and Provence, but are rarely seen outside movies.
If only they’d known about this elegant Essex Street complex, which is a mix of residential and short term accommodation.
Number 3 has been a bed and breakfast for a number of years, and its five bedrooms on the second and third floor all have en suites.
Each has its own balcony, some looking into a private rear courtyard, while those at the front gaze down at lush gardens and a baroque fountain in the central courtyard backdropped by the aged limestone walls of the original mill.
The ground floor is a welcoming reception, with a kitchen, sitting area, and courtyard garden.
Which all means turning this elegant dwelling into a private home wouldn’t take much.
Imposing wrought iron gates guard the Essex St entrance, right next to a chic French wine bar which is part of the complex.
The central location ensures there’s plenty of eateries, bars and shops mere minute’s walk away, or head down to Bathers Beach for a swim or to simply watch WA’s magnificent sunsets.
by JENNY D’ANGER
3/17 Essex Street, Fremantle
Sale by online auction,
next inspection July 7 at 3pm
Caro Cunningham | 0409 992 889
Andy Thorpe | 0447 778 622
Mint Real Estate