Claremont is one of the better suburbs in one of Australia’s most appealing cities. Set on the Swan River’s Freshwater Bay, just seven kilometres or so west of the city centre, Claremont is graced with elegant homes and gardens, many of which gaze out over the bay where sailing boats skitter and glitter.
Claremont is at the heart of Perth’s 'Millionaires’ Row', which includes the neighbouring suburbs of Dalkeith, Nedlands and Peppermint Grove.
But Claremont has its wild strip, too, especially on the other side of the metaphorical tracks to the north of the Stirling Highway which links Perth with Fremantle. This is the speed centre where the rev heads gather for car racing at Claremont Showgrounds, another Perth institution.
Claremont got its start as a settlement in 1830 when John Butler, recently arrived from Liverpool, speculated on its commercial qualities and set up his inn, attracting travellers on the road connecting Perth and Fremantle.
Growth of the Freshwater Bay settlement took off in 1850 when the Government allocated land on the foreshore and at Lake Claremont to 19 ‘Pensioner Guards’ and their families. Their arrival resulted from the cost-saving policy of the British government of recruiting military pensioners to serve as guards on convict ships instead of regimental soldiers.