This historic, rural town, 474km north of Perth and 50km north of Geraldton, is one of the oldest in WA outside of Perth and Fremantle. It was on the receiving end of the first railway line to be laid in the state - from Geraldton to Northampton. Completed in 1879 the line operated until 1957. The town is held in such high regard as a window to our past that in 1993 it was classified by the National Trust as an Historic Town. Examples of the fine architecture which can be found at Northampton include St Mary’s convent and church, built in 1936 and designed by the architect-priest Monsignor John Hawes, who is a legend here in the west. He built more churches and church buildings than just about anyone. Explorer Lt George Grey sent in a glowing report of the Northampton area to the powers-that-be in 1839 and nine years later lead and copper mining began near the site of the present town. Today, industry in the Shire of Northampton is largely based on agriculture, although the fishing industry also has a strong base in the region. Northampton has long been noted for the quality of fruit grown locally, especially the citrus varieties. Many growers are now venturing into melon and grape production along with flower cultivation for local and overseas markets.