Finding Family

One woman's obsession with family history.

Throughout my childhood my love of history and of all things concerning the past was something that I could not really express in words but it was, without a doubt, subtly encouraged by my Grandparents. Our outings to places such as the Swan View Railway Tunnel filled me with awe and I listened, enchanted by my Grandma’s words, as she told me stories and filled my head with visions of a world from long ago.

All Saints Church in Henley Brook is another historical place we visited and the memory of that day from when I was a little girl has always been clear in my mind. My Grandma and Grandpa wanted to buy some grapes from a vineyard in the Swan Valley and suggested that my Mum, my brother and I come along for an outing. After the grapes were purchased they stopped off at All Saints Church where we wandered around the little graveyard and admired the inside of the tiny church. My Grandma prayed and I remember that I (naively) had no idea what she was doing. We left the church and walked around to the back where a pathway led us right down to the bank of the Swan River and we stood there awhile, admiring the view.

This was my first and only visit to the church and for the longest time I’ve felt the need to once again find it and revisit the scene of my memories. This need was finally satisfied on a quiet Sunday morning and I was ecstatic to find that both the church itself as well as its surroundings were mostly unchanged.

All Saints Church

Back of Church

Church Bell

The original small mud-brick and thatch church was built by Richard Edwards (a master bricklayer from Gloucestershire in England) between the years 1838 and 1840. The first service was held on 10 January 1841 by the Rev. W. Mitchell with a total of 69 people in attendance.

Church Pews

Church Aisle

Stained Glass

Wooden Cross

Graveyard Flowers

Barrett-Lennard Headstone

The above headstone is one of many located in the cemetery which are associated with the early inhabitants of the area. Forrest Barrett-Lennard was buried with his father, George and mother, Amy. He was 16 years old when on 6 May 1913 he was swept off the rocks while fishing near Trigg’s Island in North Beach and was tragically drowned. His brother witnessed the accident but sadly could not render any assistance. Information obtained from: 1913 ‘THE WORLD’S NEWS.’, Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954), 11 May, p. 5 Section: Second Section, viewed 8 April, 2012,

Swan Reflections

The church is located on the spot where in March 1827 Captain James Stirling set up camp  while conducting a survey of the Swan Valley. The beautiful area left a strong impression on him (nearby Ellenbrook is named after his wife Ellen) and it is said that during his time here the vision of a state arose in his heart and mind.

Swan River


Gum Flower

All Saints Church is one of the oldest churches in Western Australia. Services are still held each Sunday and it is open to visitors seven days a week with entry being by donation. In my opinion, it is well worth a visit.

11 thoughts on “All Saints Church–Henley Brook

  1. Sandra Barratt says:

    It does bring back memories when we went there with Grandma Grandpa it was a loverly day.


    1. Jess says:

      It certainly does and it was great to see that it was just as I remembered it. It was a pity though that we couldn’t look closer at the river. 🙂

  2. ljhlaura says:

    Great photos … and commentary. Glad you found it as you remembered it and love how your enjoyment of history shows through in your blog.

    1. Jess says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you liked the photos and enjoyed reading about All Saints Church. 🙂

  3. I went back to that church today as it is where my Great grandparents are buried and my Grandparents were married. Other relatives are buried there as well.

    1. Jess says:

      That’s wonderful Cindy! It’s such a beautiful little church and is situated in a perfect spot. 🙂

  4. Hayley Saunders says:

    Hi Jess,
    I live on the property near the church, also along the river. My property is home to Richard Edward’s Cottage. I would love to know if you have any relevant information on Richard Edwards and how you came by it?

    1. Jess says:

      Hi Hayley,

      The only information I have on Richard Edwards is what’s written in the blog post. If you’re interested in finding information about Richard I’d suggest searching the historical Australian newspapers on Trove (

  5. Patricia Rowney says:

    Hi Richard Edwards was my Great G G Grandfather!

  6. Tayla Edwards says:

    Hi my names tayla Edwards and the man who built it was actually one of my ancestors we went to see it ages ago and a man there was very excited to see people related to the builder it’s great to learn about your history

  7. Melissa says:

    Loved the pictures you got of The Allsaints Church did you know Richard Edwards grave is actually next to the church on the right. I am one of Richards 5thgen grandchildren. If anyone would like to know about Richard I have all the info you need even down to Richard being carried out on his death bed whilst watching all his work go up in flames… his house burned to the ground.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: