Redcliffe on the Murray—Our Story
Joseph Cooper, 1830 -1835
Joseph Cooper arrived in Fremantle aboard the Warrior in March 1830 with his wife Elizabeth, 35 years old,
and their children, Elizabeth, aged 7, Rebecca, aged 5, Joseph, aged 3, and Mary Ann, 6 months. He was a
wheelwright and blacksmith by trade, but planned on farming. He came with half a tonne of corn, a mill,
blacksmith tools, farming and building tools, garden seed, and food supplies including, beef, sugar, rice, peas
and tea. A granddaughter recalls that her mother was given gold dust by a fellow passenger on the Warrior in
gratitude for being nursed with an illness. He also obtained some gold coins when chasing away burglars, as
featured on page 122 of The Murray District of Western Australia. He was allocated 840 acres based on 40
acres for each 3 pounds he had. He obtained some town blocks in Fremantle, applied for land below Point
Walter, but couldn’t get as much as he wanted so he applied for land in the Murray district where Peel was
being establishing. He was allocated 675 acres south of Pinjarra, one or two miles upstream of Coolup Bridge.
Joseph feared working his grant due to the presence of Aborigines, so he remained in Fremantle and built carts
and wagons. His wife Elizabeth had three more children. Thomas in 1833, Maria in 1834 and James in 1838.
In 1835 Joseph acquired a licence for an eating house in Fremantle called, ‘The Plough’. In1836
he requested a reallocation of land grant downstream from Pinjarra. He obtained Location 13 and called
it Redcliffe. According to relatives, he then walked from Fremantle with his son, Joseph, aged 9, to take
possession. They led a cow with their baggage and stayed at Browne’s property, Jim Jam, overnight.
Joseph Cooper became the main wheat grower in the district for many years. He ground wheat in his
hand mill and sold it to the other settlers who were not self-sufficient.
In 1843 Joseph Cooper started building a windmill for grinding wheat at the mouth of the Murray where
it entered Peel inlet. Stone was brought across from the other side of the estuary by boat. Sadly Joseph Cooper
was thrown under his bullock cart near Clarence, on the way to Fremantle, and died four miles from Fremantle.
He was able to go through his financial affairs before he died, his son Joseph Cooper inherited the farm,
Redcliffe. Elizabeth, his wife was to get 15 pounds every year, from the profits of the farm. Thomas and James
were to have the mill on their ‘coming of age’. James and Thomas completed the mill with help from Dan
Myerick and Josiah Stinton. Stinton taught the boys how to operate the mill which for the first 10 years
was powered by sails then converted to steam in 1860. The steam engine and machinery were sold to Capt.
Fawcett in 1865, he used them in Pinjarra where most of the wheat was being grown.,1880s1880s
The Barn was re-erected over the original site ideally replicating the original that was decommissioned.
The clay bricks surrounding the building were said to be the last batch fire kilned at the Pinjarra brick
works before it closed. The Barn backs onto a natural bird sanctuary and nestles against the red cliffs
bordering the Murray River. It is now a restaurant and function venue, catering to all types of
functions including weddings.
Welcome to Redcliffe on the Murray Restaurant!
We are a family run Restaurant and Music Venue, located on the beautiful Murray River in Western Australia’s south west region.
- We support original artists to share their music and stories.
- We have ample parking and meals are cooked anytime after 11.00am.
- Saturdays the venue can be booked exclusively for Weddings from 10 am.
- We are a fully licenced venue & support responsible drinking.
Redcliffe barn was one of the first wheat producing farms in the Peel and Murray region.
Joseph Cooper immigrated from England in the early 19th century and settled in the Murray region, producing wheat and transporting his produce to Fremantle by horse and cart.
Redcliffe barn (Redcliffe on the Murray) is a replica of the original barn built by Joseph Cooper. It is now a fully liquor licensed Music Venue, Restuarant, Wedding and Function Venue. We predomintally serve food from our extensive menu and are proud to share our family friendly venue with all.
Our Opening Hours
11:00 AM – Late.
11:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
11:00 AM – Late.
11:00 AM – Late.
11:00 AM – 8:30PM.
Live Artists from around the World & Australia during summer.