Cockman House

Cockman House is the oldest surviving residence in the Wanneroo district, having been built by James Cockman in 1860. Having arrived in the Swan River Colony during its first year of European settlement, he settled with his wife Mary-Ann, and their seven children in Wanneroo in the early 1850s.

The Kitchen, with a table to accomodate as many as 13 people at a regular sitting!

This limestone walled five-room house, situated in a rural setting on the edge of Yellagonga regional Park, is furnished with items formerly owned by the Cockman family. Family members owned and occupied the house until 1988 when it was purchased by the City of Wanneroo.

The house was constructed from local materials - the limestone quarried nearby with some burnt for mortar, and the timber for doors, windows, floor boards and roof sawn in a nearby sawpit. The house, which has undergone only slight changes over the years, is listed on the state Register of Heritage Places. Visitors appreciate the old dunny, shed, washhouse and well that remain at the rear of the house, together with grapevines believed to be over 100 years old.

  • The main bedroom, with a cot in one corner where the babies would have slept.
  • The kids room, where children slept top-to-toe to accomodate them all.
  • Granny's Bedroom
  • A Columbia Grafanola, originally used in the house by the Backshall family, is one of the latest donations
  • Cockman House supports a lush vegetable garden tended by the volunteers
  • Cockman House from the front


In Cockman House there are about 300 items with emphasis on the Cockman family. Their early life was similar to so many pioneering families from England and the sense of family is very strong in this house. Some excellent pieces of early Victorian and Australian colonial furniture can be enjoyed including campaign chest.