Canberra Camps, Settlements & Early Housing

The Builders of Canberra 1909-1929 Drafts Revised Edition WESTLAKE

Stirling Park (incl. Howie's, Westlake, etc) - Time Line & Walking Maps

For the Time Line, click HERE

For the Walking Maps, click HERE 

Draft Citation for Stirling Park, Yarralumla - former Westlake

History Colonial Period

Howie's Settlement, Gura Bung Dhara Hills, Bl 3, Section 128 Stirling Park, Yarralumla

Contractor John Howie won the contract to build the Hotel Canberra - known as Hostel No 1.  To house his workmen he built a settlement for his men that consisted of 25 two and three bedroom timber cottages and Recreation Hall for married men and for his single men timber barracks and Recreation Hall. The former was known as Howie's Cottages and the latter as 'The Hostel Camp.'  The site of the settlement was on the Gura Bung Dhaura Hills then known as Westlake and now Block 3, Section 128 Stirling Park Yarralumla. The settlement was built in late 1922 - by October 1926 the cottage numbers were reduced to 13 - the last was removed around the end of 1930 or early 1931.  The hostel camp was removed sometime around late 1928 or early 1929.   Following are two files that show the sites and a little of the history of this Canberra Settlement which could have been lost.  It was only through the information of people who lived at Howie's that the knowledge of this Canberra Settlement has been recorded.

Contractor John Howie's Settlement 1922-1930/31

Site of Howie's 2010

Tradesmen's camp what's there now.

No 1 Labourers' Camp Capitol Hill Westlake 

Mud Map What's There Now - Westlake Cottages in The Gap

 The Mud Map shows the sites of Westlake Cottages in the Gap - now part of Stirling Park, Yarralumla. It also marks some of the sites on Stirling Ridge in Stirling Park which includes one of the Ngunawal Scarred Trees.  The sites will be GPS marked this year.  Apologies to Karen William's whose name has been spelt with two 'R's.  Not marked on this map is Vlad Bondarenko's tree which was at the rear of 22 Westlake. This tree was also remembered by Stan Brill whose family were the first to live in No 22 Westlake.  Both are deceased.  The ashes of a number of people have been scattered in the park.  It is still remembered as 'home'.


Two maps  from The Ampol Travelling Atlas c1977

The quality of these maps is not good, but gives an idea of the position of Stirling Park in relation to the centre of the city and in relation to Capital Hill. Constitution Avenue not built is marked on the map.  The decision not to construct this road was made in the late 1970s and today another undeveloped road that connects Empire Circuit to Marina Place has been planned.