Elizabethan Street in Perth

On the face of it you’d think that Western Australia’s modern Capital, Perth, would have absolutely nothing to do with Elizabethan England.  Thanks to successful gold miner Claude de Bernales, who found the need to bring a bit of culture to Perth in the 1930s, Perth boasts a facsimile of an Elizabethan Street called London Court.

London Court is an arcade in the centre of the Perth CBD.  Linking Hay Street Mall with Perth city’s main street, St. Georges Terrace, London Court which is a narrow, open-roofed, four-storey arcade which now caters mainly to the tourist trade.

The arcade utilises many Elizabethan features including ornate entrances with large wrought-iron gates, small, ground floor shops and cafes,  and offices and shops on the upper floors.  Some of the shops are leased by exclusive jewellers and antique stores, plus a number of speciality stores, including those specialising in Australiana and souvenirs.  

Once inside London Court, visitors are guarded by statues at either end of the arcade, one being Dick Whittington and his cat, and the other, at the St Georges Terrace end is Sir Walter Raleigh.  One of the most popular features is a large clock, which faces onto Hay Street Mall.  Every quarter-hour, half-hour and hour the clock chimes and begins a sequence which sees four mechanised knights on horseback gallop towards each other in a mock joust.  At the St Georges Terrace end is a small lesser-known-clock featuring St George slaying a dragon.

London Court is one of a number of arcades which gives pedestrians access from St Georges Terrace right through to Perth Train Station on Wellington Street.  Because of its tall, narrow public areas, London Court cuts out much of the traffic and other city noises, and is something of a haven for those who wish to enjoy a quite drink or snack and watch the world go by.

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