Donnybrook stone

Donnybrook stone is a fine to medium-grained feldspathic and kaolinitic sandstone found near the town of Donnybrook, Western Australia.[1] It originates from the early Cretaceous (144-132 MYA) and features shale partings and colour variations which range from white to beige and pink.[2]

Donnybrook stone is used as dimension stone in the building industry and is both a commercial name as well as a stratigraphic name.

Many public and private buildings in Western Australia feature Donnybrook stone. These include the facade and portico to the Parliament House building in West Perth, the General Post Office in Perth,[3] the entry portal to the Fremantle Railway Station and the Police Courts building in Beaufort Street, Perth, the latter of which is constructed entirely of Donnybrook stone.


Gold was found in Donnybrook in the mid-1890s and was being mined there in late 1898.[4][5] There was controversy regarding its usage in the early twentieth century.[6]

There were up to eight quarries producing Donnybrook stone in and around the town in the 1930s.[2] Most of these have since closed, however, in 1981 the Goldfields Quarry on the Upper Capel Road re-opened and now produces material for floor tiles and facing slabs. Several of the closed quarries are on the Donnybrook-Balingup Road.


The following list is from a 1984 publication[7] - some items might have since been renamed as structures, demolished or changed:


  • GPO - Forrest Place - upper floors
  • Commonwealth Bank Building, (CBC bank) - corner of Murray Street and Forrest Place upper floors
  • Parliament House, Perth - Harvest Terrace frontage - Main entrance, column facings and building frontage. First floor - central portion
  • Supreme Court of Western Australia - Rverside drive frontage - external walls of basement
  • Police Courts - Beaufort Street - whole building
  • Public Health Department - Murray Street - whole building
  • State Library, James Street - arches to first floor and second floor balcony
  • Museum Building, Beaufort Street - window arches and sills
  • Government Stores, Murray Street - ground floor facing, window lintels and gable ends[8]
  • University of Western Australia - Winthrop Hall[9]


  • Railway Station
  • Customs House
  • St John's Anglican church
  • St Patricks Catholic church
  • Scottish House

See also


  1. "Stratigraphic Units Database". Geoscience Australia. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  2. "Donnybrook Stone" (PDF). Edward de Courcy Clarke Earth Science Museum, University of Western Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 September 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  3. "DONNYBROOK STONE". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 2 May 1908. p. 33. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  4. "The Donnybrook Find. Encouraging Prospects". The West Australian. 5 December 1898.
  5. "The Donnybrook Goldfield". The West Australian. 6 May 1899.
  6. "DONNYBROOK STONE ROYAL COMMISSION". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 24 May 1902. p. 3. Retrieved 11 March 2012.
  7. Geological Survey of Western Australia (1984), A Guide to the building and facing stones of Perth and Fremantle, Western Australia Dept. of Mines, Geological Survey, ISBN 978-0-7244-8673-1
  8. Former Government Printing Office Perth, Western Australia : conservation plan, 2000, retrieved 16 April 2019

Further reading

  • Donnybrook Stone Company (1987), The Donnybrook Stone Company, The Donnybrook Stone Company, retrieved 12 December 2013
  • Fetherston, J.M. 2007 Dimension stone in Western Australia. Volume 1: Industry review and dimension stones of the southwest region. Geological Survey of Western Australia. Mineral Resources Bulletin 23 181p
  • Freeman, M.J., Donaldson, M.J. 2004 Major mineral deposits of southwestern Western Australia – a field guide Geological Survey of Western Australia. Record 2004/17 38p
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