The Monsignor J.C. Hawes Heritage Trail takes you through the scenic Murchison region on a four day self-drive tour of 15 buildings created by architect and priest Monsignor Hawes. The trail will give you an appreciation of the significant role this remarkable man played in the development of this region.
Monsignor Hawes, the local Catholic priest from 1916 to 1939, built numerous well-known churches around the Mid-West and all around the world.
Commence the tour in Mullewa, which was his home for many years and boasts the greatest number of his works. Travel through eight regional towns including Morawa, Northampton and Geraldton examining his inspiring creations, many of which he not only designed but also helped build.
Buildings in Morawa, Kojarena, Carnarvon, Geraldton, Tardun, Perenjori, Carnamah, Nanson and Bluff Point remain as a dramatic and alluring testament to the skill and productivity of this remarkable man.
Also worth visiting is St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton which took 22 years to build. Admire the intricate detail of this magnificent and prominent building and marvel in the skills of the talented craftsmen.
Mullewa is a six hour drive north of Perth. Whilst the trail recommends four days to allow you plenty of time to visit each site, the trail is only 270 kilometres. Therefore if time is limited, you can pick and choose your preferred stops.
While the buildings he designed resonate on an international scale it is the man himself that is at the centre of this experience. Hawes was an astonishing character, a man of dramatic contradictions and fascinating passions and the life he lived could be truly said to be unique.
The trail features 11 substantial interpretive nodes, each detailing a phase of Hawes’ inspiring life story. It also features a number of large mosaics created by local Wajarri artists as a tribute to the relationship between Hawes and the indigenous people of the area. Various trailside structures evoke shapes and forms common in Hawes’ buildings and all along the way be guided by Dominie, the good Monsignor’s beloved fox terrier.
In harmony with the landscape, his building style is easily recognisable and provides a rewarding and inspiring travel experience. To find out more visit the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre.