Back in the day, the Red Castle Motel was the place to be in Perth. Situated just outside the CBD with river and city views, and on the main road to the airport, it was a medieval themed paradise. Many couples (this being in the days before cheap airfares made international honeymoons from one of the most isolated cities on Earth viable) spent their wedding nights there – numberless are the Perthites who claim to have been conceived with its walls. Not only a place to stay, the castle was also a well regarded nightspot, where you could dine beneath the watchful gaze of suits of armour in the revolving King Arthur’s Table restaurant, or wander the gardens where a hand grasping the sword Excalibur would emerge from a pond on the hour, every hour.
But alas, time moves on. Faux Arthurian medievalism went out of fashion as Western Australia slowly moved away from its British roots and started to look towards Asia. The Castle gradually changed from fashionable accommodation to slightly shabby, to a glorified truckstop, to a regular truckstop and eventually into a complete fleapit. The revolving restaurant struggled on under a variety of names before eventually shuddering to a halt and closing, and a fire that destroyed the penthouse level in September of 2012 was the final straw. The once iconic structure is soon to be demolished, and the site redeveloped for housing.
So naturally, as a badly decayed landmark that is soon to vanish I made some time today to go and photograph it.
The set can be seen here. The place is pretty well locked up. I would have been willing to try and find a way in, except for the fact that there was a car parked inside and some lights were on in the front building, so I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and just photographed from the street. Nonetheless you can tell that it would have been an impressive place back in the 60’s – particularly in sleepy little Perth. Burswood will never be quite same without that tower looming over the horizon, no matter how awful the establishment below it may have been.
It may be of some interest that among the photos is the 10,000th one in my photostream. How about that then?