Frederick Sherwood and his family arrived from England on the Lady Gray in 1843 to be among the first to settle in the Swan River colony in Western Australia.
Frederick Sherwood, an architect, surveyor and engineer was engaged in various activities utilizing those professional skills until in 1857, he established the Swan Brewery in Sherwood’s Lane (now Sherwood Court). The aroma of hops wafted over St George’s Terrace and wagons rolled down Sherwood’s Lane, delivering barley to the malthouse and picking up casked and bottled Swan beer for distribution all over the colony.
In 1989 Helen and Ian Wildy purchased a 100 acre property at Mumballup in the Preston River valley about 200 kilometres south of Perth. The state forest opposite the property is the Sherwood Block and may well have been named in recognition of Frederick Sherwood who was engaged as a surveyor for land around Bunbury soon after his arrival in 1843.
The property at Mumballup was called Sherwood Springs. This seemed logical given a a number of fresh water springs on the property and more importantly Helen’s mother, Margaret Walker (nee Sherwood) was Frederick’s great grand daughter.
Some years later we learned that Frederick Sherwood had also owned a farm of nearly 1,000 acres that covered an area from what is now known as Mt Yokine to the Swan River at Bayswater. It had been called The Springs.
The Sherwood contribution to the history of Bayswater is remembered in the name of Sherwood Street.
Sherwood Springs today
Sherwood Springs at Mumballup is now very much a family operation.
For Ian Wildy, a civil engineer with a later involvement in commercial forestry, it was a toss up whether in 1999, to plant vines or olives at Sherwood Springs. Olives prevailed, largely because he wanted to participate in the development of a new industry rather than be swamped by an established one.
Helen, a university professor, offers logistical support and superb catering during the harvesting season. Anna is the family “palate” with the enviable ability to recognize a perfume at 20 paces. She guided Third Pillar Olive Oil towards its first awards at the 2004 and 2005 Perth Royal Shows and has every intention of continuing to help Sherwood Springs to add to the trophy cabinet. Johnny Hart offers valuable marketing advice and help in the grove.
Dan and Jodi are both botanists, handy experts in such an enterprise! They’re both closely involved in ensuring the health of the grove and the remnant vegetation surrounding it at Sherwood Springs. And now Angus and Rosie are willing helpers at busy times in the grove or when bottling and labelling is required.
A tradition of producing high quality products was commenced by Frederick Sherwood 150 years ago. Sherwood Springs olive oil continues that family tradition.