Hyde Park in the suburb of Highgate, originally known as Boodjamooling by the local Noongar people, was one of a series of swamps and lakes stretching across from Claisebrook Cove through to Herdsman Lake. When the Europeans arrived in 1829 to establish the Swan River Colony they named it Third Swamp.
In 1897 the Third Swamp was gazetted as a public park and renamed Hyde Park.
During the gold rush era, the Third Swamp was a popular place for travelers to rest and water their horses. It was also the home of a fringe dwellers camp.
In the early 1870s, when Perth began to expand rapidly, the Government began draining many of the swamps, including Third Swamp. They soon stopped when they realized that this was causing the water table to fall, resulting in the domestic water supply dwindling.
So what to do? Having already marked the land at Third Swamp for a residential sale, the Government halted the draining program and withdrew Third Swamp from the sales market and turned it into a recreational park. Problem solved.
Following World War II the stone fence which surrounded the park was removed.
In 1965 the park had a massive upgrade with BBQ facilities and a child’s playground area built.
In 1969 the Hyde Park Festival was established, where local artists could display and sell their work over the Australia Day long weekend. The event was eventually canceled in 1984, due mainly to the stress that it placed on the park. However, in recent years a similar event the Hyde Park Community Art Festival (May/June) has been successfully running in the park.
For Nature Lovers
Hyde Park is shaded by the most glorious trees including Plane Trees around the lake, Moreton Bay Figs, Port Jackson Fig, Pines, and Jacarandas. Some of the more unusual tree species are the Swamp Cypress, Red Cedar, and the Bunya Pine.
Sadly, the one thing that Hyde Park lacks is public art. In fact, there is only one sculpture in the entire park, a magnificent one, but only one nether the less. The work is entitled Pieces of Leisure and was sculpted by artist Judith Forrest in 2006.
In the early 1900s there was a 3 tier fountain in the park but it was removed in 1918 due to vandalism.