The Main Hall’s jarrah hammer-beam roof is one of Perth Town Hall’s most dramatic features. James Manning’s design has been described as “a handsome piece of engineering.” It “shows a fine eye for the form of materials and combination of materials” available at that time. Along with door and window joinery, the hall roof was constructed at the Fremantle Prison and taken on site for installation.
That the convicts installed a trussed roof, 15 m high across a 14 m span, was a great technical accomplishment. It would have been installed with not much more mechanical assistance than a block and tackle and is regarded as a “significant record of the talents and ability of convict labour.”
Perth Town Hall Conservation Management Plan 6.96 by Forbes Fitzhardinge and Woodland, and Allom, Lovell and Hocking 1996