Guildford was established in 1829 on the Swan River, being sited near a permanent fresh water supply. During Captain Stirling's exploration for a suitable site to establish a colony on the western side of the Australian continent in the late 1820s, the exploration party of boats found a fresh water stream across the river from the site of Guildford which they called Success Hill.
Guildford was the home of Lew Whiteman and his family. The Whiteman family were responsible for the establishment of various industries. The Whiteman family established Mussel Pool as a picnic area for their employees. This land and the purchase of surrounding land by the State Government in 1978 was used to create Whiteman Park. The original home of the Whiteman family is now Tea rooms; the house is one of the oldest standing homes in Western Australia.
Guildford was originally the political centre of what is now called the City of Swan. The original council chambers have been converted to a library. Alongside the library stands the Town Hall; behind this is the stables built for the councilors while attending meetings and as a depot for council equipment. These stables have been converted and are now the home of The Garrick Theatre which is the oldest operating theatre group in Western Australia. The original structure is still visible. Inside the roof has its original shingles still in place, though from the outside they have been covered by corrugated iron.
The Guildford Association Incorporated is the residents' association of the Town of Guildford.
The goals of the Association are to preserve and promote the historic and rural nature of Guildford and its environs and to enhance and protect the quality of life of residents and rate-payers in the area.
The Association meets each month at the Mechanics Institute in Meadow Street to debate local issues and to support local residents by communicating the desires of the Guildford community to local government.
Bourke, M. J. (Michael Joseph), (1971) Old buildings at Guildford [microform] ( Microfilm copy of typescript ([240, 190] leaves) and illustrations prepared for University of Western Australia, Faculty of Architecture, 1971.)