The land Broome Lot 194 was purchased in 1904 by George Moss, a stock and station agent of Broome.
The house was originally built by Nellie Talboys who purchased the property in 1910, and it transferred to her husband Harry Talboys in 1913 on her death. Harry was a master mariner and pearler who built a pearling fleet from a single lugger. The property then passed to their son Charles Talboys, business manager on Harry's death in 1933. T.H. 'Bert' Kennedy purchased it in 1945. Bert's daughter Nita Jean and her husband Peter Haynes moved into the house soon after they married in the 1940s and raised their family here.
In 1982 the property transferred to Fieldon Pty Ltd. It became the residence of Lord Alistair McAlpine during his time in Broome. In 1997, he sold it to Colin and Cheryl Wilkinson who modified the premises to a guest house, which opened in 1998. In 1999 it was purchased by Marilynne Paspaley AM, a member of the successful Paspaley pearling family operating in Broome and the Kimberley since the 1930s. It now operates as a premium boutique hotel of 8 rooms, known as Pinctada McAlpine House.
The property has aesthetic value for its extensive use of storm shutters and lattice screens, prominent hipped roof and masonry stumps. it is an example of a residence built for the tropical climate of Broome in the early 1900s.
The property is representative of the way of life of the more affluent citizens of Broome who resided in gracious residences during the early 20th century.
The large 2500 sqm land blocks in the surrounding area between Weld Street and Herbert Street include some fine examples of historic Master Pearler homes, held today as private residences. Few are in original condition but do retain the style of the original construction and materials. Other nearby examples are the Male Residence, Pa Norman's House and the Kennedy Family Home.
Lord McAlpine carried out certain restoration work when he purchased the property. Today, two of the original bedrooms remain as built, with the middle lounge room sacrificed to provide ensuites to the two guest rooms on what is now called the Pearlers Verandah. Lord McAlpine's master bedroom has been preserved with its large ensuite. The original layout of the residence is evident and retains its intended residential function. The property retains a moderate degree of integrity and authenticity.
The style of construction was specifically simple to suit the climate and also the need to ship all building materials from Perth. The corrugated iron sheets (today known as mini-orb) used for walls was flat-packed, the rafters and timber framing was the hardwood Jarrah and the corrugated roofing panels were all practical materials which minimised the volume of materials shipped and therefore the freight costs. They require little maintenance and survive particularly well in the climate of the region. The large verandahs provided shade and a generous flow of air for outdoor enjoyment around the enclosed rooms. There was no embellishment other than the hand-made lattice screens, and overall the property exhibits a very practical approach to the use of materials and a construction style that suits the climate and shows a knowledge of the movement of the sun, the sea breezes and the rain storms.
Nellie and Harry Talboys - Master Mariner and pearler who built a fleet or pearling luggers from a single lugger.
T.H "Bert" Kennedy - known as "H.K. Unsinkable" for his perseverance in the pearling industry. Secretary of the Pearler's Association in the 1920s for thirteen years.
Jean and Peter Hayes, managers and caretakers of the historic Sun Pictures Theatre in Chinatown for nearly 30 years.
Lord Alistair McAlpine - formed the Broome Preservation Society in an attempt to conserve some of the unique architecture of Broome. Developed and operated the iconic Cable Beach Club Resort and Spa at Cable Beach, in an architectural style that reflects the Master Pearler's homes such as Pinctada McAlpine House.
Marilynne Paspaley AM, of the Paspaley family of master pearlers since the 1930s. Current owner and operator of the property, now the luxe boutique hotel Pinctada McAlpine House.
Not on record.
The property is considered important to the history and development of the Shire of Broome and is recognised as a place of local significance.
Pearling Master's Home
Residential example of the North West vernacular style
Representative in structural form of the large residences built in spacious grounds in Broome for the pearling masters.
Representative example of a residential design of the North West vernacular style common to hot, humid coastal areas of Western Australia.
Representative of a way of life of the pearling masters in Broome who resided among the more prosperous citizens win gracious residences.