Next to St. John’s Church was ‘glebe land’, for the Rector’s private use. This stretched from the boat ramp to the church itself.
The Inquirer and Commercial News (Perth W.A. 1855-1901) reported in July 1866 under the Public Works section of the paper that the glebe land was first cleared and then three rail fencing and a gate were installed by convicts. The works for the St. John’s church was completed at the same time, under the supervision of the Clerk of Works of the Convict Department.
In the glebe, citrus and olive trees were planted, along with ornamental trees to make the location feel more ‘English’. The Rector also introduced ornamental plantings, including cape lilacs, oak tree, a fig, false acacia, an avenue of flame trees and pines. These were designed to give a sense of ‘Englishness’ to the site.
Many of the olive trees in the south section of the glebe, next to the St John’s Churchyard, dates to more recent times in the late 1950s. It is thought that the olives were planted for pickling and preserving for sale to raise funds for the church.
The rectory was also located on this site, constructed on higher ground to avoid the fairly regular floods. In times of flooding, the rectory became an isolated island.