The history of the suburb of Guildford had its beginnings in 1827 when Captain James Stirling was despatched by Governor Darling of New South Wales to explore part of the West Coast of Australia. Whilst exploring the Swan River, Stirling was favourably impressed by the fertile alluvial flats around the area now known as Guildford, and replenished his water supplies from Success Spring at Success Hill on the west bank of the Swan River at Bassendean. The junction of the Swan and Helena Rivers was also chosen as the site for a town, and the first surveys were carried out in the Town of Guildford by H.C. Sutherland in late 1829. The name was chosen after the town of Guildford, in Surrey, England. It was probably the choice of Ellen Stirling, as she came from "Woodbridge" in Surrey.