Becoming known as Churchlands after the Catholic Church purchased it in 1891, European settlement of the area actually began when land was granted to Henry Trigg in 1831 and the Hokin family in 1834.
Both were grants of 200 acres, later acquired by William Strickland, who later sold the land to Perth's Roman Catholic Bishop, the Right Reverend Matthew Gibney. But little residential development occurred in Churchlands until the 1980s, when extensive subdivisions took place near Herdsman Lake. Development is still underway in the north-eastern part of Churchlands, now referred to as Floreat Lakes.
A significant landmark is Herdsman Lake, an important regional recreational area and wildlife sanctuary offering a number of educational and passive recreational opportunities for local residents and the wider community.