header

Village of Nona to the Suburb of Toowong

James Warner on behalf of the New South Wales Government surveyed Toowong, originally known as the village of Nona. Subdivided land of 40 to 50 acre blocks were sold by the New South Wales Government to farmers and property developers. Mogg-hill Road, originally a track used by convict timber getters, was the only named thoroughfare of Toowong's earliest tracks and roads.

Tracks that eventually became Josling Street and Indooroopilly Road were hacked out of the bush by pioneers. An Anglican Church and dirt-floored bark or slab huts were the main buildings in the area. Mount Coot-tha was initially known as One Tree Hill because of a large gum tree that stood as a Brisbane landmark.

St Thomas' Church of England was constructed in 1877 replacing a 1865 timber building on another site. The church was designed by parishioner and prominent Brisbane architect, F.D.G. Stanley, and has had two major additions. The first addition was in 1886 and the second addition was in 1947. The foundation stone was laid by Bishop Hale on 17 February 1877.

The contractor was Henry Pears and the building cost 850 pounds. An official opening ceremony in the form of a service was held on 13 October 1877. The church is situated on a prominent site at the corner of High and Jephson Streets and is an example of nineteenth century church architecture with an early English Gothic style.

In the early 1860s saw the first residential development in Toowong. The 1870s and 1880s saw large colonial-style homes and smaller weatherboard houses constructed. Reservation of land for a Toowong Cemetery was made in 1870.

With the completion of the rail line at Toowong in 1876, the area appealed as a place of residence to wealthy businessmen and politicians such as Sir Robert Philp, Sir Arthur Palmer, Sir Thomas McIlwraith and lawyer W.H. Miskin from which Miskin Street took its name.

Stately Homes

Sir Robert Philp's home, Mallow, Kensington Terrace, Toowong. On his death his daughters made approximately 12 acres available to the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association and Brisbane Boys College moved there from Clayfield.

On the death of Philp's eldest daughter, May Philp in 1962, the house, Mallow, was left to Brisbane Boys College until it burned down in 1971. Brisbane Boys College later built a junior boarding school to replace it called, 'Philp House'.

'Holly Dean', The home of Dudley Eglinton at River Road, Toowong. A large Queenslander style construction with a corrugated iron roof and decorative timber work over the front roof gables. The house was situated next door to 'Moorlands' owned by the Mayne family

Other prominent homes in Toowong: Sidney House later site of ABC Studios; Middenbury; Eskmount, the residence of Hubert East, in Macdonnell Street, Toowong

In the 1890s, the owners of some of the largest blocks subdivided their land into developments such as the Ivy Street and Lang Farm estates. Ribbon developments were crept along roads such as Sylvan Road and Bayliss Street. These roads were the sites of Chinese market gardeners who carried their produce in the typical Chinese fashion of cane baskets slung from a yoke across their shoulders. Toowong attracted residents who longed for a chance to live a quiet life among the bush.

Various Estate Maps of the Period

Ascog Estate Goldicott Estate Kensington Estate Moore's Estate St Lucia Estate South Toowong

Colonial houses with steeply pitched iron roof, brick chimney and verandahs were a typical Toowong home of the period. This contrasted with many timber cottages of relatively simple construction with steeply pitched roofs but lacking overhangs or wide eaves in other parts of Brisbane. The impact of Brisbane's summer heat was reduced by planting jacarandas, poincianas, camphor laurels trees close to their homes.

Houses on stumps were common all over Toowong and other areas. As a protection against white ant infestation, house stumps were topped with metal caps and were made taller to provide protection against floods, snakes, bush rats and other pests .Toowong as a municipality became independent from Brisbane in 1903 was absorbed into the Greater Brisbane Council created in 1925.

Street Scenes from the Period

Shops in High Street 1890 Toowong Regatta Sherwood Road 1885 Royal Exchange Hotel 1908 Cemetery Road and Regatta Hotel in Flood 1890