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Ashgrove Historical Society

Home > Brisbane > Unusual Things to do | Outdoor | Historic Houses
by Gillian Ching (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane who loves exploring quirky places with my dog. Join me on my quest to find, experience, and share fun things to do and interesting places to go.Please subscribe if you enjoy the articles.
Published December 1st 2016
Discover the history of your suburbs

Brisbane suburbs are filled with a rich history of times past, which can be discovered through local historical societies. I recently discovered the Ashgrove Historical Society which traces and shares information about the Ashgrove district, including several genteel estates dating back to as early as the 1860s. Ashgrove takes its name from the 200 acre 'Grove Estate' owned by F. F. Holmes, which was subdivided in 1884 to lay the foundations for the future suburb. The name 'Ashgrove' is also believed to be connected to the ash trees that once grew in the area.

Photo courtesy of the John Oxley Library

Glenlyon House
Through the Society, you can learn about historical homes and buildings with hidden gems like "Glen Lyon House - a rare and substantially intact late 1870s country house with associated outbuildings and gardens, and an avenue of trees. Glen Lyon is one of the earliest residences in the Enoggera Creek area, and is closely associated with the development of the suburb of Ashgrove. The House was acquired by the Marist Brothers in 1925 for a monastery, and their boy's college was opened in 1940.

St. Finbarr's Catholic Church

Woodlands House
Another treasure is "Woodlands" in the street of the same name which remains a private residence and was constructed in 1883. The house has a number of fine quality interior finishes and fixtures, which include extensive decorative cedar joinery and leadlight panels. The land on which it stands was originally purchased in 1868 by James Clarke and known as Clarke's Farm. From at least 1882 Clarke and a William Reinhold prospected for gold on the property.

Understanding the past

Today, the surrounding garden contains large mature trees, including a weeping fig, silky oaks, jacarandas, poincianas, Moreton Bay chestnuts, casuarinas, pines, flame trees and an albizia. It has a privet hedge along the front fence dating from at least the 1920s.

The sign says it all

Getting involved
To learn more or get involved, the Society regularly hold display stalls at the Ashgrove Market Place, Woolworths forecourt in Ashgrove Avenue and hold monthly meetings on the first Saturday of each month at the Ashgrove Library, 87 Amarina Avenue from 10:00 am to 12 noon.
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Why? Understanding Brisbane's past
When: First Saturday of each month from 10:00 am to 12 noon.
Where: Ashgrove Library, 87 Amarina Avenue Ashgrove
Your Comment
It's nice that there's a place you can go to find out all about the history of an area
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1368) 1348 days ago
Nice article Gillian. I used to live in a large white brick house just near the corner of Woodland street...I have done many a jog past the "Woodlands" house, but I never knew its history. Ashgrove is an amazingly beautiful family friendly suburb. I am so grateful that I grew up in Ashgrove (schooled in Ashgrove, Married in Ashgrove)...Gillian, did you learn tennis at Eric Maidens tennis school at Newmarket- if so, I think I was in your tennis class!
by monic (score: 0|7) 966 days ago
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