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Ten Historic Buildings in and around Toowoomba City

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by Rachel Timmins (subscribe)
I am a freelance copywriter and photojournalist based in Toowoomba. I have had poetry, blogs, devotionals, fiction, reviews and articles published and have been an editor for a poetry magazine.
Published June 16th 2021
Explore some lesser-known beauties
Kimblehurst historic building Toowoomba 94 Campbell Street
Hiding behind the shrubbery is Kimblehurst at 94 Campbell St.

There are many worthwhile historical walks recommended by the Toowoomba Regional Council. For the history buffs, this is a selection of historic buildings from around the town.

Kensington historic building Toowoomba Russell St
Kensington is a beautiful 1897 building at 126 Russell St, City.


At 126 Russell Street in the city near Cecil Street, you find 'Kensington'. Built shortly after 1897, it was renovated for commercial use. In 1853, the land was part of a holding owned by: Henry Stuart Russell, member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales; James Taylor, Squatter of Cecil Plains Station; and William Horton, Innkeeper of the Bull's Head Inn at Drayton.

Kensington was a private residence until 1971 when part of it was then used as a medical practice. In 1987 it was converted into a restaurant and function centre. One of its features is metal cresting on the roof with a well-kept chimney.

James Taylor Institute historic building Toowoomba Russell St
Taylor Memorial Institute in Russell St, City.

Taylor Memorial Institute

The Taylor Memorial Institute, or St James' parish hall, is an Anglican property at 112 Russell Street in the city. It was built from funds donated by the Taylor family, intended to commemorate their parents. It was opened on 1 May 1912, St James' Day. It entered the Queensland Heritage register in 1995.

The style, designed by Henry Marks, is unusual with an interesting Russian influence in the roof. One interesting feature is the extendable casement window, providing optimum directional ventilation. Extensions were carried out in 1950.

Wislet historic building Russell Street Toowoomba Iona Medical Centre
Eastern extension and original building, 'Wislet'.


Wislet, at 129 Russell Street, is an attractive historic building of multiple extensions and levels. Dr Friedrich and Dori Hinrichsen began their medical practice in Wislet in 1908, but after only two years they sold to Thomas Connolly, who renamed the property 'Drynane'. It was sold to John Hulme in 1948. Since then it has been a Methodist Church's hospital, a Uniting Church and finally is now Iona Medical Centre.

On the eastern side is a beautiful, modern extension that retains the historic look. Inside Wislet there are timber and concrete floors, walls on the ground floor are rendered masonry and some timber boarded partitioning adorns the first floor walls. The ground floor once boasted fireplaces, a coat of arms and a platform.

Toowoomba Maltings 11 Mort Street Newtown
Toowoomba Maltings is a lesser-known historic building outside the city.

Toowoomba Maltings

A heritage-listed malt house, the Toowoomba Maltings at 11 Mort Street, Newtown, was built from 1899 to 1907. In the Mort Estate outside the city, its original name was Black Gully Malt house and it has had several titles since then. It's unusual in style with lots of character. The heritage building is to the rear of the property. You'll find it near the corner of North Street. It's on a commercial property.

It was first owned by the Darling Downs Malting Co Ltd and was operated by the Redwoods of New Zealand. Local barley farmers provided the raw materials for the malting. These days, automatic malting is still carried out on the property.

Whyembah historic building 80 Campbell St East Toowoomba
Beautifully restored Edwardian Whyembah, 80 Campbell St.


At 80 Campbell Street, close to the Botanic Gardens is Whyembah. Built on an acre of land in 1896, it once boasted a bowling green and tennis court. The wide Edwardian veranda and details have been restored. It's a beautiful home. It became listed in 1993 as a heritage building due to its 1890s characteristics as an ornate timber house. It also illustrates the pattern of Toowoomba's development as a regional centre.


A lovely 1920s residence at 94 Campbell Street is worth a short walk down from Whyembah. Kimblehurst is adorned by ornate ironwork along the front veranda, including the name of the building, which is usually found on a wooden plaque on historic homes. It was once owned by the first Toowoomba-born mayor Mr BJ Beirne.

Bishop's House

The stunning Bishop's House sits rather regally at 73 Margaret Street. It was built in 1911 for William Charles Peak, a prominent businessman, who named the property 'Killalah'. Its name was changed to 'Dalmally' by the next owner, Mr Horrigan. It was acquired by the Catholic Diocese in 1944 as a residence for Bishop Roper. It was heritage listed in 1992.

Bishop's House's projecting gables and central clerestory surmounted by a cross are beautiful. The pot-bellied chimney stacks and casement windows are points of interest.

Police Station Complex

The Police Station Complex was built using Helidon sandstone (which is also exported to China). In 1866, the colonial government's police station was on Russell St. The present-day site is around the corner from Margaret Street on Neil Street. It was designed in 1936 by a government architect, RC Nowland. Relief workers built the four brick buildings during the depression. The complex entered the heritage register in 1998.

The arched opening is adorned by voussoirs and has an oversized corbelled keystone. A simple iron balustrade accompanies the arches.

Bishop's House 73 Margaret Street Toowoomba historic building
The 1911 Bishop's House at 73 Margaret St.

100 Margaret Street

As well as camphor laurels abounding, Margaret and Campbell Streets are full of historic beauties, including 100 Margaret Street, East Toowoomba. Built in 1910 as a residence for famous local photographer Fred Crook-King, its most striking feature is the ornate ironwork on two stories. It was recently a six-bedroom home, last sold for over $1m. The current occupants are Searle Financial Group.

Court House

Right in the city centre is the Court House, across the road from the Strand Cinema, another historic building. Before the Court House was built in 1878, DeMolay House was on the site. The Court House was built in the Classical Revival style, in sandstone. It also housed the registrar for births, deaths and marriages. It is now a magnificently restored private residence, with eye-catching formal gardens and gilding on the gates. On the corner of Margaret and Neil Sts, the Court House was designed by Francis Stanley. The rear of the property once housed stables. The property is accessed by shallow steps leading into a bay with arches, creating an open portico. It was entered into the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992. Adjacent to the old Post Office, together they create a beautiful landmark for Toowoomba.
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Why? Appreciate historic architecture and background of selection of buildings in Toowoomba.
When: Any time.
Phone: 131 872
Where: Toowoomba, Queensland
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Your Comment
Nice to see these historic buildings Rachel. Publicizing them will help to make sure they are with us forever.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4582) 652 days ago
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