Mining entrepreneurs were as ostentatious in the early twentieth century as they are today, it seems. Back around 1904, William Davies, a gold-mining magnate, sponsored a competition to design a house to be built on his property at Auchenflower. The winning architect was Claude Chambers, and pictured below is the finished product, then called Drysllwyn.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #72171)
Davies left his native Wales for Australia when he was eighteen, firstly attracted to the gold fields at Ballarat, then moving to Gympie. The land at Auchenflower was purchased when Davies moved to Brisbane with his wife and son around the turn of the century. In the 1930s, the title of the house was transferred from William Davies' wife Eliza, to Isabel, the wife of his son Maldwyn, who was an insurance attorney. During the years of WWII, the Davies family leased the property to elite Brisbane girls' school, Somerville House, whose South Brisbane property had been taken over by the US Army. At the end of the war, the property was acquired by the Methodist Church, and converted into a hostel for country girls who came to Brisbane to work. It was renamed Raymont Lodge after a Mrs Raymont who had made a substantial bequest to the church.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)
A recent photograph of the building is shown above. It is retained by the Uniting Church, and houses a theological college as well as offices and meeting rooms.
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