Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Doggett's Cottage, Fortitude Valley

Henry Doggett, known by most as Harry, was the mayor of Brisbane in 1913. He was originally a builder and bricklayer, and he built his family home in Arthur St, Fortitude Valley in the 1880s. This is it.(Drawing: Anne Green, "Not to be Trusted"; Boolarong Publications, 1979)

I found a drawing of the house in an old book lent to me by a friend (thanks Janet!).

Not a lot is known about Harry really. The next street to the west of this was named Doggett St in his honour. Harry died in 1927, but the house was held within his family until the 1970s; then it was used for commercial purposes for a time. It is now a private residence once more.

The house was built of brick on a porphyry base, and its wonderful condition now is testament to Harry's skill in constructing it 130-odd years ago.

(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. Amazing, Trevor! Who would have thought it would still be standing. I must have driven past it dozens of times and not known it's significance.

  2. what a feat to last this long, and still look a few years old, amazing!!! great blog too!

  3. Harry Doggett and my great grandfather were brothers and in front of me right now I have a photo and article from the Sunday Mail Color, dated October 3, 1982 showing the house in a dilapidated state. The awning over the verandah is corrugated iron the same as the roof and the railing on the verandah is white painted wood. The front door of the home is white double slatted.
    Strangely enough I was born and lived in Brisbane until I was 21 and never ever knew about his home and even today I have not been to see it and living in WA I doubt I ever will.
    It is a shame that when younger we do not take an interest in our past.

  4. A bit of extra information taken from the article.
    "Harry Doggett, a bricklayer, built this house for himself in 1880. Hidden behind the shrubbery is beautiful decorative brickwork.'The cottage is unique in its attention to detail and the quality of its workmanship. The front steps, for example, are huge slabe of sandstone, rathern than the usual timber planks.
    Members of the Doggett family lived in the cottage until the 1970's and because of this it has remained intact as a precious example of century old building skills. Even the stables at the rear of the house are still standing.
    Doggett included an attic in his house, but it was there purely as a stylistic device. The Brisband climate made it unsuitable for living space, so Doggett provided no staircase.
    The attic "windows" at the gable ends are blind windows, filled with brick and built for exterior visual effect only. Doggett obviously was a practical man who, while following the conventional design framework of the cottage of the time, saw no need to waste time on items unsuited to the Brisbane climate."

    I might add that Harry was Mayor of Brisbane before 1923....I dont know the exact date.

    1. Thanks for providing us with further detail of this remarkable old residence Elizabeth.

      In case you haven't seen it, here is a link to its entry in the Queensland Heritage Register:


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