Friday, May 20, 2011

Glen Lyon, Ashgrove

Leafy Ashgrove is one of Brisbane's more desirable suburbs. Only 5 km or so north-west of the CBD, it contains lots of beautiful Queenslanders (houses, not people; although I hasten to add that the people are probably beautiful too!) along its tree-lined avenues. Alexander Stewart, an early settler near Enoggera Creek which flows through the suburb, had quite a remarkable house built on his property. It seems that the residence was probably designed by architect James Cowlishaw around 1876, although Cowlishaw's involvement is not absolutely certain. Here is the house, pictured on Stewart's 100 hectare estate in 1890. The property was named Glen Lyon, after Stewart's Scottish birthplace.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #APA-016-01-0010)

Stewart, a prominent businessman, passed away in 1918 and Glen Lyon was sold. The property was sectioned off into housing blocks to be sold to the public. The grand house and the gardens were snapped up by the Catholic church. They rented it to the Marist Fathers who used it as their monastery. After renting for a couple of years, they bought the house in 1930. The following picture dates from 1931.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #199270)

The next photo shows the original billiard room that was converted to a chapel.
(Photo: © 1979 National Trust Queensland)

The house was sold by the Marists in 2003, and I believe that it is now in private hands. My photograph below shows the residence now, photographed from the same aspect as the top photo. The smaller building to the left of the house was probably the original servants' quarters.
(Photo: © 2011 the foto fanatic)

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. I love this house! I drive past it regularly! The Marist brothers had a gorgeous chapel at the back of the house where I attended a wedding once! I think it's sad that they sold it but the new owners seem to have kept it intact. You should do a post on the white building at the school proper. Another iconic building in the area. Thanks for the post. Interesting as always!

  2. Yes, I know the school chapel and I agree that it is beautiful. A post is a distinct possibility.

  3. It's lovely to see Glen Lyon House pretty much as I remembered it during the 90s when I lived in the area. Fun fact: the outlaying billiards house shown in the 3rd photo in the background (which was used as a chapel during the ownership of the Marist Fathers) was featured in a 1990 horror movie). It was the first 'grand' house of my youth which I felt very impressed by. It wasn't exactly shabby back then, but definitely in need of some TLC. The new owners chose an exterior colour scheme which is not in keeping with the traditional character of the house, but apart from that decision, I really like the new wrought iron fencing they installed.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...