Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Karen, a regular reader, alerted me to the fact that one of Brisbane's showpiece houses is up for sale. It is Boothville, situated in the near-city suburb of Windsor. Here is a recent photograph, and below it, a picture from 2007.
 (Photo: www.couriermail.com.au; The Sunday Mail)

(Photo: homezonewindsor.com)

The house was built on a hilltop in 1887 for the manager of the Queensland National Bank, Mr Henry Wallis Glenny. Some suggest that the home may have been designed by architect FDG Stanley, who won several commissions for the bank including its landmark building in the city. Here is an early photograph of the area taken from nearby Eildon Hill, and the house (originally called Monte Video) can be seen on the right side of the picture.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #APE-047-01-0018)

After Glenny retired, the house was acquired by the bank and let to various bank officers until it was occupied by the bank's new manager, WV Ralston, in 1896. Ralston purchased the building from the bank in 1918, and it remained in the Ralston family until 1923 when it was purchased by William Bramwell Booth, the son of the founder of the Salvation Army. In 1924, the Salvation Army Mothers Hospital moved from Breakfast Creek to this house, which was then named Boothville. The following photograph shows the building when it was operating as a hospital.
(Copyright DSEWPaC; 1985)

More than 80,000 babies were delivered at Boothville prior to its closing in 1994. I can recall that there was a fair deal of controversy about the closure, as many women were passionate about its facilities and reputation as a maternity hospital.

The building reverted to being a family home in the 1990s, and the interior features such as cornicing, ornate plaster ceilings and crafted timber work were retained.  At the time renovations were completed the home had 29 rooms including six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, a gym and a home theatre. It changed hands in 2008 for $4.1 million, and is now for sale by tender. If you are interested, tenders close on 2nd March. Here is the current photo from the real estate advertisement.
(Photo: Ray White Paddington; www.brisbanenews.com.au; Feb 2012)

Click here for a Google Map



  1. Ha! no, I am not in the market just now thanks :) But it is interesting that the real estate agent and Sunday Mail photos show what I take to be the original Victorian design. The wrap around vernada is totally open.

    Yet the 1985 photograph, which shows the building when it was operating as a hospital, has the top veranda enclosed and the iron lace removed. I wonder if this was done for reasons of security? privacy? changing architectural taste?

  2. Yes, it's just out of my price range too! :-)

    I assume that the reasons would have been practical ones, and I guess privacy and security would have figured here. Also, I suppose the place may have been air-conditioned for the comfort of the new mothers and their children, and that would have necessitated the enclosing of the rooms.

  3. Boothviille, like Wilston House, is another example of a beautiful home having had its grounds "butchered". There was so much controversy in the area when Boothville was undergoing restoration/renovation and the majority of its grounds sold off to then erect townhouses ... lots of them. Such a shame.

  4. Yes, it's a shame to have the grounds reduced, but that's still happening, even with smaller plots.

    Great house, even so.

  5. I've been looking forward to this post, being one of those 80 000 babies!

    I always remember riding on the train to the city and looking for the house on the hill that my mother always pointed out.

    It's a beautiful house and an important landmark in this area.

    Thanks for the post. Just wish I had a few million lying around to buy it! Lol!

  6. Well I am a bit late posting. Has it sold? I too was one of those babies 50 years ago and one of my sons also 25 years ago! I remember they sometimes wheeled a baby into one of the big cupboards when they just wouldn't stop crying! Also rocked the babies on their knees while they sat on a wooden stool in the nurse's kitchen.

  7. I also was one of those babies, born there in 1982, then given up for adoption a week later - would give anything for a walk through

  8. Me too. July 1950. Lovely building to be born in. Just wish I could remember it.

  9. My mother went there in the 60s had my brother it destroyed her life.

  10. So strange to use its history as a maternity hospital in it's advertising when as the poster above pointed out Boothville was used as a Hospital for forced adoptions from unwed mothers for many years as was St Mary's at Toowong.
    It's nice that some have some happy memories of this beautiful building but for some, it was the start of nightmares that have lasted a lifetime...and sadly that often includes the badies forcibly removed from their mother's.


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