Friday, May 11, 2012

Bryntirion, Spring Hill

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is now a backbencher, sitting in parliament as the member for Griffith. Although he has been mentioned in this blog before, he has nothing to do with today's piece. But his electorate does.

The seat of Griffith was formed in 1934. Before that, it was known as the seat of Oxley, having been formed in 1900 for the original parliament. (The current seat of Oxley was only formed in 1949, and is in a totally different locality.)

The first member of the seat of Oxley was Brisbane businessman Richard Edwards, pictured below, who held the seat until he retired in 1913.
(Photo: wikipedia)

Prior to entering parliament, the Welsh-born Edwards had been a gold miner in Victoria and a shopkeeper in Brisbane. Around the year 1884, he bought a house on Wickham Terrace that had originally been designed by architect James Furnival and built in 1861 for Edward Southerden, a successful Queen St draper. This is an early photograph (C1859) of Southerden's drapery store that was situated on the Queen and Edward St corner now occupied by Tattersall's Club.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #8299)

Edwards named the residence Bryntirion, apparently after a Welsh village. In 1876, extensions to Bryntirion which included the rotunda and the detailed entry porch (both seen below) were designed by Richard Gailey .
(Photo: DSEWPaC #rt51071; 1996)

(Photo: National Trust of Queensland, 1979; R Stringer)

For many years, the house remained in the Edwards family, mirroring the trend on Wickham Terrace by becoming a doctor's surgery.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

I believe the building was then sold in 2004 for about $2.8 million, and is now home to a specialist paediatric dental practice. It remains one of the few remaining Brisbane buildings from the 1860s, and is included in the state's heritage listing.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. Thankyou so much for posting about all of these buildings I often wonder about.

  2. For a Welsh girl now living in Brisbane this was really interesting. Bryntirion is indeed a place in South Wales. Although it's difficult to translate place names, the gist of the name means 'Gentle Hill' - Bryn = hill and Tirion = gentle.
    I'll have to go and have a look at the building now.

  3. LMAG - glad I have satisfied some curiosity!

    Beth - thanks for the note. I hope you do go and see it, it will be worthwhile.


  4. Hi - thanks for this listing about Bryntirion. My maiden name is Leilani Edwards and this house was originally this is my father's family home. I am fourth generation down from the Richard Edwards mentioned in this article and am the last living decendant for this branch of the Edwards family.
    You are correct - due to the cost of upkeep and pressure of it being a heritage listed building the house was sold by my father back in 2000.
    Although the house is no longer ours - it's nice to know that others will still get to know about it & the family's history with things like this out there in the world.


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