Friday, May 18, 2012

The Grange, Windsor

It is interesting to think about how the convict outpost of Moreton Bay grew into the modern city of Brisbane. After transportation stopped, free settlers arrived here to fashion a new life for themselves. Many brought skills with them - carpenters, farmers, bakers, butchers. All of the requirements to build a town from a settlement, and then a city from the town, had to be imported in those early days.

One such arrival was William Williams, who came here from England around 1864 and in 1865 settled in the area of Lutwyche, named after Judge Alfred Lutwyche, in 1865. Not long after that, Williams started a brickworks at Lutwyche, with one of his earliest contracts being the making of bricks that were used in the construction of the Old Government Printery. Bricks from Williams' brickyard were also used in the construction of the residence in our last post, La Trobe.

It is also assumed that bricks from Williams' business were used for the construction of his own house, The Grange, built around 1874. It is a neat English-style cottage with a steeply pitched roof, seen below. Under that roof is an attic, reached by a narrow staircase. A Queensland touch is provided by the shady verandahs around the residence.
(Photo: © 1979 National Trust of Queensland; R Stringer)

Williams must have been a successful businessman. His original brickworks, on two acres of freehold land, became the highest producing brick manufacturer in the area, and by 1888 Williams owned a further three brickyards.

A standalone kitchen scullery was added to The Grange in 1877, and still exists today. The Williams family sold the property in 1904, but it is still present in a leafy environment in this near-northern suburb.
(Photo: © DSEWPaC; rt21761)

(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Something that struck me as I wrote this piece is the name of the house - The Grange. That has to be one of the most used place names ever. There are houses, suburbs, even golf courses named The Grange in Australia, let alone in the UK where the name originated. It means "the dwelling of a gentleman farmer". In my house it also means a wonderful Australian red wine that has a stratospheric price tag, thereby putting it well and truly out of reach.

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  1. It really IS a neat English cottage with lovely shady verandas and gorgeous gardens.

    Would you say that the steeply pitched roof was common in Queensland? Did many houses have a staircase up to an attic in your part of the world?

  2. Not many attics in Queensland - too hot! Steep roofs like that aren't common either, but here are a few around from that era.

    Bardon House, built by Joshua Jeays a little earlier than this house, has a similarly pitched roof:

  3. Was the suburb/area we know of in Brisbane as The Grange named after this house then of are the two separate ? I bet that Attic gets super hot though in our climate.

  4. According to Wikipedia:
    "Urban development of the area commenced in 1903 with the subdivision of T. K. Peate's property into "the Grange Estate". The name of the suburb is derived from that of Peate's property:'Grange'"

    I can't vouch for the authenticity of this claim, but it's clearly not impossible.
    Like I said, The Grange is a very well-used name for various places.

    Yep - a steep roof to help the snow slide off and an attic - two things we don't need in Queensland! lol


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