Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Waldheim, Annerley

This building in the southern suburb of Annerley used to be a fine dining establishment known as The Clansman. My spouse and I went there a few times back in the eighties. We saw royalty there too - I can recall spotting Wally Lewis, the Emperor of Lang Park, and Dick Johnson, the King of the Mountain, there at various times.

It appears that the current use of the former restaurant is as a child-minding facility or pre-school, hence the sand pit and cubby house in the foreground of my picture.
(Photo: © 2012 the foto fanatic)

Actually, this building was originally the house of an early Brisbane mover and shaker, William Stephens, pictured below around the year 1889.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #167293) 

William Stephens was the eldest of the eleven children of TB Stephens, a very versatile man who was a politician and owned a tannery business and a newspaper as well. William must have been cut from the same cloth, as after the death of his father when William was only twenty, he managed the considerable Stephens estate on behalf of his mother and siblings. He also followed his father's footsteps into politics, becoming a councillor in the shire of Stephens (named after his father) for over thirty years including seven terms as chairman. He became the first mayor of South Brisbane in 1888, and was elected mayor twice more after that.

William Stephens married in 1900, and built Waldheim (a German word meaning "home in the forest") just off Ipswich Rd at Annerley Junction shortly thereafter. I'm not sure how long he lived there - another house, Knutsford, was built in 1907, and William was also very influential in primary industry in the Nerang area near the Gold Coast. In April 1907, the wife of William Stephens' brother Llewellyn gave birth to a son at Waldheim. Whether Llewellyn and his wife were living there then, or Waldheim was made available to them for her "confinement" is not known. Llewellyn and his wife were to move to their own house Kitawah in 1911.

The Stephens family has left quite a legacy in Brisbane - I'm sure we will hear more of them in this blog.

Click here for a Google Map.



  1. Hello, my friend referred me to this post. My dad used to be a chef at The Clansmen and I spent my childhood running around and hiding in its nooks and crannies. I actually wrote a post about it myself a couple of weeks ago if you would like to take a look http://theself-raisingkitchen.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/haunted-houses-and-coming-of-age.html

    Thank you for sharing some of its history :-)

  2. Hi and thanks for posting

    I enjoyed reading your blog about The Clansman - you must have had great fun there!

    Reading the old menu is a treat - as you say, check the prices! And the history details are interesting too.


  3. I know you are writing about architecture, but you did mention amazing restaurant experiences from 25-30 years ago :) I went to an international child maltreatment conference in Brisbane in 1981 and some of the locals wanted to take a few interstate delegates to their favourite eatery.
    Do you remember Scaramouche, set in a lovely old church? It was the MOST wonderful night.

  4. I certainly do remember it. It was situated on North Quay and Turbot St and was a restaurant run by Peter Hackworth - she did so much for Brisbane with restaurants and markets.


  5. I loved The Clansman also... we only went a couple of times, but what a treat. There have been so many great restaurants over the years, tucked away in suburban Brisbane... as well as in the city. Another favourite was Leo's in the city, where we celebrated our engagement. Must do a list one day...


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