Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ashby, Fairfield

Readers of the local newspaper The Courier-Mail would have seen a photograph of this house in a recent edition, under a rather sensationalised headline. I am not going to canvass that story here because I don't know anything about it, but here is a photograph of the house.
 (Photo: Quest Newspapers)

The residence was built around 1890 by George Grimes, a pioneer of the area. It was called Ashby after the town in Leicestershire from where the family originated. He arrived in Brisbane aboard the Reverend Lang's sponsored ship Chasely in 1849 and within a few years he had established an arrowroot farm beyond Dutton Park - the farm was called Fairfield. The Grimes family, staunch Baptists and hard workers, established large farming and dairying interests in the area which came to be known as Fairfield after the original farm. Together with his brother, he built a sugar mill at Oxley and they also established sugar and arrowroot businesses at Hope Island on the Coomera River. George Grimes was one of the founders of the (Royal) National Association, he was a President of the Baptist Association of Queensland and also a councillor in the Stephens Shire.
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #9420)

George Grimes died in 1910, but the Grimes family remained at Ashby until 1924. There are unconfirmed stories that Ashby was visited by General Douglas MacArthur during his WWII residence in Brisbane. The large house subsequently became an investment property that was rented to students. Here is an older photo (top), together with a more recent one, of the rear of the house.
(Photo: Quest Newspapers)
(Photo: realestateworld.com.au) 

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  1. I always dreamed of living in a house like this.. we all need dreams... ;-)
    My dream includes the income to maintain it of course...

  2. It is a lovely house in a prime position.

    Last time it was on the market the asking price was $1.9 million, but I notice that the newspaper article valued it at only $1.75 million.

    It is nice to dream, isn't it?


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