GRAND DESIGNS: Simone Hubbard and Carolyn Whetter from the National Trust of Queensland Ipswich Regional Branch pictured outside Lakemba, one of the three homes to be featured.
GRAND DESIGNS: Simone Hubbard and Carolyn Whetter from the National Trust of Queensland Ipswich Regional Branch pictured outside Lakemba, one of the three homes to be featured. Rob Williams

A peek inside some of the great old dames of Ipswich

ONE of the most popular events on the Ipswich calendar returns next Saturday with the Great Houses of Ipswich event.

Three diverse and unique homes will open their doors to the public next Saturday under the auspices of the Ipswich Regional Branch of the National Trust of Queensland.

The homes are close together - if you don't mind a short walk, you could visit them all in the one day.

National Trust of Queensland Ipswich Regional Branch vice-president Simone Hubbard said the event gets more popular every year. History buffs turn up from all over southeast Queensland and even interstate.

"This year,we wanted to feature three classic homes in different styles, from different eras, plus the owners are all characters, too," Ms Hubbard said.

The homes - Claremont, Lakemba and The Chestnuts - will be familiar to those who know Ipswich well.

 

Claremont on Milford Street has a long history and this may be your last chance to see it
Claremont on Milford Street has a long history and this may be your last chance to see it Rob Williams

"Claremont is a great example of a Georgian sandstone villa, unique to Ipswich. The home is currently up for sale, so this may be the last chance for locals to see it, and we have to give thanks to the generosity of the current owners," Ms Hubbard said.

 

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"The Chestnuts was built in 1885. It is the only two-story brick cottage with an attic built in true Gothic Revival style in Ipswich. It was restored in the 1990s to its original condition with a sympathetic addition. It is quite romantic, like an English country cottage. It has a wonderful warm feeling to it."

 

The Chestnuts as it looked in 1975. Today, it looks quite different and you can see it on May 11.
The Chestnuts as it looked in 1975. Today, it looks quite different and you can see it on May 11. Courtesy Picture Ipswich

Finally, Lakemba (owned by Ms Hubbard) , built in 1902, is a Federation home, with a classic Victorian facade located near the Ipswich Hospital.

"The home was owned by the Cribb family for more than 50 years. The way Lakemba has been constructed with the views from the top of Denmark Hill and the lightness throughout, it is a unique, standout example of that era. The home is now complete after seven years of restoration."

The event is held twice a year and the National Trust feels it is important to highlight the history and architecture of Ipswich.

"We think we've reached a comfortable size for the event. We are always asked to do it more often, but having it twice a year is just right. It's a real community focus for the day, and a lovely experience," Ms Hubbard said.

"I think if I asked someone to open their home, it's fair I opened my own. I feel like a custodian of this house, a part of the history, as many of us do in Ipswich. We are like-minded in that way.

"To anyone thinking of buying an older home, the best advice I can is to live in the home first, maybe visit similar houses and decide how you want to manage that space.

"Get advice, take your time and make use of the Ipswich City Council's Heritage Advisory Service. I know there are some homes being renovated now that may come up in this event in the future."

Membership liaison officer Carolyn Whetter said the demand for homes in the event was growing

"We are always keen to hear from homeowners in Ipswich for future events," Ms Whetter said.

"There has been a move in the past few years to include post-war homes. There is so much wonderful architecture in the Ipswich city area, it's everywhere!"

Great Houses of Ipswich is on May 11, from 10am-4pm.

For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.au/event/great-houses-of-ipswich-2019/



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