GRAND DESIGNS: Fairy Knoll is one of three homes that will be open to the public on September 15, and is sure to be another popular event for the National Trust based on previous attendances.
GRAND DESIGNS: Fairy Knoll is one of three homes that will be open to the public on September 15, and is sure to be another popular event for the National Trust based on previous attendances. Colonial Chick

Great Houses of Ipswich highlights history

ONE of the highlights on the Ipswich heritage calendar is one that is sure to please fans of classic homes that are packed with history.

The Great Houses of Ipswich is held twice a year and it gets more popular every year.

Ipswich has a large collection of older colonial style homes with some dating back as far as the mid 1800s, and they are in a style that builders just don't offer any more.

It's one of the main reasons older homes in Ipswich are being snapped up in a matter of days after they hit the market.

Aberfeldy in Sadlier's Crossing earlier this year had a buyer within 24 hours of it hitting the market, while similar homes in the Woodend area have rarely been available for sale for more than a week, such is the demand for these homes.

Great Houses of Ipswich hopes to provide recognition and support for the great owners who care for these places and make them available to the public.

The National Trust, through the Great Houses of Ipswich project, hopes to widely promote Ipswich and its heritage, and strengthen the relationship Queenslanders have with their past.

The latest three homes to be open to the public are Rockton, Fairy Knoll and Arrochar, which is located in one of the most in-demand streets in Ipswich.

Arrochar, designed by architect George Brockwell Gill, was constructed c1912 for Albion and Margaret Hayne.

A high-set timber home with Marseilles tile roof and dormer window, Arrochar makes a strong contribution to the streetscape in this precinct of high quality residential homes.

It is also one of Ipswich's finest examples of the work of GB Gill.

In February 1911, seven allotments were subdivided and sold as Crown Land. Arrochar is located across two of these allotments.

Before building this particular Arrochar, Albion and Margaret Hayne and their three sons had been living in Lawrence Street, North Ipswich, in a house also named Arrochar.

Both Albert and Margaret Hayne arrived in Ipswich as children with their respective parents in the 1860s.

 

Rockton, Ipswich
Rockton, Ipswich Simone Hubbard

Rockton (pictured right) is a home celebrating 100 years of being part of the Haenke family.

When architect and colliery proprietor Martin William (Will) Haenke purchased it in 1918, Rockton was already over sixty years old.

Rockton was begun as a cottage in 1855 by bank manager William Craies.

The following year it was extended. Through the extensions and modifications made by subsequent owners, notably the pastoralist Edward Bullmore and Will Haenke, today Rockton is a complex but surprisingly harmonious house with great character.

Its grounds include timber and brick outbuildings, tall mature trees and productive, limestone-edged gardens.

 

Rockton, Ipswich
Rockton, Ipswich Simone Hubbard

 

Fairy Knoll in Eastern Heights is a significant example of a late 1890s grand residence specifically suited to the requirements of a large, wealthy family.

It was designed in 1896 by noted Ipswich architect George Brockwell Gill for sawmill proprietor Thomas Hancock.

Although Hancock died before construction was completed, Fairy Knoll served as the home of his wife Louisa and their family of ten children from 1901 to 1947.

Fairy Knoll was transformed into a maternal and child welfare home in 1952, and later a facility providing respite care services.

Important for its connections with the Hancock family, pioneers in the Queensland timber industry, Fairy Knoll is also one of the grander Ipswich residences designed by the London trained GB Gill, who settled in Ipswich in 1886 and continued practising with distinction until his retirement in 1943.

 

For more information, or to find out when future Great Houses of Ipswich events will be held visit: www.nationaltrust.org.au/event/

 

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