Great Houses of Ipswich
MARK your diaries, and get set for a very special day coming up for Ipswich residents who have an interest in the city's building history.
Twice a year the National Trust puts on the Great Houses of Ipswich event, allowing residents a rare chance to see inside some of the most famous and historic homes in the city.
For the first time all three homes are brick, which is a departure from the timber and tin homes that usually are open. It is also the first time all three homes have been open to the public, including a post-war era home.
This is a rare and unique opportunity to view properties that have a story to tell, along with the owners.
There are three properties on display on September 7th, and some of them you may recognise.
The Duce House
Built by Norman and Norma Duce in the 1950s this is an example of the single storey or cottage version of the English Domestic Revival style.
Many of the decorative features you see today are original-the semi-circular window flower box, the screened sunroom, the patchwork concrete driveway, the porphyry retaining walls and, what really made The Duce House special in the 1950s, its pergola and swimming pool, reportedly the first private pool in Ipswich to be built as part of an integrated design and well-remembered by those who visited.
In 1963 the house was sold to Gerald and Mary Josephine (Molly) Nolan who, with their family, moved from nearby York Street.
The current owners purchased The Duce House in 2007. Since that time they have refurbished the kitchen, re-instated the pool that had been filled in and been awarded an Ipswich City Council Award for Excellence as a Best Maintained Heritage Property.
Woodlands of Marburg
This grand, two-storey rendered brick residence with its wide, ornate verandahs was constructed between 1889 and 1891 for saw-miller and sugar cane grower Thomas Lorimer Smith, his wife Mary and their family of 11 children. Surrounded by landscaped grounds that include stately trees and an olive grove, Woodlands was designed by Ipswich architect George Brockwell Gill.
Born in England in 1852, first owner Thomas Lorimer Smith joined his father in a milling partnership that provided sawn timber from the Rosewood scrub area to Ipswich and Brisbane timber yards. In 1881 Thomas Smith married Mary Stuart and, following the death of his father and the general depletion of timber stocks in the area, diversified into growing and processing sugar cane.
Thomas Smith commissioned the design of this hilltop residence in 1888.
The current owners operate Woodlands of Marburg as a function venue that welcomes visitors not only to the grand residence constructed by Thomas Smith, but also to enjoy the surrounding gardens and other buildings, such as the Tommy Smith Café and the Bush Chapel, the latter Marburg's St Boniface Church relocated to the site in 2006.
All historical parts of Woodlands will be open on the day and for local art buffs, there will be four artists in residence at Woodlands as part of the reimagined Marburg School of Arts.
A Georgian style home believed to be built between 1860 and 1880 undergoing sympathetic restoration. Much of the original fabric is intact and on display throughout allowing deep contemplation of methods of construction. The home sits quietly in a serene pocket of inner-city Ipswich and is set to be a real surprise package for enthusiasts with plenty to explore, inspirational styling and a huge heart.