Type of place
William Costin bought this suburban allotment in 1878 and Maria Costin built her home on the block in c1882. Like the other five heritage-listed cottages in Norfolk Road, this early 1880s residence reflects the initial suburban development of the South Brisbane peninsular area before its homes were replaced by industry from the beginning of the twentieth century. While this cottage retains some original features such as a chimney, verandahs and gable roof, it incorporates a number of mismatched building additions that point to its survival throughout the 2000’s as an inner-city rental property.
This house appears to have been built for Maria Costin who may well have been the widow of William J. Costin. He had acquired the site in 1878. It then passed to John Potts before being transferred back to Maria Costin in 1879. Maria took out a mortgage on the property that may have financed the house. Title passed to Mary Elizabeth Costin in 1882, who obtained a mortgage for a similar sum, £250. It changed hands several times in the 1880s and then at the time of the death of Henry Biggs the owner in 1901, William Heathwood became a long-term tenant. In January 1902, the devisees in trust of Henry Biggs sold the property to Robert Samuel and Sarah Heathwood, wife of William Heathwood. By 1911, the Heathwood family were recorded as residing in Casino and the property appears to have returned to its use as rental property. In 1913, the property changed hands once again and was bought by bootmaker Hans Kunze, who retained the title until 1951. By 1919-20, there was a Kunze resident there.1
The site forms part of Western Suburban Allotment 24, which was acquired by Thomas Dowse under Deed of Grant on 27 December 1845 at one of the very early land sales, held in Brisbane. In 1866 and 4867, the rich farming flats of which this block formed part were gradually subdivided for residential purposes. This site (sub 16) was one of two which was the subject of court proceedings and then passed through several speculator’s hands until it was acquired by William Costin in 1878.1 this site is one of few in Norfolk Road which does not provide evidence of the more arbitrary subdivisions of land which preceded the moves towards orderly development as reflected in the Undue Subdivision of Land Prevention Act of 1885.
By 1886, horse drawn trams running from the Boundary Hotel West End to Breakfast Creek provided transport facilities for residents of Norfolk Road.2 The proximity to one’s place of work ensured that once this area was subdivided, it became a desirable location for skilled artisans, and for the upwardly mobile sections of Brisbane’s population. The provision of transport facilities enhanced the potential of this locale and ensured that rental properties provided a sound investment. The numbers of residences constructed in West End at this time are indicative of the rapid growth of population the early 1880s and the associated building boom. In the twentieth century, industrial development encroached on the area. While Norfolk Road remained relatively intact as a residential domain, the cordial manufacturing works on a nearby allotment signalled further change in pattern of development.
One of the few surviving artisans’ residences from that early wave of residential building in South Brisbane/West End, it underscores the continued importance of the South Brisbane peninsula as a respectable residential area in the nineteenth century. The extended period over which the property was used as an investment property, and the long-term tenancies, which it attracted, provided further evidence of the status of this residential area.
This simple house of timber, fibre cement and corrugated iron has had its verandahs enclosed and has been extended at its rear. Its gable roof form incorporates an attic level and runs continuously into lesser pitched verandah roofs at the front and rear. The front verandah roof has a gable end above the entry. The verandahs have been enclosed with fibre cement and aluminium framed glazing. The extension at the rear is fibre cement and runs perpendicular to the body of the house which is constructed of timber boarding. Between the extension and the rear verandah rises a chimney. The main roof has carved timber barge boards while the gable over the timber entry door is mock-Tudor. An attic window is situated centrally in the gable end. Below it the body of the house has two more windows with aluminium awnings and lattice screens. The same type of window protection has been repeated on the side wall of the rear extension.
Statement of significance
Relevant assessment criteria
This is a place of local heritage significance and meets one or more of the local heritage criteria under the Heritage planning scheme policy of the Brisbane City Plan 2014. It is significant because:
The place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of the city's or local area’s history
as an example of an 1880s workers' cottage that reflects the early residential development of the South Brisbane peninsular before the area was redeveloped for industrial use precinct from the 1910s.
The place has the potential to yield information that will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the city’s or local area’s history
as a c1882 cottage that retains some original nineteenth century features but also incorporates other building additions/alterations that reflect its survival during the twentieth century as a cheap, rental property.
Post Office Directories: Titles Office Records
Titles Office Records
Greenwood, G and Laverty, J, Brisbane 1859 1959
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)