This cottage was built in 1877-78 for the Gillies family. Thomas Gillies was a carpenter and it is probable that he built his own home. While a small residence built in a working class area, it contains extra detailings such as fine timber lattice work and a narrow dormer window with ornate barge boards including a circular motif. In 1909, the house passed to Robert Gillies who named it ‘Carininya’. Having originally purchased the land in 1866, the Gillies family retained ownership for 73 years until Robert’s death in 1939.
This timber cottage was built in 1877-78 for Thomas Gillies, a carpenter, his wife, Helen and their young family. Presumably Gillies, who since 1866 had owned the forty perches on which the house stands, built the house himself. In 1877 he took out a bill or mortgage for £100 to finance construction of the house. It seems that Gilles felt the bite of the 1891s Depression, as in 1894 he borrowed £250, with further advances from the Bank of New South Wales. This debt was passed on to his widow, Helen when he died in September 1903. In 1907, possibly to repay the debt the property was subdivided. Subdivision 26 was sold which contained 20 perches to Elizabeth Dwyer. Mrs Gillies continued to live in the house until 1909 when the property was passed to Robert George Gillies who named the house ‘Carininya’. In 1939, after 73 years in the Gillies family the property was taken over by trustees and subsequently sold to another family.
This is a timber, two-storey house, with a corrugated iron roof, from the Victorian period. It has a steeply pitched gable main roof with no overhangs and a gable end facing the road at the lower level to the left of the entry. The entry is off a verandah with a bullnose awning, a timber dowel railing, and fine timber lattice work. The protruding main gable has a finial, and below this a bay window stands proud with a separate faceted roof. A narrow dormer window with ornate barge boards including a circular motif, and exposed rafter ends sits in the region above the entry verandah. On the ridge line sits a Victorian period galvanised iron ventilator. Windows on the buildings sides generally have individual sun hoods. The upper level sun hood to the left hand side has timber lattice infill, and a skirting with the same details as the barge board on the dormer window. The boarding on the left hand side of the house does not much match that on the protruding section suggesting that the building has been extended or modified.
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 a reflection of the growing need for workers dwelling from the 1870s, in the immediate vicinity of South Brisbane's burgeoning industries.
The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the city’s or local area’s cultural heritage
as an example of a Queensland workers cottage dating from the 1870s, typified by its steeply pitched roof containing attic rooms lit by dormer windows, and its small front verandah. This is distinct from later dwellings in the street which retain the front verandah but have a pyramidal roof with no attic space.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
for its contribution to the streetscape of Merton Road as part of an inclined street of small tightly spaced, pitched roof, workers dwelling of a similar scale.
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised June 2022)