This large residence was designed by local architect, J.V.D. Coutts for Major Ernest Woosley, a veteran of the Boer War and World War One. It was commissioned just prior to the onset of the ‘Great Depression’ and is a substantial residence in a landmark position and indicative of interwar development in the suburb.
Local Heritage Place Since —
Date of Citation —
Roof: Terracotta tile; Walls: Face brick
Ernest Woosley (Occupant); Joseph Vaudville Douyere Coutts (Architect)
Criterion for listing
(A) Historical;(E) Aesthetic;(H) Historical association
This house stands on land acquired in the name of Hannah Rutherford Woosley in 1927, and its construction was approved in April 1928. The Brisbane City Council building register records the owner as Major Woosley; the Ernest Harry Woosley noted on the land title as husband of Hannah. Ernerst Woosley was born in Queensland and served in the Queensland Contingent of the 7th Australian Commonwealth Horse to the South African War in 1902.
He remained affiliated with the military forces and was in the United Kingdom at the outbreak of World War I. Woosley was appointed a temporary Lieutenant in the British Army's Royal Army Ordnance Corps in July 1915. He was promoted to temporary Captain in April 1916 and appointed a Deputy Assistant Director (Cl K) in the War Office with rank of Major in June 1919.
Major Woosley returned to Queensland after the war and in 1928 commissioned the construction of the Bay Terrace home. Days later he left for London aboard the Orient Line's RMS °roma. It seems likely that he did not return from the UK, and in 1929 the property was sold to Clarence Marmaduke Wilson. It remains in the ownership of the Wilson family.
The architect responsible for the design of the house was Joseph Vaudville Douyere Coutts who, at that time, was the sole partner of the firm R Coutts and Sons established with his father, Robert Coutts snr in 1914. J.V.D. Coutts was an active member in the Queensland Institute of Architects and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Qld Chapter during the 1920s and 1930s. He was co-founder of the Architectural and Building Journal- of Queensland in 1922 and editor and business manager from 1923 to 1944. While the Coutts family designed a number of houses in Warwick and had offices in Ipswich, and J.V.D. Coutts' second• cousin designed Windsor Town Council Chambers in Brisbane; the work of J.V.D. Coutts is relatively undocumented. R Coutts and Sons Architects had offices in Brisbane from 1914 with Robert Coutts then J.V.D. Coutts living in Union Street, Toowong. In 1929 J V D Coutts had moved to Armitage Street, Lota having an established practice in Wyrmum by the time tenders were called in April 1928 for the construction of this house. The successful tenderer for this substantial residence was James B Cramb of Northgate. The estimated cost of the work was an astounding £3200, at a time when the average price for building a home was around £600.
Major Woosley doesn't appear to have resided in the house he commissioned and it may not have been built directly following the building approval, particularly as the 'great depression' began in 1929. However, by 1934 C.M. Wilson is recorded as receiving mail at this property on the corner of Walnut Street and Bay [sometimes recorded as Kingsley] Terrace. No application was submitted by him to have a different house built on this property. In 1947 approval was given for G. Wilson to establish a "chemical experiment plant ... for hobby purposes only" on the property.
This large low-set brick home occupies a block bounded by three street frontages; Bay Terrace, Walnut Street and Penfold Parade. It is almost centrally located on the block, with a tenths court to the Penfold Parade frontage. The location and space around the house contributes to its aesthetic and landmark qualities.
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 large residential building developed in the pre-Depression era bayside.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
it is important because if its substantial nature and the quality of its surroundings that make it a landmark.
The place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organization of importance in the city’s or local area’s history
it has a special association with the life or work of local architect Joseph Coutts, and Major Ernest Woosley, owner/commissioner.
Architecture and Building Journal of Queensland. 10 April 1928
Brisbane City Council, Building Application Registers
BCC building cards
Brisbane City Council Water Supply & Sewerage Detail Plans
Brisbane Courier 20 April 1928, Shipping Intelligence, RMS Orama
London Gazette Supplement. 26 July 1915, 28 April 1916, 18 June 1919, 4 Sept 1919
National Archives of Australia. 7th Battalion Australian Commonwealth Horse ... Attestation ... http://naa12.naa.gov.au
Queensland Certificates of Title
Queensland Pioneers Index 1829-1889
Queensland Post Office Directories
Watson, Donald and Judith McKay. A Directory of Queensland Architects to 1940. (St. Lucia: U of Q Press, 1984)
Donald Watson and Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the Nineteenth Century, South Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1994
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)