Addresses

At 28 Ashton Street, Camp hill, Queensland 4152

Type of place

House

Period

Victorian 1860-1890

Style

Queenslander

This is an image of the local heritage place known as Residence 'Iselworth'

This is an image of the local heritage place known as Residence 'Iselworth' 1

Isleworth

Isleworth Download Citation (pdf, 538.16 KB)

Addresses

At 28 Ashton Street, Camp hill, Queensland 4152

Type of place

House

Period

Victorian 1860-1890

Style

Queenslander

‘Isleworth’ was constructed some time between 1888 and 1900 for German developer Joseph Francis Oberthur. It was one of the first homes in the Camp Hill area and was built at a time when Camp Hill was predominantly dairy farms and vineyards. The house appears to have been one of the grander homes in the area and displays some pleasant architectural features including metal ridge decoration on the roof and an attic with dormer windows. In 1955, the house was converted to flats.

Lot plan

L15_RP13102; L16_RP13102

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Date of Citation —

Construction

Roof: Corrugated iron;
Walls: Timber

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (B) Rarity

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

Lot plan

L15_RP13102; L16_RP13102

Key dates

Local Heritage Place Since —

Date of Citation —

Construction

Roof: Corrugated iron;
Walls: Timber

Criterion for listing

(A) Historical; (B) Rarity

Interactive mapping

City Plan Interactive Mapping

History

The land on which “Isleworth” is situated was part of a large portion of land originally granted to Andrew Holder by Sir William Denison KCB, Governor of New South Wales in 1958.1

In 1888, the land was presumably subdivided and subdivisions 14-17 were shold to Joseph Francis Oberthur. The whole surrounding area was known as the “Oberthur Estate” as late as 19231, so he may have owned further property. Local oral history says that the Camp Hill area was settled by German migrants1 and Joseph Oberthur may well have been one of these or a descendant.

We do know that he was one of a group of people who, in 1888, petitioned to, and were successful in breaking away from the Shire of Bulimba to form the Shire of Coorparoo because they considered the Bulimba Shire administration to be too distant to property consider their concerns.1

We have not yet been able to discover further information about him although our research is continuing and we will forward any additional facts that come to light.

We have also been unable to ascertain exactly when the house was built. The Post Office Directory of 18881 shows that J.F. Oberthur lived in Ashton House, Ashton Street, but it is not clear whether this is the same house. The title deed shows the next owner of subdivisions 14-17 to be Elizabeth Regina Macintosh, “a married woman”, surely one of few married women to own property in 1890. The Post Office Directory of 1892-93 lists Elizabeth McIntosh in the Oberthur Estate.1

The first reference to the house as “Isleworth” and the first conclusive proof of its existence is in the Post Office Directory of 19011, which list the next owner, Alfred Everett, in Ashton St, Oberthur Estate.

Although the exact date of construction cannot be determined, it appears that “Isleworth” was built between 1888 and 1900 since it displays the architectural features of this Late Victorian Period. It has a hip roof with a separate section over the verandah which runs along three sides. The roof has a flat square piece on the very top with a decorative pressed metal ridge.

“Isleworth” was one of the first houses in the Camp Hill district. The Camp Hill State School’s Golden Jubilee edition of their magazine “Mirrabooka” (1976) mentions that until the First World War the Camp Hill area belonged entirely to the vineyards and dairy farms (p4). As late as 1901 there were only six residences other than “Isleworth” listed in the Post Office Directory for Ashton St.

A former local resident, Mr James Forster, has said that it was a magnificent home. As can been seen from the Brisbane City Council Water Supply and Sewerage Department Detail Plan no. 899, it was then the largest house in the street and one of a very few in the area to be named. It was obviously therefore one of the grander homes of the district, as well as one of the oldest.

The house has a basically square plan, with what was probably the kitchen at the rear. The fact that it is on very low stumps may indicate that it was built early in the period since this was the custom until perching houses on high stilts was developed as a solution to termite infestations. There were other outbuildings, perhaps stables, but these are no longer in existence.

According to local history, the area was settled by German migrants of whose number, or a descendant of whom, the original owner, J.F. Oberthur, may well have been. See Section 1 for further historical details.

“Isleworth” appears to have been built in the last years of the 19th century. It therefore displays an architectural style of which there are not many examples in the south eastern suburbs, since most of the houses were built at a later date. The Brisbane City Council Water Supply and Sewerage Department Detail Plan no. 899 shows one other home in Ashton St which appears to be of a similar style. This house has long since disappeared.

The house has certain characteristics which indicate that it was built in the period named:

-    modified pyramid roof with flat section on top
-    metal ridge decoration on roof
-    basic square plan
-    verandah on three sides

It has other features which distinguish it from the majority of these houses:

-    a kitchen at the rear with a chimney
-    an attic with two dormer windows

There are very few houses in Camp Hill with one of these features, let along both. See Section 1 for further architectural explanation.

Judy Rechner of the Coorparoo and Districts Heritage Group commented that there were no ordinary houses in the south eastern suburbs listed on the Queensland Heritage Register. The local community stands to lose this potentially attractive house and this example of an architectural style that is somewhat rare in the district.

National Trust of Queensland historian, Ray Sumner, in More Historic Homes of Brisbane (1982) mentions attics with dormer windows as a feature of cottages built before 1880. “Isleworth” has two dormer windows. She also describes a house at Eight Mile Plains (“Hughesville”), which, while on a somewhat grander scale, shares many architectural features with “Isleworth”. “Hughesville” was built in the late 1880s.

Description

“Isleworth” has at some stage been converted into four flats. The verandahs have been closed in with fibro and hopper windows on the sides and the front has been partly closed in with bricks, although the front entrance and nameplate are still visible. The outbuildings are no longer in existence.

The property is in a state of disrepair and only one flat is occupied. A development application has been submitted to the Brisbane City Council for construction of an eight unit apartment building, so the house is in danger of demolition or, at best, removal from the site. Sensitive restoration of the house would benefit the whole surrounding area and restore some of Camp Hill’s sense of heritage. In the process of our research we have come to realise that very little is known by individuals or organisations such as school and local history societies, about the history of this particular local area.

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:



References

  1. Certificate of Title No. 107537, Register Book Vol. 697 Folio 27

  2. Advertisement for auction of allotments in the Oberthur Estate, 1923 (John Oxley Library)

  3. Information Supplied by Brisbane City Council

  4. Information supplied by the Brisbane City Council from “The Sun” 16 March 1988, and from “Coorparoo and Stones Corner Centenary – 1856-1956” (Stones Corner Brisbane City Council Library)

  5. Queensland Post Office Directory entries 1888  Alphabetical Directory  fiche 5 of 9

  6. Queensland Post Office Directories 1892-93  Alphabetical Directory  fiche 6 of 10

  7. Queensland Post Office Directories 1901 South Brisbane Directory fiche 3 of 4

  8. Certificate of Title No. 431546, Register Book Vol. 2237 Folio 36

  9. Queensland Post Office Directories 1892 Coorparoo Street Directory  fiche 3 of 11

  10. Brisbane City Council Water Supply and Sewerage Department Detail Plan no. 899 (from mid- 19302)

  11. Coorparoo and District Historical Society Richard Jeffries

  12. Coorparoo and District Historical Society Ron Baker

  13. Coorparoo and Districts Heritage Group Judy Rechner

  14. Former Local Resident James Forster

  15. Freeland, J.M., Architecture in Australia – A History, Penguin Books, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia, 1972

  16. Archer, John, Building a Nation – A History of the Australian House, Collins, Sydney, Australia, 1987

  17. Saini, Balwant, The Australian House – Homes of the Tropical North, Landsdowne Press, Sydney, Australia, 1982

  18. Summer, Ray, More Historic Homes of Brisbane, National Trust of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 1982

  19. Mirrabooka, Camp Hill State School Magazine, 1976


Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)

Victorian 1860-1890
Queenslander
House
At 28 Ashton Street, Camp hill, Queensland 4152
At 28 Ashton Street, Camp hill, Queensland 4152 L15_RP13102; L16_RP13102
Historical, Rarity