Type of place
This residence presents as a substantial, quality-built, interwar dwelling designed in the English Revival style. The house was built in 1926 for widow, Tessa Evelyn Thomas, who, shortly after purchasing the property, married Cyril Bennet, a surveyor. The construction of the house was partially funded by a War Service Homes loan. The Bennett’s named the house ‘Camoola’ and it remained in the family until the 1980s.
The land for this property became available in 1926 following the subdivision of an estate that was known as Kanumbra. Kanumbra was occupied by MLA James Stodart before becoming a home for destitute babies.
From the sale of the estate Tessa Evelyn Thomas, “Widow” purchased just over 38 perches in June 1926. In September 1926 Mrs Thomas lodged an application with the newly formed Greater Brisbane City Council for a new residence valued at the relatively enormous sum for the time of £1600/-/-. Average house costs at the time ranged from £500/-/- to £1000/-/- so this residence represents a quality dwelling.
The War Service Homes Commissioner in September 1926 gave a registered mortgage to Mrs Thomas. It is interesting that a loan was given for such a large home. It is highly probable that the War Service Loan only went part way to paying for the house’s construction. Shortly after the house’s construction, Mrs Thomas married Cyril Bennett. Title deeds disclose that the property remained in the family until the 1980s.
Currently no architect for the property has been found but there is a high probability the dwelling is the work of the notable interwar architect Eric Trewern. A number of Trewern’s attributes are found in the work in addition to Trewern actually living next door to the Bennetts in Chatsworth Road.
The residence presents as a substantial quality-built interwar dwelling constructed in the English revival style. The roof is of terra-cotta tile.
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 impressive residence erected at this locality and suburb during the interwar period.
The place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of the city’s or local area’s cultural heritage
As an example of a substantial interwar residence erected with funding from the significant post World War one repatriation housing scheme, the War Service Homes scheme.
The place is important because of its aesthetic significance
as a substantial landmark interwar English Revival dwelling.
Citation prepared by — Brisbane City Council (page revised September 2020)