Do you remember Huntingtower?

The John Oxley Library recently received a donation of three beautiful photographs of the Annerley residence, Huntingtower.  This was a significant acquisition as the only other photograph of the house which we hold is of very poor quality and taken from a distance.  The new photographs clearly show the front of the house in great detail as well as the view over the suburbs from the back of the residence.  The gentleman standing on the front steps of the house appears to be William Walter Hood, an early owner.

View of Huntingtower at Annerley.

Huntingtower at Annerley

View from the back of Huntingtower.

Huntingtower was located in Dudley Street, Annerley.  One of the early owners was James Campbell Moffatt, a chemist, who occupied the house in the early 1890s up until his death in 1905.  His funeral procession left his residence, Huntingtower, at the Ipswich Road Junction.  The house was later owned by William Walter Hood who had possession of the property until his death in 1920.  Hood was born in Scotland in 1844 and migrated to Victoria in 1853 with his parents.  He attended the Geelong Grammar School.  He eventually became a station manager and moved to Queensland in 1880 where he took up the position of General Manager of the Western Queensland Pastoral Co.  For fifteen years he lived at Burenda Station, in the Augathella district,  before moving to Brisbane due to ill health.  In Brisbane he became a director of the Brisbane firm Birt & Co. Ltd., shipping agents.  He was active in public life and in 1898 was elected member for Warrego in the Queenland Parliament.  In his younger days he was a noted amateur rider and participated in the first polo match played in Australia.

William Walter Hood, Negative No. 16372

After Hood's death Huntingtower was sold and for many years was the home of Sarah Ann Jenyns, a surgical corset manufacturer, who lived there until her death in 1958.  An advertisement for the house in 1920 (Brisbane Courier, 9/10/1920, p.10) describes Huntingtower as a charming residential property with magnificent views of the Brisbane River, containing ten rooms, including a large billiard room, and good garages.  The grounds are described as tastefully laid out with fruit and flower gardens.

Advertisement for the sale of Huntingtower.

In 1960 Huntingtower was once again in the news when the owners, the Mesh family, discovered "buried treasure" in the form of money buried in two tins in a section of the overgrown garden.

Newspaper clipping from 1960.

Courier Mail, 13 April 1960.

It would be interesting to know what eventually happened to the beautiful old house as it no longer exists on the Huntingtower site.  The land was eventually used as a nursing home and today appears to be the location of the Westminster House Retirement Village.  We would love to hear from anyone who has more information about this magnificent house.

Lynn Meyers - Original Materials Librarian, State Library of Queensland





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I am also interested in finding out what happened to the house "hunting tower"at annerley. My mother lived in the house in 1945/1946 with Sarah Jenyns. Have you had any feedback on the article. My research shows that "as per your article" that the mesh family owned it in 1960 and at the state archives there was an application made on 9/3/64 for a liquor licence which was revoked. Series Id 18001 item Id 177472. I have found a record of the hunting tower nursing home in 1974. So must have been removed/ pulled down between 1964 and 1974. Has anyone done a title search ?

Hi CarolynYes a title search could be worthwhile. It could also be worth contacting the Brisbane City Archives - phone 07 3403 8888 or 07 3403 1711 during opening hours - they might have some suggestions for you.Myles

Sarah Ann Jenyns was my great grand mother.When we visited and were very good we were allowed to go up the tower.The place was demolished to make way for the nursing home.Norm

Is this the same Huntingtower that was built in 1887/8 for Abraham Fleetwood Luya on the design of the young architect who would become his son-in-law, Hezekiah Watson King Martin?Kirstie

Hi KirstieCould you please fill in our online enquiry form with your details and one of our helpful librarians will assist you. Sinnamon – blog editor

I would think that is most unlikely. A.F.Luya lived on Boggo Rd in a house called Cooloola, I don't know if that house was built for him, but certainly Hezekiah Martin was a son-in-laws Richard Luya

Apologies, a brain malfunction!. A.F. Luya's house in Sth Brisbane was called Canoona.

Hi,I am just wondering if the library has any photos of James Campbell Moffatt and his wife/family who resided at Huntingtower. Also His chemist shops/possibly known as Moffatt Brosand the The Sylvia Moffatt infantile Paralysis Children's Ward.With thanks

Hi RosemaryThank you for your question. Could you please fill in our online enquiry form and our reference librarians will look into this for you. Here is the link – Sinnamon – blog editor

Hi,Do you have a photo of James Campbell Moffatt/wifeon file.Thanks Rosemary

Hi RosemaryThank you for your question. Could you please fill in our online enquiry form and our reference librarians will look into this for you. Here is the link – Sinnamon – blog editor