Queensland Places - Claremont, Ipswich

Claremont, located in Milford Street, Ipswich, is one of the city’s finest colonial residences and dates from around the time of Queensland’s separation from New South Wales.

Ipswich Residence - Claremont 1912, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg 170556

Ipswich Residence - Claremont 1912, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Neg 170556

The building was originally designed in the late 1850s by William Claydon Wakefield for John Panton, who was a prominent Ipswich merchant. John Panton’s father had also been the New South Wales Postmaster. Soon after the home’s construction, it was purchased by George Thorn, another prominent and well known Ipswich resident and businessman. As with many residences of a similar age, it has been put to a variety of uses over its long life, including as a boarding house as well as undergoing various renovations and changes. For instance, during the 1920s, the verandahs were rebuilt, changing the residence to a bungalow style. Substantial renovations were also undertaken during the 1980s.

Claremont is important within Ipswich and Queensland history in that it demonstrates the evolution of Ipswich from a convict outpost to an important and growing business centre as well as being a rare example in Queensland of a Georgian villa. The house is elaborately finished and decorated and contains about fifteen rooms as well as nine chimneys. In view of its importance, the building is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

This photograph of Claremont dates from 1912 and probably shows the Wilson Family, the then owners and another prominent Ipswich merchant and business family.

Brian Randall - Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland

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My grandfather, Edward John Kellett was born in this house. His father, William Kellett, married one of John Panton's daughters; I think her name was Isobel. William Kellett was a member of the Parliament of the Colony of Queensland from 1877 to 1888, and was Commissioner for lands.