Where was Parson's Farm?

We recently received an enquiry regarding the whereabouts of an old Brisbane locality known as Parson's Farm which existed in the 1850s and 1860s.

The location of this area proved to be quite elusive.  The name did not appear on early maps of the Brisbane area or in the earliest Queensland Post Office Directories.  Eventually the mystery was solved through articles which appeared in the National Library's digitized newspapers: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

Parson's Farm was located in Milton.  An article appeared in the Moreton Bay Courier (3/3/1855, p. 4) stating that "Parson's Farm is situated at the western extremity of North Brisbane and is convenient to the river".  An earlier article from the Moreton Bay Courier (19/8/1854) further clarified the matter stating that land for sale at Parson's Farm comprises "eighteen allotments in the village of Milton, contiguous to the homestead of A. Eldridge, Esq., at Milton Farm, as also the properties of Messrs Brookes, Mayne, Sheehan, Markwell...".  Patrick Mayne owned large areas of land at Milton during this period.

Panoramic view of Milton, showing Milton House in the middle distance, ca. 1874. Image number 66141.

Milton House was erected in 1852 or 1853 for retired Queen Street chemist, Ambrose Eldridge.  It was built high on the riverbank at 58 McDougall Street, Milton.  Eldridge named his property, which totalled over thirty acres, Milton Farm, and experimented with cotton growing.  In 1855 samples of Milton cotton were sent to the Paris Exhibition, where they were highly acclaimed.  Milton House is one of the oldest surviving residences in Brisbane and the first substantial house to be built in the western suburbs.

Lynn Meyers

Reference Librarian

John Oxley Library


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I wonder if land was particularly fertile there as result of the flooding?