Wilston Estate, 1885 (Map of the Week)

State Library of Queensland has an extensive collection of historical maps of Queensland, some of which have been digitised and can be viewed online.

Wilston Estate, 1885. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Wilston Estate, 1885. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

This Brisbane real estate map from 1885 advertises 309 allotments of land for sale at Wilston Estate. The allotments were situated along Olney Street, Vale Street, Heather Street, Mars Street, Abuklea Street, Wilston Road (now Lamont Road), Stains Street (now Stain Street), Cross Street (now MacGregor Street) and two unnamed government roads (Newmarket Road and Kedron Brook Road).

The sale also included the residence Wilston House, which still stands today on Watson Street, with approximately 8 acres of land. The residence was designed by Brisbane architect James Cowlishaw and constructed ca. 1876 for William Wilson, a mercantile and insurance broker and later Brisbane representative for the Adelaide Milling Company.

Advertisement, The Telegraph, May 2, 1885

Advertisement, The Telegraph, May 2, 1885

Prior to the sale extensive publicity was published in Brisbane newspapers.

"300 magnificent villa sites occupying that splendid knoll on the righthand side of the main entrance leading up to Wilston House, being one of the prettiest spots for formation and views to be had within a radius of twenty miles of Brisbane. Also, Wilston House, and about 8 acres of land, which embraces all the improvements, and occupies the highest spur in the estate...There is not within fifty miles of the city an estate of equal area that can be compared to the Wilston Estate, every inch of land being high, dry, and sound, free from all noxious smells, and with unequalled views, and splendid formation for drainage."(The Telegraph, May 6, 1885)

A public auction was held at the site on the afternoon of May 9, 1885. The Brisbane Courier newspaper reported the results of the sale.

“John Cameron reports a highly successful sale at the Wilston Estate on Saturday. A numerous company was present, and, although the sale opened slowly, after awhile the people seemed to wake up, and a total of 100 lots were sold for the sum of £2847. The house and 8 1/2 acres of land was withdrawn and will be sold privately". (Brisbane Courier, May 11, 1885)

Wilston House, ca. 1881. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 162788

Wilston House, ca. 1881. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Neg 162788

A higher resolution image of this map can be viewed through our One Search catalogue.

Prints of this map are also available through the Library Shop.

You can browse a compendium of our previous maps of the week on our blog.

Myles Sinnamon – Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland


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thank you Myles for this entry. I purchased my first home at 56 Vale Street in April 1981 when I was 21 years old. Called "Finchley", it was owned by my great aunt, Mrs Margaret Coleman. The house in part was captured in time, February 1942. This was the date when Margaret's only daughter, Joan, was struck by Mr John Hess who was riding his bicycle in Abuklea St. Joan the aged 22 died in hospital. She was an only child. There was a 1942 calendar on the wall in one room, and the shoes that Joan was wearing when the accident happened still in a wardrobe.Indicative of the time period, "Finchley" had no driveway, as few people owned cars. One could see the tops of fireworks at the EKKA and hear the roar from Ballymore.Wilston in 1981 was a quiet little spot with a local supermarket, fruit shop, newsagent, hairdresser, laundromat and chemist. How things have changed! I sold Finchley in 2004.

The main map shows a Wilston Rd (now Lamont Rd). The current Wilston Rd is shown on the Local Sketch as the western boundary of an area adjoining the saleyards (nowadays the road which crosses the rail line at Newmarket Station). The earliest land deeds (1862) refer to this road but do not name it. Since the name 'Wilston' did not become associated with the area till Wilston House was built in 1876, I suspect that the current Wilston Rd did not have that name in 1862. Can anyone shed any light on the reasons behind this change?