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Bellevue Homestead

Place Details
Place ID 600492
Registration Type State Heritage
Place Name Bellevue Homestead
Place Classification Landscape
Place Category Pastoralism
Place Type Homestead
Themes 2 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land / 2.3 Pastoral activities
6 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings / 6.4 Dwellings
Register Entry Date 21/10/1992

Address Bellvue Homestead
Town / Suburb COOMINYA
Post Code 4311

Cultural Heritage Significance
Principal Period
of Significance
1870s-1910s (historical) 1870s-1900s (fabric)
Criterion A An example of a large, evolving timber homestead complex, illustrating in form, fabric and decoration the lifestyle of the turn-of-the-century Queensland squattocracy. Association with early European settlement of the Brisbane River Valley and the development of the pastoral industry in Queensland.
Criterion B Surviving evidence of timber building techniques from the 1870s.
Criterion D An example of a large, evolving timber homestead complex, illustrating in form, fabric and decoration the lifestyle of the turn-of-the-century Queensland squattocracy.
Criterion F Surviving evidence of timber building techniques from the 1870s.

History The earliest sections of Bellevue homestead appear to date from the 1870s. Initially Bellevue was part of the Wivenhoe run, taken up by Ferriter and Uhr in the early 1840s, then transferred to the Norths of Fairney Lawn in 1858. Soon after acquiring Wivenhoe, William North Snr established a 2,000 hectare section as Bellevue Station, on which he ran sheep. In 1869 the Wivenhoe run was resumed and thrown open to selection, and those portions containing the Bellevue lands and buildings were retained by the Norths under pre-emptive selection rights. None of the 1860s buildings has survived, with the older parts of the present homestead most likely constructed after the North family transferred the Bellevue leasehold to Campbell and Hay in 1872. In the 1870s sheep gave way to cattle. The leasehold was converted to freehold in 1879, and in 1884 was acquired by James Taylor, MLC, whose son, George Condamine Taylor, and his family, occupied the homestead. During the Taylors' occupancy a flood in the Brisbane River in 1893 destroyed the adobe walls of the timber-framed house, which was re-clad with mill-sawn timber. George Taylor died in 1899, but his widow remained at Bellevue and in 1901 married pastoralist Charles Lumley Hill, MLA. In 1903-04 the Lumley Hills extended the homestead, adding a new dining room, guest suite, and servants quarters. Earlier sections of the house were renovated also. In the early decades of the twentieth century, Bellevue was the social centre of the district. At its peak, c.1910, the station comprised over 5,600 hectares, with a Hereford stud of national renown. The property remained in the Taylor family until the early 1950s. In 1975 Bellevue was resumed by the Co-Ordinator General, as part of the Wivenhoe Dam project. In the same year the homestead and associated buildings were acquired by the National Trust of Queensland, and between 1975 and 1980 were removed to nearby Coominya township, established in 1905 on part of the Bellevue selection. The Trust is restoring the complex to its 1904-1910 appearance.

Description Bellevue Homestead is located opposite the railway station in Coominya, close to the original entrance to the property. It consists of the main house, which faces northeast and is encircled by verandahs, with a spine of kitchen, stores and servants' hall attached at right angles, forming a T-shaped plan. A caretaker's cottage is attached to the south corner forming a southern courtyard, and a row of stables and barn are located further to the southwest. All buildings are single-storeyed and sit on timber stumps. The main house comprises two chamferboard buildings which have corrugated iron hipped roofs and are joined by an enclosed verandah breezeway. The older building has a projecting gable porch to the southwest and northeast entrances with a decorative timber barge board, truss and finial, and timber shingles are visible under the corrugated iron sheeting. The plan consists of four rooms with a central hall. The end verandahs have been enclosed to expand the rooms through large archways, the northwest being enclosed with very wide chamferboards. Some rooms are in the process of restoration and show different layers of the building's fabric, including pit sawn framing with mortice and tenon joints and hand finished lining boards. Decorative features include painted woodgrain in the hall, hand painted wall paper, pressed metal ceilings in the drawing room, carved timber fireplace surrounds, casement windows, some of which have coloured glass inserts, step out bays and pressed metal window hoods. The 1903-04 extension has a projecting gable porch to the northeast with decorative timber arch brackets, barge board, finial and diagonally boarded gable. The verandahs have dowel balustrade, lattice valance and timber arch brackets. The plan consists of a dining room, a smoking room and a two-roomed guest suite. These are accessed from an enclosed verandah entrance hall with entrance doors at both ends with sidelights and fanlight of etched coloured glass. The dining room has a metal lined wine store cupboard and fretwork ceiling rose. The walls are panelled to a dado with vertically jointed boards above and the ceiling is boarded. The tiled fireplace has a carved timber surround, and all timber is oiled/stained. All rooms have step out bays with timber shutters and internal doors have fanlights. The kitchen, store and servants' hall wing consists of a series of connected weatherboard buildings. The kitchen has a corrugated iron gable roof with a verandah to the courtyard and three pressed metal ridge ventilators. Timber shingles are visible under the corrugated iron sheeting and the interior has single skin cedar board walls and a large brick fireplace. A modern kitchen has been installed in one room. The caretaker's cottage has an L-shaped plan and consists of a series of rooms added at different times. The weatherboard building has a corrugated iron gable roof with a bay to the northwest, surmounted by a gable, and verandahs northeast and northwest. A row of weatherboard stables with corrugated iron gable roofs is located to the southwest. The stables have a sawn cross cut timber and earth floor. The grounds include a circular drive with gardens to the north, overlooking a private dam beyond.

Element Name Bellevue Homestead
Design Period 1870s - 1890s Late 19th century
Construction Period 1872c - 1910c
Place Components Garden/Grounds
Decorative features
Residential accommodation - main house
Kitchen/Kitchen house
Residential accommodation - caretaker's quarters
Gate - jump
Gate - entrance

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Last updated: 15 March 2013

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