The Townsville Heritage Centre is located at Castling Street in Townsville. The three heritage houses featured at the centre have been furnished and restored to their original period glory and include a Worker’s Dwelling (1878), a grand villa residence known as The Currajong (1889) and an early North Queensland farm residence known as The Farmhouse (1921). Guided tours are available.
This historic houses complex displays on one site three typical North Queensland houses. These are an early North Queensland farm residence known as The Farmhouse (1921), a Worker’s Dwelling (1878) and a grand villa residence known as The Currajong (1889) and have been furnished and restored to their original period glory. This gives you a special insight into the lives of workers, wealthier businessmen and professionals in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The houses are furnished in styles appropriate to people who would have lived in each house with an emphasis on items made in North Queensland.
The history of ‘Currajong’ is fascinating. The house gave its name to the present Townsville suburb of Currajong
The house was originally located on Fulham Road where the Mater Hospital now stands and moved to the present site 1978. The house was built in 1888 for Alfred Peter who founded Gairloch Plantation, near the present town of Ingham which was one of the earliest sugar plantations in north Queensland.
The house and land was sold in August 1890 to Edward Hunt who was an early pioneer on both the Ravenswood and Charters Towers goldfields.
John Joseph Fanning purchased the house in 1927. He became north Queensland Manager of National Mutual Assurance Co. He was one of the founders of the first Rotary Club in Townsville was also well known as an amateur jockey and show rider
In 1930 the house was sold to James and Jessie Ferguson. Ferguson was involved with the pastoral industry; his wife was a granddaughter of one of the first pastoralists to settle in north Queensland.
In 1941 they offered ‘Currajong’ to St Matthews Church, Rising Sun as a home for British evacuees.
Early in 1942 the house was requisitioned for use as a hospital for the Royal Australian Air Force It was at the centre of a complex of large tents and small temporary huts that housed staff and patients not critically ill. The house was decommissioned as a hospital in 1944 and handed back to the Fergusons.
In September 1952 the Redemptorist Fathers of the Catholic Church purchased ‘Currajong’ and established Townsville’s first monastery in the house. In 1955 the house was taken over by the Sisters of Mercy who built the Mater Hospital beside it in 1962. The house became a convent for the sisters who ran the hospital.
The Townsville Heritage Centre was established by the Townsville Branch of the then National Trust of Queensland in 1978 and is quintessential to Townsville’s heritage.
The Guides at the Heritage Centre will share Townsville history with you, along with the histories of the buildings and the fascinating stories of the people who lived in them.
All these building had associations with the three main industries that shaped the north; sugar plantations, gold mines, and pioneering pastoral properties. They are even linked to the search for the passenger ship the SS Yongala that disappeared in 1911.
The grounds are popular for weddings and other private events and much-loved community heritage place. Townsville Heritage Centre weddings are becoming more popular as the stunning surrounds and immaculate gardens make it an ideal venue for many types of events.
Wednesday 10am to 1pm
Saturday 2pm to 4pm
Phone: 07 4771 5873
Adult – $8
Concession – $5
Children under 12 – $2
National Trust members – free
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