Are you a history fan, or just curious by nature? If you answered yes to either of the above, chances are you’ve found yourself wondering what your suburb’s story is. Well, one of the most important clues to an area’s history is in its name. While some are easy to draw conclusions for, others are a little more unique. As we love our area, we can’t help but want to dive deeper into its past. Here are some of the Craig Lea Team’s favourite specialty suburbs origin stories.
Gordon Park, Brisbane’s smallest suburb, is a residential area and neighbour to Kedron Brook. This leafy suburb is home to multiple bike paths, walking tracks and cafes. The infrastructure style of choice: the Queenslanders! Want to know its history? Then look no further than its name! General Gordon was given the honour of being this beautiful suburb’s namesake. This was given to him after being heralded a hero for his siege of Khartoum in Sudan. Majority of the streets in Gordon Park are named after various army campaigns he went on with his troops: the most prominent of these being Gordon Street, Baker Street and of course Khartoum Street.
This inner-city residential suburb is located 5 kilometres north of Brisbane’s CBD. It garnered its name from Alfred Lutwyche, who was a judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Lutwyche donated land to the Church in 1866, and this is where St. Andrew’s Church of England now stands. He was actively involved in its construction and is currently buried in its graveyard. Alfred Lutwyche’s influence has shaped the suburb of Lutwyche and was commemorated not only in its name but in the presence of his portrait in Brisbane’s Supreme Court.
This largely residential inner northern suburb of Brisbane saw slow development until the construction of the Bowen Bridge. This opened in 1860, and was named after Sir George Bowen, Queensland’s first governor. After this the area rapidly took off! However, it wasn’t until 1887 it was officially renamed from Breakfast Creek to Windsor. This name was to commemorate Windsor Castle, in celebration of Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee year.
Not far from the CBD, Wilston is a suburb known for its exciting mix of old and new styles of architecture. Its origin story centres on Wilston House, built by the Honourable William Wilson. Named after Wilson’s birthplace in County Fermanagh, Ireland, many believe it is indeed an abbreviated version of Wilson Town. This home is now a heritage listed site.
Long before Grange became the bustling suburb it is today the area was largely open grassland. It wasn’t until the rise of urban development that it was named. Wondering who got that honour? Surprisingly it was the early European settler T.K. Peate! His property, ‘The Grange Estate,’ was a prominent structure in the area, and soon the name spread. Grange, believed to be derived from the old English word for granary, simply refers to a storehouse for grain.
Have you noticed a pattern when it comes to street names in Brisbane’s CBD? Chances are if you’ve spent enough time exploring the city you will have wondered why all the streets facing north-east are female, whereas the south-west are male. If you’re particularly observant it may have caught your attention that all these names come from royal lineage, except for Albert and Alice, who were Queen Victoria’s husband and daughter. What’s the significance behind this? The answer is that it came down to a matter of convenience. British settlers found it easier to remember these names rather than trying to discover what the original Aboriginal names, or native wildlife were.