Sinnamon Farm | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government

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Sinnamon Farm

  • 600233
  • 645 & 693 Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, Sinnamon Park


Also known as
600236; 600234; 600237; Glen Ross and Seventeen Mile Rocks School; Beechwood; Avondale and Macleod aviation site
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Farming—agriculture/dairying/grazing/horticulture: Farm
2.4 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Agricultural activities
5.6 Moving goods, people and information: Using air transport
6.4 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Dwellings
9.1 Educating Queenslanders: Providing primary schooling
Wilson, Henry
Construction periods
1869–1890, Sinnamon Farm (incorporating 600234, 600236, 600237) (1869 - 1890s)
1869, Sinnamon Farm - Beechwood (house) (1869)
1877, Sinnamon Farm - Seventeen Mile Rocks School (former) (1877 - 1877)
1877, Sinnamon Farm - school's shelter shed (1877 - 1877)
1887, Sinnamon Farm - Glen Ross (house) (1887)
1887, Sinnamon Farm - Glen Ross (attached kitchen) (c1887)
1887, Sinnamon Farm - Glen Ross (sheds/outbuildings) (1887)
1890, Sinnamon Farm - Avondale (house) (c1890s)
1890, Sinnamon Farm - Avondale (barn) (c1890s)
1910, Sinnamon Farm - Macleod aviation site (1910)
Historical period
1840s–1860s Mid-19th century


645 & 693 Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, Sinnamon Park
Brisbane City Council
-27.53719939, 152.95046002


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

Sinnamon Farm is significant historically because it illustrates the early phase of rural settlement and land use which took place along reaches of the Brisbane River and other Queensland waterways from the 1860s to the 1890s, especially the clearing of rainforest for 'scrub farms', the ensuing pattern of farming, and the growth of community life centred on the family, school and church. In particular, the farm survives as illustration of the evolution, association and location within a single family of a small grouping of farm dwellings, outbuildings and associated community buildings.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

The buildings, structures, sites, objects, and plantings of Sinnamon Farm form a rare rural grouping within a late 20th century suburban district in Brisbane, and are important in illustrating a past way of life. As a farming landscape, with a developmental sequence of 19th century buildings and structures, Sinnamon Farm forms a rare and distinctive grouping in Brisbane.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The principal buildings and structures of Sinnamon Farm include a gable-roofed house of the late 1860s, two 1880s-90s residences, slab outbuildings and an 1870s gable-roofed schoolhouse. These are typical timber buildings of what was once rural Queensland, and in their intactness are important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of their type.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

Sinnamon Farm is important for its strong association with the Sinnamon family, which has been prominent in local affairs, the development of the district and many other fields of public endeavour since the 1860s.


Sinnamon Farm comprises two separate areas of land on Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, Sinnamon Park. The place features buildings, structures, sites, objects, planting and land associated with the Sinnamon family. The main buildings are Beechwood (1869), a gable-roofed, verandahed house with plantings; Avondale (c1890s), a short ridge-roofed, verandahed house, with outbuildings, and the Former Seventeen Mile Rocks School (1877), a relocated gable-roofed, verandahed building, with shelter shed.

The Sinnamon family arrived at Brisbane in 1863. James (born 1813) was a farmer from County Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland. With his wife Margaret (born 1821), and 11 children (including daughter Margaret who was born enroute), the family emigrated for economic betterment and to escape sectarian conflict in Ireland.

In 1865 the family first purchased land at Seventeen Mile Rocks, on the Mermaid Reach of the Brisbane River. This area, which had been surveyed into small farms between 1863 and 1864, sold rapidly due to economic buoyancy and increased immigration during the early 1860s. To the initial parcel of 20 acres (8.1 ha) (portion 302) purchased from William Lovell in 1865, James added adjacent allotments from other vendors. Since land along much of the river was dense sub-tropical rainforest or vine scrub, the family had to clear sufficient farm land by felling and firing.

On portion 299 (acquired by James Sinnamon in 1866), a large split slab hut with earthen floor was constructed. In addition to using their government land orders totalling £216, the Sinnamons borrowed money for capital improvements, which was repaid within several years. By 1869 they were able to build the more commodious, handsawn timber house further up the hill, known as Beechwood (portion 302).To construct Beechwood, the family cut and hauled timber from the property to their nearby sawpit. While hauling, James was kicked by a horse and injured; he later deteriorated and died 4 November 1869. His widow Margaret and family completed the building and carried on farming, later erecting other buildings for farming and family purposes. John, the eldest and unmarried son, resided at Beechwood with his mother until her death in 1904 aged 83 and his own demise ten years later. Beechwood was occupied continuously from 1869 until at least the early 1990s. Together with Wolston House (1863) [QHR600339] at Wacol, it is one of the oldest residences in the district.

In 1887 a third and more substantial residence, Glen Ross, was constructed to the west of Beechwood (on portion 301) for James Jr, the sixth child of James and Margaret Sinnamon, who had acquired title to the land in 1880. James Jr married in December 1887, and the new house, named Glen Ross in reference to the family home in Ireland, was extended over time to accommodate six sons and three daughters. A substantial hay shed was erected on the Glen Ross farm c1890, but was burnt down in 1978. After James Jr died in 1942 aged 91, the farming property was purchased, occupied and augmented by their fourth child, Hercules V (HV) Sinnamon (later Sir Hercules), a businessman and farmer. HV Sinnamon placed sharefarmers on the land and continued to maintain the Sinnamon farms. Glen Ross was destroyed by fire 15 July 2007, after a long period of being unoccupied.

A fourth residence, Avondale, (on portion 304) to the east of Beechwood, was erected in the 1890s for Benjamin Sinnamon, the ninth child, who purchased the property in 1886 from other family members. He married Elizabeth Annie Primrose in 1889, and they and their six children resided at Avondale. Following Benjamin's death in 1941, the property was sold out of the Sinnamon family before it was purchased by HV Sinnamon in 1949.

In December 1872 George, the third of James and Margaret Sinnamon's children, purchased a 40 acre (16ha) property (comprising portion 313 and 312) on the opposite side of Seventeen Mile Rocks Road. It is not known if the property included the homestead Rosemount at the time of sale or if George had it erected soon after purchase. Rosemount burnt down about 1970, after which the property was presented to the Methodist Church, which erected the Sinnamon (Retirement Village) on the site. An avenue of mango trees remains from the Rosemount homestead.

Over time, the Sinnamon farms produced a wide range of primary produce, commencing with sugarcane and cotton, then maize, potatoes, pineapples and dairy produce, and also bred horses. In later years the major activity was dairy farming, complemented by the breeding of Jersey stock.

The Sinnamon family also took a leading part in local affairs, in particular with the establishment of the Seventeen Mile Rocks School and the local church (Sinnamon Uniting Memorial Church; QHR 600235), and Benjamin Sinnamon served on the Sherwood Shire Council.

Children in the Seventeen Mile Rocks area had to journey to Corinda to school until April 1870 when a provisional school began operating from the Bible Christian Church building in Goggs Road. It was established on the initiative of the Rev. William Woolcock and the local farmers on the Bible Christian Church committee. By 1876 local residents had collected sufficient funds towards erecting a new school facing Goggs Road (on the southeast corner of portion 316), about 100 metres north of the Bible Christian Church building. The new building was completed in 1877 and opened at the beginning of the 1878 school year with 32 pupils. The schoolhouse was complemented by a detached shelter shed and a teacher's residence.

In the early 1900s the interior of the schoolhouse was lined with narrow tongue and groove boards and its shingled roof was replaced with corrugated galvanised iron. Generations of the Sinnamon family had attended the school and been involved in its development, particularly HV Sinnamon's father, James Jr, who was the school committee's first treasurer, and his uncle Benjamin, who was chairman of the school committee for forty years. The school closed in 1966, when Jindalee State School opened. The schoolhouse and shelter shed (but not the teacher's residence) were sold to HV Sinnamon and moved to his property (portion 304) in the late 1980s. It was then used by school groups as an interactive museum.

In 1988 a brass plaque was installed at the front of the school to commemorate aviator Thomas Macleod’s launching of a biplane glider on 22 December 1910. This has been hailed as the first successful attempt in Queensland to raise a biplane glider from the ground. This flight occurred from a slope on land that was formerly portion 303 (land adjacent to, but not included in the heritage register boundary for Sinnamon Farm).

The family property between Seventeen Mile Rocks Road and the Brisbane River was retained in family ownership, principally through the efforts of HV Sinnamon. In order to preserve his family's history and heritage in the Seventeen Mile Rocks area, HV Sinnamon opposed the proposal for a cross-river bridge through the remaining farmland, shifted the threatened former state school onto his property, and published a history of the Sinnamon family. In the mid-1960s he also donated land for the relocation of the threatened Seventeen Mile Rocks Church. After campaigning to have the Sinnamon farm area conserved as a heritage precinct, HV Sinnamon died in 1994, at the age of 94 years.

Subsequently, much of the Sinnamon property was sold and subdivided, primarily for residential development.


Sinnamon Farm comprises two separate areas of land on Seventeen Mile Rocks Road, Sinnamon Park. The two areas are approximately 250 metres apart; the western area is approximately 1.95ha and the eastern area is approximately 0.47ha, totalling approximately 2.42ha.

The place comprises all of the buildings, structures, sites, objects, planting and land associated with the Sinnamon family within the heritage register boundary. This includes the following:

Beechwood (1869), a gable-roofed, verandahed house and planting.

This farm house comprises four bedrooms and a parlour, and is a typical timber dwelling of the Separation period, although the detached kitchen and stables no longer exist. The front and back verandah roofs are joined continuously to the main gable roof, its split hardwood shingles now covered by corrugated galvanised iron. The front verandah is plainly furnished with square stick balustrading. Four pairs of french doors open onto this verandah. The house is constructed of pitsawn timber, adzed and otherwise shaped on the property. This includes internal cedar joinery, and hardwood log bearers which run the width of the house on stumps, their ends protruding beyond the walls. The rear verandah or skillion has been modified. The early formal garden has long gone, but several old Bunya Pines line the river front.

Glen Ross (1887) is the burnt out remains of a homestead at the westernmost part of the western site. The yard comprises a formal front garden, rear vegetable beds, an orchard to the east including persimmon and a large Moreton Bay fig tree near the front gate. To the west a group of outbuildings provides shelter for various vehicles and implements, including the early Sinnamon family plough of bush timber and iron share. An adjacent shed of vertical slabs survives, as well as more recent structures.

Avondale (c1890s), a short ridge-roofed, verandahed house, with outbuildings.

To the east of Beechwood is Avondale, another late 19th century Queensland farmhouse which is similar in form to Glen Ross. Built of timber and corrugated iron, Avondale has wide verandahs on all sides and is ornamented with cast iron balustrading, brackets, and a small cast-iron valance between the timber posts. The rear and parts of the side verandahs have been enclosed. Its exposed stud frame, which is lined on the inside with vertical tongue and groove boards, is accentuated by a large cross brace on either side of each four-paned sash window. Avondale has fewer main rooms than Glen Ross, and the walls of four inch vertically jointed boards and the rear projection indicate a later construction period. Outbuildings to the west include an old slab and corrugated iron barn with a recent extension. There are the stone remnants of a circular horse-powered mill race to the west of the house.

Former Seventeen Mile Rocks School (1877), a relocated gable-roofed, verandahed building, with shelter shed. The one roomed (28 feet x 16 feet) school building now set on a concrete block base was typical for a rural locality. It is an unadorned, front and back verandahed, gable roofed structure with weatherboard cladding and a corrugated galvanised iron roof. The ceiling is lined with diagonal tongue and groove sheeting and the interior walls are lined with narrow vertically jointed tongue and groove boards. The original front window sashes have been replaced with casements. Early furnishings include student desks and benches. The schoolhouse is complemented by a detached hip-roofed, corrugated iron-covered shelter shed.

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Location of Sinnamon Farm within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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