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  • 600242
  • 9 Leopard Street, Kangaroo Point


Also known as
Lamb House
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Residential: Villa
6.4 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Dwellings
Wilson, Alexander Brown
Anthony, William
Construction period
1903, Home
Historical period
1900–1914 Early 20th century


9 Leopard Street, Kangaroo Point
Brisbane City Council
-27.48243973, 153.03213059


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

Its construction illustrates the sustained development of Kangaroo Point as a residential suburb from the 1840s, and in particular the continued appeal to middle class residents of the high land overlooking the Brisbane River at Kangaroo Point, contributing to our understanding of residential and social hierarchies in Brisbane, and of the role of the Brisbane River within this structure.

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

Home, erected c1902, is a rare surviving example of a grand, intact Federation period residence in the Brisbane district.

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

Home is a most accomplished building in its architectural design, materials, workmanship and setting, and is significant as a major example of the domestic work of notable Brisbane architect Alexander B Wilson.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The prominently situated residence has landmark quality and makes a strong aesthetic contribution to the townscape along the Kangaroo Point cliffs. Significant also are the views from Home of the Brisbane River and central business district, which appear to have influenced the siting and design of the house.

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.

Home is a most accomplished building in its architectural design, materials, workmanship and setting, and is significant as a major example of the domestic work of notable Brisbane architect Alexander B Wilson.


This substantial, two-storeyed brick residence was erected in 1902-03 for John Lamb, co-proprietor of the successful Queen Street drapery establishment of Edwards & Lamb, and a businessman with enlightened attitudes toward his employees. Named ‘Home’, (also known as Lamb House) the house has remained in the sole ownership of the Lamb family since its construction. Designed by eminent architect Alexander B Wilson, the residence embraced the Federation Queen Anne style and is recognised as one of Wilson’s greatest domestic works.

Kangaroo Point, located within the traditional lands of the Jagera and Turrbul people, was one of the earliest localities used for colonial purposes following the establishment of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement. The Kangaroo Point Cliffs were quarried for their Brisbane tuff, used in building works for the colony, and the area was farmed from 1837. Following the opening of the colony for free settlement in the 1840s, land along the peninsula was offered for sale.[1] Industry and shipping was established along the river front, with modest working-class dwellings dotting the lower-lying areas. By the 1850s, the higher land at Kangaroo Point was attracting wealthy residents who erected substantial homes overlooking the Brisbane River.[2]

The highest part of Kangaroo Point was River Terrace, running atop the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. By 1875 the terrace was recognised as ‘beauteous… with its unrivalled coup d’oeil of the great city’, and recommended to visitors for sightseeing.[3] Subdivisions along the east side of the terrace were offered for sale from the 1850s, but the western side was reserved for public purposes, providing a dramatic clifftop promenade between the Kangaroo Point State School and St Mary’s church, at the Main Street intersection, and Leopard Street, a continuation of River Terrace.[4]

By the turn of the 20th century Kangaroo Point was a highly appealing residential area, both for its quiet, leafy nature and for its proximity to the city, with ferry and bus services linking the area to the central business district. In 1901, a parcel of eight undeveloped subdivisions on Leopard and Wild streets, at the highest elevation overlooking the Gardens Point, were sold by the mortgagee. The subdivisions surrounded an older residence, ‘Rockfield’, built on the corner of Leopard and Wild streets, circa 1890, for Captain Daniel McGregor. The undeveloped sites had first been offered for sale in October 1852 and granted to John McCabe in 1855. They were transferred to land agent GT Lang in 1882, before they were purchased in August 1901 by John Lamb.[5]

English-born John Lamb and his business partner to-be Thomas Edwards arrived in Australia on the ship Cuzco in 1881. After settling briefly in New South Wales, they established a drapery and clothier business in Brisbane’s premier shopping district, Queen Street, in 1884. Edwards and Lamb was one of a number of locally-established drapery firms opened between the 1860s and 1890s, which were the forerunners of Brisbane’s major department stores.[6] By 1888, Edwards and Lamb had made ‘such rapid strides that… it is one of the representative mercantile house of the kind in the colony.’[7] The firm openly supported workers’ rights, and was actively engaged in the Early Closing Association movement, which campaigned for shorter working hours for retail workers. The movement’s first chair and secretary were both recruited from Edwards and Lamb, and in the 1890s the firm employed Frank McDonnell as a manager-cum-union organiser until McDonnell’s elevation to Queensland Parliament in 1896. This was quickly followed by the passage of the Factories and Shops Act 1896, and the introduction of early closing in its 1900 replacement. McDonnell credited Edwards and Lamb for his success.[8]

Following the death of Thomas Edwards in 1897, John Lamb purchased Edwards’ share in the business, and continued it on his own. In 1899, Lamb married Sarah Jeane Stephens in Maryborough, and by 1901 the couple had two children, with a third due in 1902. With his family growing, and his business on firm footing, Lamb purchased the Kangaroo Point sites and moved into temporary accommodation in Leopard Street, pending the construction of a new family residence.[9]

Lamb’s timing coincided with a period of steady residential growth in Brisbane. The city had suffered in the 1890s from the combined effects of an economic depression and extensive flooding, and commissions for substantial houses had fallen off. By 1900, the economy was recovering, and businessmen and retailers engaged Brisbane’s prominent architects to design a number of large residences in the inner-city and suburban areas, from Waterton, at Chelmer, circa 1900, for insurance agent Thomas Beevor Steele (architect unknown) (QHR 602340); Drysllwyn, in Auchenflower, c1905, by architect Claude William Chambers, for mining entrepreneur William Davies (QHR 600051); Endrim, at Toowong, 1906, by unknown architect, for tram company director JS Badger (QHR 650071); Turrawan, at Clayfield, 1906, by Hall and Dods, for doctor Arthur Halford (combined surgery/house)(QHR 602452); Cremorne, at Hamilton, circa 1906, by Eaton and Bates, for publican James O'Connor (QHR 600218); Feniton, at New Farm, 1906, by RS Dods, for the Trude family (QHR 650078); to Weemalla, at Corinda, 1909, by RS Dods, for insurance company manager RM Steele (QHR 602820).[10]

Lamb engaged architect Alexander Brown Wilson to design his new Kangaroo Point house. Wilson was by then a well-established Brisbane architect, having commenced work with the Queensland Public Works Department in 1875 at the age of 16. From 1882 he was employed as architect FDG Stanley’s principal draftsman, before beginning his architectural training in Brisbane and Europe. He became the first Queensland-trained associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects, returning to Brisbane to open his own architectural practice in 1884. He also helped found the Queensland Institute of Architects in 1888, and served four terms as its president. Wilson’s practice quickly developed into a substantial firm, particularly renowned for its church and domestic designs. Prominent examples of Wilson’s domestic work survive in Brisbane, including Leckhampton (1890, QHR 600246), Kinauld (1888, QHR 600225) and Como (1890, QHR 601474), but his most recognised domestic work was his design for John Lamb.[11]

In designing Lamb’s house, Wilson put his personal interpretation on the Queen Anne style. Imported from Britain and the United States, Federation ‘Queen Anne’ was the dominant style in Australian domestic architecture for substantial houses at the turn of the 20th century. Popularised by the influential British architect Richard Norman Shaw, who in the 1870s began designing country houses in an eclectic style combining elements from many periods of traditional English rural building, the style was labelled ‘Queen Anne’ after it became popular in America. In Australia, the style was characterised by: red facebrick walls, often with contrasting white painted ornamentation or timber joinery; complex roof forms with towers and multiple gables; Tudor-style half-timber panelling in gable ends; tall brick chimneys; terracotta detailing; and picturesque asymmetry. Roofs were often French Marseilles tile with a detailed ridge or apex. Verandahs featured ornamental posts, brackets, balustrades and valances. Patterns in leadlight windows, doors and fanlights tended to echo the free curves found in nature as the influence of Art Nouveau on the Queen Anne design became increasingly apparent after the 1900s. Although not as popular or extensively used as in Victoria and New South Wales, the Federation Queen Anne style spread to Queensland and was incorporated into designs from the 1890s until the 1940s. In Queensland the style was often applied to traditional timber houses, influencing their roof forms, timber verandah detailing and other ornamentation.[12]

Notable Queen Anne features of the Lamb residence include its red brick composition, terracotta shingle tiles, chimney post, turned timber posts, gables of suggested half-timbering and Classical motifs on the three-storey tower.[13]

Wilson drew plans for Lamb’s house, and a specification was detailed in September 1901. Wilson’s design for the residence set out a ground and first floor, with a protruding observation tower. It was of brick construction, with a tiled roof featuring half-timbered detailing to gable-ends; and a concrete-finished entrance porch aligned vertically with the observation tower. The front door, accessed by the porch, led to the central staircase via a vestibule, which had a lavatory to one side. On the river (northern) side of the residence was an eastern drawing room and connected western dining room that both featured fireplaces, architraves, large windows, skirting boards and ‘wainscoting’ (dado panelling). On the southern side of the residence was a morning (breakfast) room to the east, which opened onto the front verandah; with the kitchen, scullery and connected service wing to the west. Upstairs, there were six bedrooms, each of a different size; a small housemaid’s store and press; and a bathroom behind the central staircase. An additional stair climbed the observation tower, which had a viewing platform in response to the house’s prominent position atop the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Externally, there were two water tanks, a service wing, including a washhouse with fuel store and earth closet, and a full-sized tennis court (56 x 17m).[14] Early photographs from the Leopard Street entrance driveway show various concrete render mouldings, including the residence’s name, Home, above the pediment to the entrance porch; and iron entrance gates set within a front fence with polychromatic brickwork and concrete capping.[15]

The specifications also clearly distinguished between the primary and other rooms, requiring cedar and ‘fancy wood’ of a wider profile for timber joinery in the public rooms (including drawing, dining and morning rooms, staircase, vestibule and lavatory) and four principal bedrooms; with pine in the two back bedrooms and kitchen. Pressed metal ceilings and / or ceiling roses were to be located in public rooms and principal bedrooms, with leadlight glazing specified for use in a skylight, the front door, vestibule door, cloak-room (potentially describing the lavatory) window, small windows to dining room fireplace, bathroom windows, some verandah doors, and fanlights over dining room and drawing room windows. The drawing room and main bedroom featured bay windows. [16]

Wilson called for tenders for the brick villa in March 1902. The house was constructed over a twelve month period by builder William Anthony at a contract price of £3,250. Work was underway by June 1902, when the ‘fine two-storied residence… commanding a beautiful prospect’ was described in the Brisbane Courier as the main work occupying Wilson’s ‘architectural skill’.[17][18]

The eight subdivisions provided a generous 3133m2 site for the house and its features. The house was positioned near the back of the site, taking advantage of the extensive views, with a driveway from Leopard Street curving around the tennis court. The Leopard Street frontage was lined by a polychromatic brick wall and ornate driveway gates, also designed by Wilson. Fig trees were planted along the Leopard Street frontage to the property, with additional trees and gardens along the northern boundary, the tennis court fence and the circular driveway, which terminated in front of the house. A service entrance ran from Wild Street to the kitchen and service wing.[19]

The Lamb family house was completed by April 1903, when Mrs Lamb advertised for a general servant from ‘Home, River terrace’.[20] The youngest of the Lambs’ four children was born in 1905; by 1910, Mrs Lamb, with two servants and a children’s nursemaid, advertised for additional help.[21]

The attraction of Kangaroo Point as a quiet but centrally located suburb for the well-to-do continued well into the 1920s. Its reputation as a leafy garden suburb was enhanced in the 1910s when River Terrace was planted with a line of fig trees and garden beds, improving the clifftop promenade. A photograph taken of the River Terrace promenade in 1919 displayed both the vegetation improvements and the view, which terminated in Home and its neighbouring house, Edgecliffe. In 1928 the suburb was recognised as one of the ‘garden suburbs of Brisbane’, with ‘handsome residences, well-kept gardens, wide-streets, and tree-lined avenues.’[22] From the 1930s, however, houses along the peninsula (including a number of historic homes) were removed for the construction of the Story Bridge (1940) [QHR 600240], and the suburb became increasingly busy. [23]

Few changes appear to have been made to Home after its construction. Architect Wilson undertook minor repairs to the property in 1911, and a brick garage was added at the Wild Street boundary by 1925, with the circular driveway removed and extended to the garage. A pavilion was later added to the tennis court (extant by 1942).[24] The trees, which had become substantial by the 1940s, were cut back in the late 1950s or early 1960s.[25]

John Lamb senior died in 1920, passing the Edwards and Lamb business to his two sons, John and Frank, and the house to his widow, Sarah. Home was mortgaged in 1922 for the sum of £8,000. Three of the Lamb children did not marry, and continued to reside in the large family residence. Both sons worked for the retail firm, while Sarah and her daughters hosted a number of social and fundraising events at the house in the 1920s and 30s, particularly in aid of the nearby St Mary’s Anglican Church. The three unmarried children also purchased the neighbouring Rockfield in 1941. Following Sarah’s death in 1956, ownership of Home passed to her daughters, who remained resident at the house. [26]

The Lamb family business – known both as Edwards and Lambs and simply Lamb’s – operated successfully into the mid-20th century, as one of the renowned Queensland draperies which dominated the state’s retailing market until the 1950s. From the small Queen Street store, it expanded to a large commercial operation with a mail order business for country customers, and was ‘always assured of patronage, especially from country people, who know they are dealing with a reputable establishment’.[27] Until 1921 it relied on word-of-mouth, rather than advertising, for its business. Edwards and Lambs’ premises were extended in 1932 and 1938, doubling the floor size and improving the layout, until it developed a ‘world-wide reputation’ by 1949. A Victory Farm was established at Holland Park during WWII, changing to flowers after the war to decorate the business premises. The Lamb brothers also continued to operate Edwards and Lamb with attention to the welfare of its employees, providing a superannuation scheme and mutual benefits society; additional Christmas holidays; and an extra week’s pay on the firm’s 60th anniversary. As neither a private nor public company, the business was the responsibility of the Lamb brothers, and after both passed away, the firm was sold to Factors Ltd. The sale coincided with the demise of the Queensland-based retailers in the 1960s, when they were superseded by drive-in suburban shopping centres, and sold to large southern retailers.[28]

Home’s prominent position and striking style have made it a Brisbane landmark. As early as 1906 the ‘fine residence’ was considered worthy of note amongst the ‘suburban beauties’ of Kangaroo Point, and the ‘stately home’ featured as one of Brisbane’s newer homes photographed for the Queenslander in 1927.[29] Home has featured in numerous publications, including Salon, the Architectural Journal of New South Wales; Towards the Dawn; 150 years of Brisbane River Housing; architectural sketches; blog posts and tourism websites; and picture postcards of the city. Visible along two stretches of the Brisbane River, as well as from the Botanic Gardens, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and South Bank, it has attracted the attention of tourists, and the house was dramatically floodlit for the Royal Visit in 1954. In 2010, Home was recognised by the Australian Institute of Architects as a nationally significant work, as an important landmark, the best known residential work of Wilson, and arguably Brisbane’s most distinguished Queen Anne styled mansion.[30]

Home remained the property of the Lamb family until 2021, when it was sold and transferred to new owners.


Home is conspicuously situated at the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, overlooking the South Brisbane and Town reaches of the Brisbane River, at the south end of the Brisbane suburb of Kangaroo Point. The 0.36ha, irregular shaped site hugs the adjacent corner block at the southwest, with the primary street frontage to Leopard Street at the east, and a service frontage to Wild Street at the south. All other sides are bounded by residential properties. The place comprises a masonry residence, approached by a curved entrance drive leading from Leopard Street, and is set within developed grounds with outbuildings, a tennis court, built landscape features and mature vegetation.

The grand two-storey residence is an inner-city landmark due to its form, scale, orientation and elevated site. The place has extensive views of Brisbane central business district (CBD), Kangaroo Point and the Brisbane River; and is highly visible from many parts of the Brisbane CBD, the Brisbane River and its various bridges, Kangaroo Point, and the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens.

Features of state-level heritage significance are:

  • ‘Home’ - Residence (1902-03)
  • Service wing (1902-03), attached to the west side of the residence
  • Garage (c1922-25)
  • Front boundary fence and entrance gates to Leopard Street
  • Entrance drive leading from Leopard Street, past the residence’s front entrance, to the garage
  • Tennis court and pavilion, including associated masonry fence
  • Boundary fence and service driveway to Wild Street
  • Landscape features, including mature trees and garden remnants
  • Setting, with views to, from and between the place and surrounding areas

‘Home’ - Residence (1902-03)

The two-storey residence is of brick construction with a tiled roof, a southeast observatory tower, and ground and first floor verandahs to its north, east and west sides. The residence addresses its surroundings, with prominent gable-ends facing southeast toward the entrance driveway, and northeast toward the Town Reach of the Brisbane River. A first floor verandah on the northwest elevation provides views up the South Brisbane Reach of the river. 

The main entrance to the residence is through a portico centred on the southeast elevation. Vertically aligned with the observatory tower, the portico features a moulded concrete segmental (curved) pediment to the ground floor and a closed swan-neck pediment to the first floor.

The place has features typical of the Federation-era Queen Anne style, including its: asymmetrical form; dominant roof-form with gables and an observation tower; terracotta-tiled roof; terracotta chimney pots; half-timbered detailing to gable ends; and ornamental timber posts, brackets and valances. Its red and red-brown face brick exterior walls contrast with extensive concrete mouldings, timberwork and ornamentation.

The internal arrangement of rooms is hierarchical, with public and service rooms to the ground floor, and private rooms to the first floor. The rooms on both floors radiate around a central staircase and hall. Entered via a vestibule which leads to a central staircase and features a lavatory to one side, the ground floor comprises a northeastern drawing room connected to a northwestern dining room; a southeastern morning room; and a southwestern kitchen, scullery and link to the service wing. The first floor contains six bedrooms with an eastern bathroom. The larger first floor rooms are the principal bedrooms. The secondary bedrooms are of a smaller size at the west side of the house and adjacent to a housemaid’s and press store.

Further delineation of the hierarchy between principal rooms (dining room, drawing room, morning room, four larger bedrooms, and staircase / vestibule) and service rooms is revealed in the fabric finishes and room sizes; with the comparative dimensions and relationships between rooms reflecting designated functions of early 20th century living.  The principal rooms are generally larger and feature elaborate finishes, such as pressed metal ceilings and ceiling roses, and wide hardwood timber skirting boards and architraves. Fireplaces are located in the dining room, drawing room, morning room, and the two largest bedrooms. The service rooms are smaller and have simpler finishes, such as narrower skirting boards and architraves, and softwood timbers. Service fireplaces are located in the kitchen and scullery; and a service stair is separated from the main stairwell.

Features of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Original location and orientation
  • Sub-floor face brick perimeter screen and stumps
  • Double brick exterior walls, mostly of red-brown face brick laid in English and stretcher bonds with struck pointing; with red face brick bands and headers with tuck pointing
  • Roof, including:

form: double-ridged roof,  hipped and Dutch-gabled to the southwest end, and hipped and gabled to the northeast end; with a transverse hip which aligns with the observatory tower; a transverse gable to the southeast; and separate verandah roofs

terracotta tile roof cladding; timber roof framing; and lead flashing

prominent gable-ends to the northeast and southeast elevations of rough-cast render, with half-timbered detailing, timber bargeboards, and timber brackets

rainwater goods: ogee-profile galvanised iron gutters (24 gauge) with galvanised iron brackets, and galvanised iron downpipes (some have octagonal rain-heads)

light-well to southeast ridge (now boarded over)

protruding chimneys: face brick flues with moulded terracotta chimney pots

open eaves, with exposed timber framing over timber board linings

  • Observatory tower, including:

pyramid, terracotta-tiled roof, with timber roof framing, and finial

open eaves, with exposed timber framing over timber board linings

red-brown face brick walls, open to the upper section for views

moulded concrete balustrade

concrete floor

access passageway with corrugated iron (small profile) wall cladding and hardwood timber stair

Cement render finish to front portico columns, arches, cornices and pediments; chimney caps; and the front stair side walls

Moulded concrete ornamental details, including the word ‘HOME’ surrounded by a moulded leaf detail to the front portico; a circular motif over the first floor portico pediment; dentil detail to ground floor portico pediment; scroll motifs to gable-ends; detailed balustrades to portico and observatory tower

  • Verandahs and verandah detailing, including:

shot-edged timber floorboards to ground floor; and tongue-and groove (T&G) timber floorboards to first floor

corrugated galvanised iron (small profile) sheet-cladding to ground floor ceiling; and T&G V-jointed (VJ) timber boards to first floor ceiling

chamfered top plates

turned and detailed verandah posts with collars

valance, including: arched hardwood brackets between posts (solid timber to the ground floor, and VJ timber boards to the first floor); timber spindles; and hardwood fascia boards

timber weatherboard cladding to frieze between ground and first floor verandahs, lined internally with VJ timber boards

cast iron panelled balusters of a decorative design

chamfered timber handrail

tessellated tiles to front porch (stair to porch specified as having slate treads)

  • Windows: most have chiselled freestone sills and cedar frames and include:

bay windows to dining room and main bedroom on northeast elevation

other original windows, most with double-hung sashes

leadlight glazing to skylight, front door, vestibule door, cloak room (potentially the lavatory) window, small windows to dining room fireplace; bathroom windows; some verandah doors, and fanlights over dining room and drawing room windows

  • Doors: generally with 3 inch (76mm) hardwood lintels. Mostly of cedar with hardwood frames and slate steps to exterior; and of cedar (to principal rooms, hall and staircase) and pine (to other rooms) to interior; including:

panelled cedar front entrance door with barrel bolts

panelled cedar, half-glazed door to rear walkway and to first floor verandah

cedar door to scullery

panelled cedar doors with finger plates to drawing room, dining room, hall and breakfast room

cedar, half-glazed vestibule door with lead lights, centre-pivoting fanlights and brass bolts

panelled cedar doors to bathroom and wash-house

cedar doors with finger plates between first floor hall and bedrooms

panelled timber sliding door between dining room and drawing room, with metal runners

panelled pine doors to kitchen, scullery and pantry doors

pine doors to two smaller bedrooms and to cupboards

timber ledged door adjacent stair to observatory tower from first floor verandah

  • Original interior layout, including hierarchical arrangement, size and relationships between rooms, and hierarchical decorative treatment of rooms
  • Timber joinery, including:

timber shutters to most windows and verandah-facing exterior doors

skirtings: 12in (305mm) cedar to dining room, drawing room and staircase; 10 inch (254mm) to morning room,  cloak room, staircase and the four principal bedrooms; 10 inch (254mm) pine to kitchen and back room passage; and 8 inch (203mm) pine to all other rooms

architraves: 7 inch (178mm) cedar to staircase, drawing room and dining room; 6 inch (152mm) cedar to breakfast room and four principal bedrooms; and 5 inch (127mm) to all other openings

cedar central staircase with handrail, turned newels, turned balusters, stringers, carved details, and panelled cedar to underside (stair soffit)

separate timber staircase leading to observatory tower

built-in cedar seats with leather upholstery (location is unconfirmed)

hardwood mantle-pieces (specified as cedar, bean tree or ‘other fancy woods’)

pine shelves over kitchen and scullery fireplaces

  • Floors: timber (pine) to most interior spaces (some historically carpeted, current finish is unconfirmed); tiled concrete to bathroom
  • Ceilings: pressed metal to dining room, drawing room, porch, staircase, vestibule and breakfast room, with metal cornices; plaster ceilings to most other rooms (no cornice to toilet, pantries, kitchen and scullery)

ceiling roses to dining room, drawing room, and the four principal bedrooms

  • Walls and mouldings (including arches and some cornices): generally plaster

timber dado panelling (specified as ‘cedar or other fancy woods such as bean tree’) to main hall and dining room

  • Picture rails
  • Bathroom and lavatory finishes: lavatory stand (basin) with white marble tops and panelled cedar vanity (with removable panels to access plumbing); glazed wall tiles to bathroom
  • Plumbing: early bath, sinks, cistern (roof space), water tanks and pipes
  • Walkway to service wing:

terracotta tile skillion roof 

timber square posts, bargeboards, stair and end-cheeks

timber lattice screen enclosure

Service Wing

The service wing is located west of the residence, and is linked by a covered walkway and small stair. It is a single-storey masonry building with a gable roof, and comprises three rooms: a wash-house at the south, a central fuel store and earth closets (toilets) to the north.

Features of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Physical location and visual relationship of the Service Wing with the residence, including covered walkway connection
  • Terracotta tiled, gable roof
  • Red-brown face brick exterior walls
  • Face brick interior walls with struck and cut pointing, and lime-washed
  • Panelled cedar doors
  • Timber-framed windows
  • Early wash tubs


Located at the south end of the site, immediately adjacent Wild Street, the garage is a single-storey masonry building. Car access is via the driveway to the northeast, with an additional door to the northwest.

Features of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Terracotta tiled, Dutch-gable roof; with gables of a contrasting white colour
  • Red-brown face brick exterior walls, laid in a stretcher bond
  • Timber fascias
  • Ogee-profiled metal gutters
  • Two side-hinged, double garage doors facing the driveway
  • Half-glazed timber door, with obscured glazing

Front boundary fence and entrance gates

The front boundary fence and entrance gates are located along the Leopard Street boundary. 

Features of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Stepped base of navy blue / black bricks
  • Polychromatic brickwork of white and red stripes to posts
  • Concrete caps to posts, topped with a concrete spheres
  • Four decorative wrought iron gates between posts, providing access to entrance driveway
  • Red-brown bricks to fence, laid in a stretcher bond to lower section; and in an arched detail to upper section
  • Concrete capping between upper and lower sections of the fence, and to top rail

Entrance driveway

The entrance driveway leads from the front entrance gates, past the front entrance to the residence, and terminates at the garage. It has a sealed surface and edging.

Tennis Court and Pavilion, including Northwest Fence

The tennis court is located adjacent to Leopard Street, in an open area southeast of the entrance driveway. On its southwest side is a timber-framed pavilion with a terracotta tiled gable roof; and along its northwest side is a face brick fence, which is detailed to match the front boundary fence.

The recent chain-wire fence surrounding the court is not of cultural heritage significance.

Boundary fence and service driveway to Wild Street

Along the Wild Street boundary is a timber-framed fence and gate. The gate opens onto a service driveway that leads from the street, curves around a tree and terminates at the southwest side of the residence (the driveway’s surface is unconfirmed).

Landscape Features

The house is set within substantial established grounds, with mature landscaping, trees and gardens.

Features of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Three mature fig (Ficus benjamina) trees along the Leopard Street boundary (their canopies extend into the Road Reserve)
  • A mature tree (unconfirmed species) adjacent to the curve of the entrance driveway (formerly matching a tree on the other side of the entrance drive)
  • A mature frangipani (Plumeria sp.) tree northeast of the residence
  • Two mature camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) trees along the southeast boundary, adjacent to the entrance driveway and northeast of the garage
  • A mature poinciana (Delonix regia) tree adjacent the service driveway
  • Stone garden and driveway edging
  • Remnants of what was likely a kitchen garden on the northwest side of the garage; including concrete footpaths
  • Footpaths along the northeast and southwest sides of the residence

Views and setting

Standing at the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, the residence is a highly visible in its riverside and garden setting. Its distinctive form, scale, siting and elevation enhance its landmark status as a part of inner-city Brisbane and its prominence from various viewing points.

Views of state-level cultural heritage significance include to, from and between the residence and the following locations:

  • To, from and between the Brisbane River – along the entire Town Reach, and most of the way along the South Brisbane Reach
  • To the Brisbane CBD
  • From Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park at its projecting lookout
  • From the Clem Jones Promenade at Southbank
  • From and between Southeast Freeway where it crosses the Captain Cook Bridge
  • From and between the Goodwill Bridge
  • To, from and between the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens at the Bunya Walk

Note: This description is based on an inspection of the exterior features of the place from publicly accessible locations, a desktop survey of the site [31] and historical sources such as information provided in the original specification by AB Wilson. [32] While further detailed inspection, analysis and research may be required to confirm the below information, there appears to be no evidence of major extensions or alterations to the place.


[1] Queensland Places: Kangaroo Point,, accessed 13 June 2019.
[2] These include the extant Shafston House, begun in 1852 for Henry Stuart Russel [QHR 600241]; WR Thornton’s pre-fabricated Tremerne (1855); Nunnington, on Main Street, for the Darvall family (resumed in the 1930s for the construction of the Story Bridge); Captain Collins’ Montpellier, also on Main Street; Ernest Goetz’s Hilderstone (1866, replaced 1887, removed for Mt Olivet Hospital c1960s); Hamerton, for Surveyor-General William Tully (also resumed in the 1930s for the construction of the Story Bridge); Edward Lord’s Edenbank (c1844); and Silverwells, or Mornington, for Joseph Thompson, 1860s [QHR 600243]. Queenslander 13 February 1930 p50, 15 May 1930 p41, 18 September 1930 p7, 18 December 1930 p37; Telegraph 8 June 1935 p11.
[3] Brisbane Courier 15 August 1891 p4; Sunday Mail 13 March 1938 p34.
[4] McKellar’s Map, Sheet 8, 1895; Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Kangaroo Point Cliffs [QHR 602400].
[5] Brisbane City Council Heritage Database, Rockfield, 19 Leopard Street; Queensland Globe, 2019; Queensland Places, ‘Kangaroo Point’, accessed 17 June 2019; Certificates of Title, 10942154, 10942155 and 10722191; Nornan S Pixley, ‘The Gardens Reach of the Brisbane River: Kangaroo Point – Past and Present’, Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Vol 7 Issue 3, 1965, pp600-621.
[6] The drapers operating predominantly from large stores either in Queen Street (Finney and Isles, Allan and Stark) or Fortitude Valley (TC Beirne, McWhirters and Overells), with McDonnell and East in George Street. Entries on the Queensland Heritage Register, TC Beirne Complex and Fortuneland Centre [601395], McDonnell & East Ltd Building [600120]; Myer Store (former) [600136]; David Jones [600142]; Queensland Places: Brisbane and Greater Brisbane,, accessed 19 June 2019; Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Heritage Trails: Explore the Vibrant Valley, 2013; Simon Miller, ‘A Scotsman, an Irishman and a Tasmanian set up shop’, SLQ Blogs,, 26 March 2013.
[7] W Frederic Morrison, The Aldine History of Queensland, Illustrated, Sydney: The Aldine Publishing Company, 1888, Vol 2, pp293-4.
[8] Bradley Bowden, ‘“Harmony… between the Employer and Employed”: Employer Support for Union Formation in Brisbane, 1857-90’, Labour History No 97, Nov 2009, pp106&117; Queensland Government, Our First Half Century: A review of Queensland Progress based upon official information, Brisbane: Government Printer, 1909, pp177-8; M. R. MacGinley, 'McDonnell, Francis (Frank) (1863–1928)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1986, accessed online 12 June 2019; Worker 7 August 1890 p10, 19 September 1891 p3, 20 January 1894 p3, 28 March 1896 p9 and 15 May 1924 p13.
[9] Telegraph 7 September 1897 p5; Truth 27 November 1949 p33; Brisbane Courier 25 January 1899 p4; Queensland Historic birth, death and marriage records, Reg nos C1627, B19, B2965 and B5261; Queensland Post Office Directories, 1900-3.
[10] Entries on the Queensland Heritage Register: Waterton [602340], Raymont Lodge [600051], Endrim [650071], Clayfield House [602452], Cremorne [600218], Feniton [650078], and Weemalla [602820].
[11] Donald Watson and Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th century, South Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1994, pp208-211; Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Como; ‘Alexander Brown Wilson (1857-1938), Wilson Architects,, accessed 12 June 2019; ‘The President of the Queensland Institute, 1911-1912’, The salon: Being the journal of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales, Vol 1 No 4 (Jan-Feb 1913), p245; Australian Institute of Architects, ‘Nationally Significant 20th century Architecture: Home, Kangaroo Point’, 2010.
[12] Robert Riddel, ‘Sheeted in Iron: Queensland’ in Trevor Howells, Towards the Dawn: Federation Architecture in Australia 1890-1915, Sydney: Hale & Ironmonger, 1989, pp108-127; Beth Wilson, Brisbane houses with gardens: the story of the people who built them, 2018, p100; Richard Apperley, Robert Irving, Peter Reynolds, A pictorial guide to identifying Australian architecture: styles and forms from 1788 to the present, 1989, pp132-35.
[13] Wilson, Brisbane houses with gardens, 2018, p100.
[14] Alexander Wilson, Specification of Workmanship and Materials required in building a residence of Brick, Kangaroo Point, September 1901, Wilson Architects Collection, UQ Fryer Library manuscript collection, UQFL112, C11; and Plan for Brick Residence, River Terrace, UQFL112, Job 250.
[15] Photographs, ‘Home, a Kangaroo Point residence, ca. 1904’, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, image number 61090; and ‘Home, also known as Lamb House, Kangaroo Point, ca. 1904’, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, image number 68061.
[16] Alexander Wilson, Specification of Workmanship and Materials required in building a residence of Brick, Kangaroo Point, September 1901, Wilson Architects Collection, UQ Fryer Library manuscript collection, UQFL112, C11; and Plan for Brick Residence, River Terrace, UQFL112, Job 250.
[17] Brisbane Courier 23 June 1902 p5.
[18] Telegraph 8 March 1902 p1; Wilson Architects Collection, contract book, UQ Fryer Library manuscript collection, UQFL 112.
[19] Certificates of title, 10942154, 10942155 and 10722191; Job 250: Plan for brick residence, block plan, wall and gates, Wilson Architects Collection, UQ Fryer Library manuscript collection, UQFL112, H18.1-1; BCC Archives, City of South Brisbane, Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Detail Plan No 46 (1923); BCC Archives, Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Surveyors Notebook No 340c, Block 46.
[20] Telegraph 15 April 1903 p8; Queensland Post Office Directory, 1903, p905.
[21] Queensland historic birth records, Reg No B9878; Electoral Roll 1906, South Brisbane, pp54&66; Telegraph 18 January 1906 p6 and 6 May 1910 p7.
[22] Sunday Mail 11 November 1928 p23.
[23] Telegraph 10 January 1914 p11; The Week 19 December 1919 p17; Telegraph 8 June 1935 p15; Queensland Places: Kangaroo Point. Edgecliffe, built circa 1899, was removed in 1986: Brian Williams, ‘Anger builds at the edge’, Courier Mail 19 April 2004 p9.
[24] AB Wilson Accounts Book 1884-1914, UQ Fryer Library Manuscript collection, UQFL112; BCC Archives, City of South Brisbane, Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Detail Plan No 46 (1923); BCC Archives, Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Surveyors Notebook No 340c, Block 46; QImagery, aerial image, 1 September 1942, MAP317422979.
[25] QImagery, aerial images, 1 September 1942, MAP317422979; 23 August 1951, BCC000539367; 9 October 1960, QAP1074008.
[26] Certificates of Title 10942155, 10788093 and 10942154; Telegraph 14 February 1927 p16, 20 September 1933 p16; Courier Mail 18 September 1935 p21; Queensland historic marriages records; Truth 27 November 1949 p34; Queensland Electoral Rolls, 1934-1943.
[27] Worker 8 November 1933 p11.
[28] Daily Mail 9 March 1922 p10; Truth 27 November 1949 pp34-5; Telegraph 9 December 1940 p11; Courier Mail 6 November 1941 p6; Truth 27 November 1949 p35; Canberra Times 12 May 1966 p15; Queensland historic death records, registration numbers B15191 and B37967; Entries on the Queensland Heritage Register, TC Beirne Complex and Fortuneland Centre [601395], McDonnell & East Ltd Building [600120]; Queensland Places: Brisbane and Greater Brisbane,, accessed 19 June 2019; Brisbane City Council, Brisbane Heritage Trails: Explore the Vibrant Valley, 2013.
[29] Brisbane Courier 15 September 1906 p12; Queenslander 11 August 1927 p24.
[30] Brisbane Telegraph 5 March 1954 p18; Australian Institute of Architects, ‘Home, Kangaroo Point’, Nationally Significant 20th century architecture’, 2010; State Library of Queensland, David Phillips collection, Map Cabinet 4C/39-C9 Folder 11; The salon: Being the journal of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales, Vol 1 No 4 (Jan-Feb 1913), p221; ‘Lamb House’, Your Brisbane Past and Present, 1 April 2009,, accessed 19 June 2019; ‘Lamb House, Kangaroo Point’, Must Do Brisbane,, accessed 19 June 2019. Home is one of only two Queensland residences of national significance from the early 20th century, and one of twenty Queensland buildings recognised to be of national significance (Australian Institute of Architects, ‘Notable architecture’,, accessed 19 June 2019); Postcard, ‘The Quarries, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Q’, undated, via Flickr; Photographs, ‘Two homes at Kangaroo Point, 1933’, Picture Queensland, State Library of Queensland, negative number 158561; and UQ eSpace, ‘View of Cliffside Flats from Upper River Terrace, Brisbane, 1937’, Photographs of construction of Cliffside Flats, 1936-1937, F3769, image 15. 

[31] Daily Telegraph, ‘Lamb House owner denies developer claims’ [video], 12 June 2019, <>; 9 News Queensland, ‘Saving Lamb House’ [video], 12 June 2019, <>
[32] UQFL112, Specification of Workmanship and material required in building residence of brick, Kangaroo Point, Sept 1901

Image gallery


Location of Home within Queensland
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Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 February 2022