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  • 600262
  • 186 Moray Street, New Farm


Also known as
Archibald House
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Residential: Villa
6.4 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Dwellings
10.3 Providing health and welfare services: Caring for women and children
Wilson, Alexander Brown
Construction periods
1884–1885, Glenugie (1884 - 1885)
1884–1885, Glenugie - Main house (1884 - 1885)
1884–1885, Glenugie - Service wing (1884 - 1885)
unknown, Glenugie - Garden/Grounds
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century


186 Moray Street, New Farm
Brisbane City Council
-27.47079998, 153.04427649


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

As an unusual timber version of the large two-storey verandahed houses fashionable in the 1880s.

For its projecting gables, ornate verandah treatment and the exclusive use of timber for both interior and exterior walls which contribute to a composition pleasing in design, scale and detail.

As a rare surviving example of the large houses built in New Farm in the late nineteenth century.

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

As an unusual timber version of the large two-storey verandahed houses fashionable in the 1880s.

As a rare surviving example of the large houses built in New Farm in the late nineteenth century.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

For its projecting gables, ornate verandah treatment and the exclusive use of timber for both interior and exterior walls which contribute to a composition pleasing in design, scale and detail.


This two storey, timber house at 186 Moray Street, New Farm, dating from 1884-5, was designed by Brisbane architect Alexander Brown Wilson for Joseph (also known as James) M Davis. It later became the home of businessman and politician John Archibald MLC. From 1930 until 1980 it was used by the Presbyterian and Methodist churches as hostel accommodation for girls.  

The New Farm area was traditionally the land of the Jagera and Turrbal peoples. After the Moreton Bay penal settlement was established on the Brisbane River in 1825, in the late 1820s food was grown on the river flats between today’s Merthyr Road and the southeast end of the New Farm peninsula. Following free settlement of Brisbane in 1842, the New Farm peninsula was surveyed and sold in the 1840s for cultivation and livestock, as well as residences for Queensland’s pastoralists, merchants and politicians. In the late 1850s, subdivision of allotments overlooking the Shafston Reach of the Brisbane River, at the northwest end of Bowen Terrace, resulted in the construction of villas for Brisbane’s business leaders during the 1860s, and more of Brisbane’s wealthy inhabitants moved to New Farm, in the 1870s. The subdivision of New Farm intensified in the 1880s, and transport improvements also encourages closer settlement. Horse-drawn trams ran along Brunswick Street to just past Langshaw Street by 1895, and the electrification of this line occurred in 1897.[1] 

After several subdivisions of the larger Eastern Suburban Allotment (ESA) 19, Joseph Mandelson Davis bought re-subdivisions 139 and 140 of subdivision 4 of section 11 in April 1885. On this land, totalling 29½ perches and fronting Moray Street, Glenugie was built. Davis appears to be resident at Glenugie by December 1885 when windows were broken by a vandal and the birth of his son at Glenugie was reported in the Brisbane Courier in August 1886.[2]

Glenugie was one of the boom-era homes of the affluent middle classes – well-appointed and comfortable with generously-sized rooms. It was two-storeyed but built of timber rather than masonry, with drawing room, dining room, three large bedrooms, pantry, laundry, kitchen and servant’s room. Joseph M Davis lived at Glenugie until circa 1888 when the property was purchased by Brisbane butcher, Thomas Joseph Mooney who, in the years that followed, accumulated adjacent land (to the west and the rear) creating a more spacious setting for the house.[3]

Glenugie’s architect, AB Wilson (1856-1938), worked in the private practice of Colonial Architect, FDG Stanley, and studied in England, before beginning his own architectural practice in Brisbane in 1884. He maintained a long and distinguished career until his retirement in 1928. He was responsible for buildings such as Kinauld on Dornoch Terrace [QHR 600225], Leckhampton at Kangaroo Point [QHR600246], the Plough Inn at Southbank [QHR600294] and the Railway Hotel, Gympie [QHR602540].

After several owners, Glenugie became the home of John Archibald and his family in 1901 when Archibald purchased the property. After a varied career as teacher, retail manager, clerk of petty sessions, police magistrate and gold warden, Archibald became a partner in Barnes, Archibald & Co, which operated flour-mills on the Darling Downs. After selling his interest in the partnership he formed a partnership with Samuel Crowther in December 1895 and floated the Dominion Milling Co Ltd. He joined the boards of Carricks Ltd, Queensland Trustees Ltd and the Daily Mail Newspaper Co. In 1896 Archibald stood for Warwick in the Legislative Assembly but withdrew in favour of T J Byrnes. He was called to the Legislative Council in the following year by the Premier Sir Hugh Nelson. Archibald was a lay member of the Methodist Church and a Freemason. He was also interested in local government, serving as mayor of Warwick in 1890 and 1897 and alderman 1890-7. Archibald died at Glenugie on 20 May 1907.[4]

After Archibald’s death his estate was valued for probate at £34,642, most of which was left to his widow Frances Amelia, nee Herbert whom he had married at Harrisville on 19 January 1872. He was survived by three sons and four daughters.[5] In 1907 Glenugie was transferred to Queensland Trustees Ltd and Archibald’s eldest son Robert John Archibald. Mrs Archibald and her unmarried children remained resident at the property. Twice during the 1920s – in 1920 and 1926 – Glenugie was offered for sale.[6]

The property was not sold at this time. Mrs Archibald was resident at Glendower, Teneriffe in January 1929. In 1929, she proposed the family donate the residence to the Presbyterian and Methodist churches to be run as a hostel for girls.[7] She continued to attend Brisbane social events into the 1930s and eventually passed away in 1944.[8]

A period of severe housing shortage in Brisbane occurred during the 1920s and 1930s, due mainly to an increasingly buoyant Queensland economy and substantial population growth, as a result of both natural increase and immigration. Demand for new housing to reach unprecedented levels. The rising Brisbane population combined with a substantial fall in the numbers of workers cottages being constructed, created a severe housing shortage. Also, rising rates, maintenance and related costs forced many owners to convert larger houses into flats and to subdivide large parcels of land. Purpose-designed apartment buildings emerged as a new form of residential accommodation in Brisbane during the 1920s. The large suburban estates of New Farm, like Glenugie, attracted developers and residents alike, drawn by the proximity of the suburb to Brisbane’s CBD, its retail facilities and public transport. Consequently, New Farm became a densely-populated inner-city suburb with many apartment blocks such as the Julius Street Flats being erected during the interwar period.[9]

Glenugie followed this trend of high density usage when it became a hostel for girls run by the Presbyterian and Methodist churches, renamed Archibald House, in August 1930. The Archibald’s had originally suggested the house be converted into a hospital, but regulations prohibited the use of the two-storey timber dwelling as hospital. The churches contributed £1,000 each towards renovations.  The new hostel could accommodate between 30 and 36 girls, and was intended as accommodation for country girls who had come to Brisbane to work or study. Single, double rooms or dormitories were available at ‘low charges’ and in ‘congenial surroundings’.[10] Two of the Archibald daughters served on the hostel committee, hosting musical fundraisers for improvements including a piano and tennis court, the latter added to the Herbert Street frontage in 1938.

By 1940 the hostel was deemed a financial and ecumenical success, as well as meeting a community need.[11] In June 1942 the property, which had been held by the Archibald family trust, was transferred to trustees under the Methodist Model Deed of Queensland and the Presbyterian Church of Queensland.[12]

When the W. R. Black home was evacuated during World War II, the older girls were sent to Archibald House. If there were no family members to take them in when they reached working age, they remained under the care of the Home Committee until they turned 21. Presbyterian Church records indicate that older girls from the Church-run 'out-of-care' institutions were sent to Archibald House to board in the 1940s. It became a permanent home for those girls working in Brisbane.[13]

The hostel remained busy in the post-war period. Glenugie continued to operate as a hostel for girls until 1980 after which it was sold and returned to use as a private residence. A photograph taken at the time of its sale shows it with enclosed verandahs.[14]

In 1988 Glenugie was advertised for sale after being renovated and the accompanying photograph showed the house with its verandahs re-opened. It was advertised for sale again in 1991, and reverted to use as a private residence. [15] In 2020 Glenugie continues to be used as a private residence.


Glenugie is a large two-storeyed timber house with a substantial double storey kitchen wing at the rear, attached by a verandah. The house sits on low brick piers linked by honeycomb infill brick screens.

There are double verandahs on all four sides and along the eastern side of the kitchen wing. While the front and side verandahs have cast-iron posts, balusters and valances, the back and kitchen wing verandahs have been enclosed with hopper windows.

There are two double storey gabled projections which interrupt the verandahs on the front and western elevations, and a single one on the upper floor at the rear. These have bay windows with elaborate awnings and timber valances, and pierced barge boards on the gables. The hipped roof of corrugated iron incorporates the three gables, two chimneys and numerous ventilators.

The external walls of the house are chamferboard while internal walls and ceilings are lined with beaded pine boards and feature cedar joinery.


[1] ‘Feniton’, QHR 650078
[2] DERM titles; Brisbane Courier 8 December 1885 p.1, and 3 August 1886 p4; Qld Birth Register 1886/B36964.
[3] Courier Mail 8 February 1888; Bennett, in Brisbane: Houses, Gardens, Suburbs and Congregations, p158; Brisbane Courier 8 December 1885 and 2 February 1888 p.8; DERM titles.
[4] DERM titles; 'Archibald, John (1845–1907)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1979, accessed 19 August 2010 and 5 December 2017; Brisbane Courier, 21 May 1907 p.5, 21 May 1907 p.5 and 22 May 1907 p.6.
[5] 'Archibald, John (1845–1907)', Australian Dictionary of Biography.
[6] DERM titles; Brisbane Courier 6 November 1920, and 6 November 1926.
[7] Telegraph 12 March 1929 p2; Brisbane Courier 4 August 1930, p.14.Telegraph 12 March 1929 p2; Brisbane Courier 4 August 1930 p14.
[8] Brisbane Courier 20 June 1929, p.22; Queensland Death Register 44/B67036.
[9] QHR601895 Julius Street Flats, New Farm.
[10] Telegraph 4 December 1930, p.15; Sunday Mail 8 November 1931 p.15.
[11] Telegraph 6 March 1940, p.15.
[12] Brisbane Courier, 5 July 1930 p.8, 10 July 1930 p.16 and 1 August 1930 p.9; DERM titles.
[14] Courier Mail, 8 February 1981.
[15] Courier Mail, 12 February 1988; Greater Brisbane Real Estate, v1,n24, 19 Jul 1991.

Image gallery


Location of Glenugie within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 February 2022