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  • 600498
  • 58 Fulham Street, Toogoolawah


Also known as
Bellambi; World Ramblings
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Residential: Detached house
6.4 Building settlements, towns, cities and dwellings: Dwellings
Burley, John Henry
Menzies, DA
Construction period
1917, Inverness (1917 - 1917)
Historical period
1914–1919 World War I
Arts & Crafts


58 Fulham Street, Toogoolawah
Somerset Regional Council
-27.08871202, 152.37187067


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

Inverness, built in Toogoolawah in 1917 by the Nestlé and Anglo Swiss Condensed Milk Company as a substantial architect-designed residence for its factory manager, is important in demonstrating the development of the dairy industry in the Brisbane Valley, one of Queensland’s earliest dairying regions. Toogoolawah played a key role in the evolution of Queensland’s dairy industry, as the home of Queensland’s first successful condensed milk factory (1898-1907) and the first international factory of the Nestlé and Anglo Swiss Condensed Milk Company (1907-1930). Inverness is important surviving evidence of the once-prominent industry.

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

Inverness, a notable example of the domestic work of well-respected Queensland architect John Henry Burley, is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a substantial, early-20th century villa residence. A single storey, timber house in a garden setting, Inverness is a fine and intact example of its type, displaying high quality workmanship and materials, and retaining its formal plan, with entrance portico, hierarchical arrangement of generously sized rooms, and surrounding verandah.

A late variation of Federation-era domestic architecture, the place is a good and intact example of a timber bungalow house in a Federation style in Queensland. Characteristics of this type include: its lowset form; timber construction; asymmetrical plan with protruding bays and rooms; Arts and Crafts influences, such as terracotta roof ridge caps and acroteria; complex roof form with pedimented gables; elaborate verandah details; leadlight glazing. Variations within the type include the use of contemporary fibrous-cement materials to the roof and to the walls and ceilings of primary rooms.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Inverness is important for its Federation aesthetic, sited on a hill-top, well back from the road and with views to and from the place across a large and attractive garden setting and circular entry drive. The place fluently combines Arts and Crafts and Classical elements in a pleasingly proportioned asymmetrical form, featuring wide verandahs with elaborate timber details, a protruding entrance porch, and a dominant roof clad in diamond patterned fibre-cement tiles and ornamented with terracotta features and timber gables. Through its intactness externally and internally, the place demonstrates fine architectural quality and a skilful arrangement of generous and refined formal and informal spaces that evoke a sense of an earlier, gracious lifestyle.


Inverness, Toogoolawah, was erected in 1917 for the Nestlé & Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company Limited, as the residence for their condensed milk factory manager. It was designed by prolific Brisbane architect John Henry Burley, and was named by its first occupants, the Munro family. It served as the factory manager’s residence until the enterprise was closed in 1931, and a caretaker took up residence. It was sold into private ownership in 1948.

Queensland’s dairying industry emerged in the late 19th century from small-scale domestic production to become one of the state’s principal primary industries by the interwar period. Its growth was encouraged by closer settlement of Queensland’s squatting runs, improved milk testing and processing technology, financial incentives under the Meat and Dairy Board Act 1893, and education in the form of a government ‘travelling dairy’. Sown pastures such as paspalum and Rhodes grass and the cultivation of fodder, also improved milk yields and provided adequate feed during the less productive months of winter. The extension of Queensland's rural railway network – essential for dairy products to reach their desired markets – facilitated the establishment of local butter and cheese factories in close proximity to railway lines.[1]

Dairying became prevalent in the Brisbane Valley, a region of fertile land located near the source of the Brisbane River system. Traditionally part of Yuggera and Ugarapul country, pastoral runs were established in the region from the early 1840s. The earliest of these was the McConnel family’s 240 square mile Cressbrook Run, selected in 1841. The McConnels built a homestead and established a successful cattle station before portions of the run were resumed for selection in the 1870s. Pastoral and timber industries developed, and improved transportation was provided for farmers in the region by the opening of the Brisbane Valley railway line to Lowood (1884) and Esk (1886).[2]

The ‘well-watered flats and natural grasses’ of the Brisbane Valley made it ‘most suitable for dairying purposes’,[3] and the McConnel family encouraged the establishment of the dairying industry in the region. In 1889, James McConnel invited the government’s travelling dairy to Cressbrook to demonstrate the latest techniques and methods to local farmers. He began to sell small parcels of the Cressbrook property to his workers for dairying, and in later years, offered dairy cattle for purchase, and joined local deputations agitating for the extension of the railway line from Esk to Cressbrook. In 1897 he received a grant from the Meat and Dairy Board to erect a condensery on the Cressbrook property.[4]

Milk condensing – a method of preserving milk for an indefinite period by removing its water content and adding sugar – was a new process in the 19th century. It had been invented in the 1820s by Frenchman Nicholas Appert, but the process was not refined until the mid-19th century. Commercial production spread across the United States and Europe in the 1860s. Condensed milk proved popular in Australia, but had to be imported, as manufacturing experiments undertaken in the colonies had failed. In 1886, Queensland pastoralist Colin Munro announced that he had successfully condensed milk on his Lower Burdekin property near Townsville. He began a small production line, but this ceased in the early 1890s. By 1895, Queensland was importing 686,000 tins of condensed milk per annum,  and Queensland newspapers urged the establishment of a local condensed milk production industry. The proposed Cressbrook condensery, owned and managed by McConnel and Colin Munro, was the first commercial attempt at condensed milk production in Queensland.[5]

The enterprise was launched in 1898 as the Cressbrook Dairy Company's Condensed Milk Factory. The site selected was about 4.5km southwest of the Cressbrook Homestead, on the banks of Cressbrook Creek, a tributary of the Brisbane River. Funding for construction of the factory was provided by the Meat and Dairy Board, but production was initially unsuccessful. Munro’s son, William Albert Munro, was despatched to America to inspect its factories and methods. On his return, new vacuum pans were installed at the factory, and the Cressbrook Dairy Company's Condensed Milk Factory recommenced production. William Munro was appointed factory manager, and a timber and iron manager’s residence was erected next to the factory.[6]

Production at the Cressbrook factory climbed from around 600 cases (28,800 tins) a month in 1902, to 3,500 in 1906 (168,000 tins). This expansion was spurred by the opening of the Brisbane Valley railway extension to the factory in 1904. The railway station, positioned opposite the factory, was named Toogoolawah. A village, also named Toogoolawah, grew around the factory and station, largely populated by factory employees or suppliers. Forty-six people were employed at the factory by 1906, and local dairy farms were guaranteed a market for their produce. The Cressbrook Dairy Company also purchased a small milk-condensing factory at Trelawney (Wilson’s Plains, Harrisville). William Munro’s brother Archibald Chisholm was engaged as its manager.[7]

In 1906 the European-based Nestlé and Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company (Nestlé) began investigating the possibility of opening a factory in Australia, its second-biggest market. After inspecting sites in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, it bought out the Cressbrook Dairy Company, comprising the condensed milk factory and 3,000 acres (1214ha) of land. The company also purchased sites in Victoria and New South Wales where it planned to construct condenseries. Nestlé took delivery of the Toogoolawah factory on 20 December 1907, and began production the following morning.[8]

Nestlé expanded the factory, doubled the number of employees, and rearranged the surrounding land into a small number of ‘model’ and experimental farms where dairy cattle were raised and grasses were grown. At the time, Queensland was the only place in the world in which Nestlé invested in company-owned farms. New farm managers were appointed, but the Munro family remained as factory managers: in 1909, Archibald Munro was transferred from Trelawney to manage the Toogoolawah factory. Nestlé again expanded the factory in 1913, and by 1915 had sixty suppliers in the surrounding dairy farms. It continued to market the condensed milk under the ‘Cressbrook’ brand, which was sold around Australia. Factory production rose during World War I, as European factories closed. Toogoolawah grew with the factory, its population more than doubling from 500 in 1911 to 1,100 in 1917.[9]

Nestlé provided housing for some of its workers, and in 1917 the company replaced the tin and iron factory manager’s house with a more prestigious manager’s residence. The residence was to be erected on part of Nestlé’s ‘Bellambi Farm’, on a hilltop about one kilometre northwest of the factory, adjacent to the town. Nestlé proposed using a European design for the manager’s residence, but factory manager Archibald Munro ‘insisted on using an architect locally who was familiar with the climatic conditions and requirements’.[10] Brisbane architect John Henry Burley was engaged to design the new residence.[11]

English-born John Henry Burley had arrived in Queensland in 1886. He established a sound architectural practice in Brisbane, designing buildings in southeast Queensland before his death in 1936. Burley’s work typically combined a variety of eclectic stylistic elements; and he was well-respected for his domestic designs and his knowledge and use of Queensland timbers. Notable non-extant examples of his work include the Sacred Heart Church, Rosalie (1907), Bellissima Guest House, Canungra, for the Lahey family (1916), and Pharmacy College (1921), while his surviving work includes the South Brisbane Library (1897, QHR 600302) and John Mills Himself building (1918, QHR 600084). Burley was a renowned and prolific residential designer, but only five of over 100 residences he designed throughout his 50 year career are identified to have survived, including John Mills’ Yeronga residence in 1914 (QHR 601472).[12]

The Nestlé factory manager’s residence was designed in a style characteristic of the Federation era. This eclectic and highly decorative style dominated Australia’s domestic architecture during the late 19th and early 20th century. It was influenced by contemporary British and American examples, and drew inspiration from a variety of historical styles, particularly Tudor or ‘Old English’ rural architecture. The typical Federation villa residence was a free-standing, single-storeyed bungalow set within a generous garden. It had red face brick walls, with a complex roof form of hips and projecting gables, clad in terracotta Marseilles tiles, and often punctuated by picturesque chimneys. Floor plans were asymmetrical with protruding rooms, bays or towers, and the exteriors were enlivened by a wide variety of window types and shapes, and elaborate verandah detailing. Gable ends were decorated with timber and stucco ornament, and leadlight windows displayed coloured glass in flowing patterns, demonstrating the growing influence of Art Nouveau on decorative details. In Queensland, the style was often applied to traditional timber houses with corrugated iron roofs, influencing their roof forms, timber verandah detailing and other ornamentation. The Munro family later stated that Burley described his version as an ‘Indian Bungalow’.[13]

Burley called for tenders for construction in March 1917. Local builder DA Menzies, who erected most of Toogoolawah’s buildings until the mid-1920s, was awarded the contract and completed the building in 1917. The large residence reflected the manager's status in a prosperous factory town, as well as ‘the life style which the Co [Nestlé] expected’ the manager to maintain. Like the typical Federation villa residence, it was a free-standing, single-storeyed bungalow set within a generous garden. It was fronted by a circular driveway, accessed from Fulham Street and curving around to the eastern-facing front entrance. Gate posts, likely installed at this time, marked the formal entrance. The north and eastern sides of the residence featured the primary rooms, including an entrance hall, dining, drawing and billiards rooms, and four bedrooms, all flanked externally by the large verandah, and accessed internally via an L-shaped passageway. Notable features included fireplaces, timber joinery and 3.6m high ceilings. The southern and western sides included a servant’s bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, scullery and laundry, leading to the courtyard and pump house. A cellar was accessed through stairs in the kitchen. The layout reflected the hierarchy of space employed in early 20th century residences, after which the popularity of live-in staff declined. It was reportedly erected at a cost of £3000.[14]

The residence also included some innovative features. Burley’s use of Australian-made asbestos cement roofing tiles and interior wall sheeting was amongst the earliest application of these products in Queensland. The asbestos cement product had been invented in Europe in the late 19th century, and was initially imported to Australia by James Hardie and Wunderlich Limited. In 1915, Wunderlich established a subsidiary company, Durabestos Limited, which began manufacturing the product in 1916 in a factory in Sydney. It used the logo ‘Durabestos the Durable’ with the image of a sphinx, which appeared on the diamond-patterned roof tiles at the Toogoolawah residence. Durabestos did not become widely available in Queensland until 1918, reflecting 59 year old Burley’s familiarity with material innovation.[15][16]

The Munro family – including Archibald, wife Jessie, and three young children – took up occupation in December 1917. They named the residence ‘Inverness’, after the district in Scotland from which Colin Munro had emigrated. The youngest Munro child was born at the residence in 1920, and extended family holidayed at Inverness through the 1920s. Mrs Munro, a keen gardener, had a ‘bush house’ built south of the residence, to house her tropical and epiphyte collection. Vegetable and flower garden beds were also planted, and Mrs Munro won prizes for her gardenias, snapdragons and vegetables at Toogoolawah shows. A garden fete was held at Inverness in February 1926, and a tennis court was installed by November, when the Munros hosted a ‘Boston tennis tournament’ for the funds of the Toogoolawah Presbyterian church. To help run the house, the family employed a housemaid, nursemaid, cook, laundress, and a gardener until 1928, ‘when economies began to be necessary.’[17][18]

By 1919 the Nestlé factory at Toogoolawah was ‘said to be the largest establishment of its kind in the Commonwealth.’[19] Condensed milk factories at Lowood and Colinton closed in the 1920s, giving Nestlé a monopoly in the Brisbane Valley. At the same time, as the Queenslander magazine reflected, Nestlé contributed to Queensland’s economy, spending over £4,500,000 on Queensland sugar, milk, timber and labour between 1919 and 1924. Toogoolawah continued to grow with the factory. Up to 140 people were employed at or in connection with the condensery, and Nestlé supplied the town with electricity in 1927. The town’s population peaked in 1929 with 1,500 people and 5,000 within three miles. However, in August 1929, Nestlé offered its Toogoolawah farms for sale. As the impact of the Great Depression hit, rumours began circulating of the factory’s closure. Nestlé initially reassured Toogoolawah residents that it intended to keep the condensery running, but closed the bulk of the factory in October 1930, ‘owing to the adverse trading conditions in Australia and the very high cost of production at Toogoolawah’.[20] Secondary production ceased in December 1930. Staff were transferred to Nestlé’s factory in Victoria or left in search other work, and the population of Toogoolawah halved. The Munros left Inverness in 1931. Nestlé gradually sold the Toogoolawah farms, but retained Inverness on twenty acres of land (8ha). Farm manager HW Searl remained as caretaker, hosting social events, including fundraising tennis matches for local social groups.[21]

The Searls appear to have departed Toogoolawah in the late 1930s, shortly after the last of the factory machinery was sold and removed. During World War II, female staff from Nestlé’s Brisbane office were accommodated at Inverness, and records were stored in the old factory. After the war, the residence was proposed for use as a hospital, while the hill was viewed as an ideal site for a town reservoir. Instead, in 1948 Inverness was sold to a grazier, who renamed the property ‘World Ramblings’ and undertook alterations.[22]

The unused factory was unsuccessfully offered for sale for removal in 1949. It was destroyed by fire in 1951, leaving only a packing shed intact, and the site was sold in 1956. In 2016 the packing shed was converted into the Somerset Regional Art Gallery.[23]

‘World Ramblings’ was sold again in 1951, and renamed ‘Bellambi’. Small parcels of land fronting Fulham Street were sold in the 1950s, reducing the residence site to just under 12 acres (4.8ha). Some changes were made to the residence as it was sold to new owners in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The name ‘Inverness’ was adopted again in the early 1990s. Bathrooms, the kitchen and lighting were refurbished, and a swimming pool was added to the grounds north of the residence. A pump house, erected in the rear courtyard, was removed. The site was subdivided in 2012, with Inverness on 1.74ha of land. In 2014 the original Durabestos roof tiles were replaced with like-for-like fibrous-cement roof tiles, matching the existing diamond-shape pattern and tile size. The original terracotta ridge capping and acroteria were retained. The residence was also leased for weddings from 2018.[24]

In 2020, Inverness remains a private residence and retains its Federation-era detailing.


Inverness is a detached residence that occupies a 1.745 ha hill-top site on the western edge of Toogoolawah, a town in the Brisbane Valley, approximately 75 km northwest of Brisbane. Set in spacious grounds and located approximately in the centre of the allotment, the residence is approached via an eastern circular drive from Gunyah Street (south) and Fulham Street (north). The site is bounded on the north, south and east sides by residential properties, and on the south side by Gunyah Street.

Features at Inverness of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Inverness (Residence, 1917)
  • Entry Gate Posts (c1917) and Circular Drive
  • Landscape features, including spacious grounds, tennis court extent and mature boundary trees

Inverness (Residence, 1917)

Inverness is a lowset, single-storey timber residence in a Federation-era style. It has a tiled hip roof with projecting timbered gables over the east, north and southeast sides; and its front elevation faces east toward a circular drive. The main entrance is accessed via an aligned gabled entrance porch, projecting from the front verandah and reached via lateral stairs on its north and south sides. The entrance porch and main entrance are offset toward the northern end of the elevation.

Verandahs wrap around the east, north and west sides of the residence and feature decorative timber brackets, valances and balustrades. The verandahs are accessed via the front entrance porch, smaller stairs on the north and west sides, and a secondary stair entrance at the south side of the building.

The interior layout is asymmetrical and is divided by function into distinct zones: reception / living rooms, bedrooms, and service rooms; separated from each other by hallways. The layout is formal and hierarchical, with grand reception / living rooms at the front of the house; smaller, private bedrooms toward the rear with pleasant northern aspect, and commodious service rooms and servant’s bedroom in the southwest rear corner, functionally located near the other rooms and the service areas of the grounds.

The wide formal entrance hall is flanked by a drawing room (north) and dining room (south). It accesses two narrower hallways – one leading south to a billiards room and the service rooms; and the other leading west to the four bedrooms and bathroom. The main bedroom includes an ensuite. The service zone comprises a kitchen, separate pantry, a broad enclosed verandah, a skillion-roofed lean-to laundry to the residence’s western side, and a brick cellar under the kitchen. The partition between the entrance hall and drawing room has been removed, as has a partition in the kitchen.

Features of Inverness (Residence) of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Hill-top location and east-facing orientation
  • Single-storey form, lowset on timber stumps (many stumps are recent replacements)
  • Hip roof continuous over verandahs, with projecting gables over the front entrance porch (east), side verandah entrance (north), and billiards room (southeast)
  • Roof cladding of fibrous-cement, diamond patterned tiles (originally Durabestos shingles), with decorative terracotta ridge caps and acroteria
  • Pedimented gables, and their decorative timberwork, including bargeboards, timber brackets and V-jointed (VJ) timber board cladding
  • Two tapered and rendered (unpainted) masonry chimneys
  • Exterior walls clad in timber chamferboards
  • Use of Queensland timbers in an expressive and refined Federation-era style
  • Verandah details: timber two-rail balustrades with timber slat balusters; curved timber valances (generally solid timber, and with vertical slats at verandah corners); timber posts (spaced at a smaller distance at corners) with tapered timber brackets; timber floor boards with herringbone corner joints; unlined ceilings with exposed rafters and battens, except for lined sections of VJ timber boards above verandah walls; and timber stairs and balustrades
  • Hierarchical layout and size of rooms, and hierarchical decorative treatment to rooms
  • Flat sheet interior ceiling linings with timber cover strips (square strips to most rooms; and chamfered strips to drawing room)
  • Flat sheet interior wall linings with timber cover strips to primary rooms (the patterns of the cover strips vary from room to room), with wide timber skirtings and architraves
  • VJ timber board wall linings to the kitchen, pantry and former servant’s bedroom
  • Half glazed, silky oak timber panelled front entrance door (originally clear-finished) with fanlight, featuring floral motif leadlight to glazed panels and fanlight
  • Timber French doors to verandahs with curved glazed panels, and two-light fanlights
  • Timber panelled doors to interior with obscured-glass fanlights
  • Double-hung sash windows
  • Bay window to drawing room
  • Timber window hoods clad with tiles laid in a diamond pattern (originally Durabestos shingles) to windows at the rear of the building
  • Provision of a location of fireplaces to entrance hall, dining room, and two westernmost bedrooms
  • Brick cellar under the kitchen
  • Decorative timber screen partition to entrance hall
  • Skillion-roofed lean-to laundry attached to the west side of the residence, with walls clad in timber chamferboards
  • Timber lattice screen to subfloor perimeter

Features of Inverness (Residence) not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Corrugated metal cladding to some window hoods (not original)
  • VJ timber board-clad enclosure to west verandah (not original)
  • PVC downpipes (not original)
  • ‘INVERNESS’ sign to front (east) elevation (not original)
  • Kitchen fit-out (not original)
  • Bathroom and ensuite fit-outs (not original)
  • Pressed metal ceiling lining (not original) to bedroom hallway
  • Lighting fittings and fans (not original)
  • Carpet floor lining (not original)
  • Fireplace mantelpieces (not original)

Entry Gate Posts (c1917) and Circular Drive (1917)

Two entry gate posts stand to either side of the main, eastern entrance to the residence grounds. The entrance leads west to a circular drive, which approaches the front entrance to Inverness (residence).

Features of the entry gate posts and circular drive of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Alignment of circular drive, with driveway entrance to the east and the residence to the west
  • Two square concrete gate posts to the north and south sides of the driveway entrance, approximately 1.8m high, topped with a concrete finial
  • Views from the entry gate posts, across the circular drive to the residence

Features of the entry gate posts and circular drive not of state-level cultural heritage significance:

  • Surface finish of circular drive

Landscape Features

Inverness is set within spacious grounds and gardens. Its open setting is particularly apparent to the front (east) and north sides, which allows for unobscured views of these elevations of the Residence.

An open grassed rectangular area to the west of the residence marks the location of a former tennis court.

Three mature trees stand to either side and to the south of the Entrance Drive, forming a boundary line to the residence garden.

Landscape Features of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Open setting of spacious grounds and gardens
  • Views of east and north sides of residence from grounds
  • Open grassed area, delineating location of former tennis court
  • Two mature Wild Plum trees (Harpephyllum caffrum) trees to either side of the Entrance Drive at front (eastern) entrance
  • A mature Jacaranda tree (Jacaranda sp.) to the south of the Entrance Drive at the front entrance

Landscape features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Shrubs, hedges and planter boxes
  • Metal fences and gates
  • Concrete water trough
  • Swimming pool, including associated surfaces and fences
  • Concrete water tank and associated pipes and fittings
  • Two sheds (c1971-85; and c2002-09) to the southwest of the residence


[1] Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Kingaroy Butter Factory (former) [602809].
[2] Brisbane Courier 15 September 1875 p5; Queensland Government Gazette, Vol 20 No 23, 28 February 1877, p462; Vol 36 No 77, 27 April 1885, pp1400-1; Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, AIATSIS map of Indigenous Australia, 1996,, accessed 6 May 2020; Queensland Government ‘On the right track: Esk to Toogoolawah 19km’, Brisbane Valley Rail Trail brochure, July 2010; Entries on the Queensland Heritage Register, Cressbrook Homestead [600503] and Yimbun Railway Tunnel [602637]; Centre for the Government of Queensland, Queensland Places: Toogoolawah and Esk Shire, , accessed 6 May 2020; Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser 24 July 1890 p5.
[3] Queenslander 17 September 1892 p550.
[4] Brisbane Courier 28 April 1899 p5, 27 December 1889 p2 and 16 December 1904 p15; Telegraph 19 August 1889 p2 and 29 January 1898 p2; Queensland Country Life 23 August 1900 p17; Warwick Examiner and Times 18 December 1897 p2.
[5] Freeman’s Journal (Sydney), 4 December 1913 p42. American Gail Borden is credited with refining and commercialising the process. Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser 12 October 1895 p6; Telegraph 13 September 1893 p7; Colin Munro, Fern Vale or the Queensland Squatter, abridged edition, Salisbury: Boolarong Press with the Brisbane History Group, 2011, pp21-23; Queenslander 25 September 1886 p32.
[6] Telegraph 29 January 1898 p2; Darling Downs Gazette 8 April 1899 p7; Telegraph 6 September 1899 p2; Munro, Fern Vale or the Queensland Squatter, abridged edition, Salisbury: Boolarong Press with the Brisbane History Group, 2011, pp21-23; Queenslander 11 February 1899 p21; Brisbane Courier 7 September 1899 p4; Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Cressbrook Homestead [600503].
[7] The factory had produced 3,000 cases between September 1899 and September 1900, an average of 200 cases a month. Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser 18 September 1900 p3, 30 January 1902 p7, 8 March 1906 p5; entries on the Queensland Heritage Register, Cressbrook Homestead [600503] and Yimbun Railway Tunnel [602637]; Ruth S Kerr, Confidence and Tradition: A History of Esk Shire, Esk: Council of the Shire of Esk, 1988, p108. Toogoolawah was named for the McConnels’ property in Bulimba (now Bulimba House [QHR600179]). Centre for the Government of Queensland, ‘Queensland Places: Toogoolawah’,, accessed 31 March 2020; Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser 8 March 1906 p5. Sales of Cressbrook land, advertised across Australia in 1906, emphasised the ‘unlimited market’ for milk production on the land, as demand at the factory outstripped supply: e.g., Australian Town and Country Journal 14 November 1906 p7; Queenslander 15 July 1905 p15.
[8] The company had been established in 1905, a merger between the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Co (founded in Switzerland in 1866) and Nestlé (founded in Switzerland in 1867). It also bought sites in Victoria and New South Wales for condenseries, but as the Toogoolawah factory was already standing it was the first to go into production. Jan O’Connell, ‘Australian food history timeline’,, accessed 30 March 2020; Kiama Independent, and Shoalhaven Advertiser 7 February 1879 p4; Daily Mercury 18 December 1907 p5; Daily Mercury 18 December 1907 p5, Chronicle (Adelaide), 8 February 1908 p9.
[9] Queenslander 11 March 1911 p31; Matthew J Fox (com), The history of Queensland: its people and industries: an historical and commercial review, descriptive and biographical facts, figures, and illustrations, an epitome of progress, Brisbane: States Publishing Co, 1919, p886; Australia To-day: Special number of “The Australasian Traveller”, 10 December 1908, p20; Queensland Times 21 May 1915 p3; Sunday Times 24 September 1911 p3; Pugh’s Queensland Official Almanac, Directory and Gazetteer for 1911, p897; and 1917, p795.
[10] Letter from Ailsa Stubbs-Brown (nee Munro) to owners of Inverness, February 1991.
[11] Australian Worker 28 September 1916 p18; Letters from Munro family, 1991.
[12] The five residences that have been identified as surviving in 2020 are: Inverness (1917; 58 Fulham Street, Toogoolawah); St Joseph’s Presbytery (1899; 44 Leopard street, Kangaroo Point); Residence (c1914; 107 Kadumba Street, Yeronga; QHR 601472); Residence (1916; Corner Heussler Terrace and High Street, Milton) and Lyndholm (c1900-01; Corner Liverpool and London streets, Clayfield). Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Residence, 107 Kadumba Street (c1914) [601472]; Watson and McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th century, South Brisbane: Queensland Museum, 1994, p27; Courier Mail 20 October 1936 p6; Daily Mail 28 September 1921 p8; Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Residence 107 Kadumba Street (c1914) [601472].
[13] Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Harris House [650237]; Bruce Buchanan Architects Pty Ltd, Inverness Toogoolawah: A Conservation Plan, 1991, pp9-10; Letter, Jean Besley (nee Munro) to Mr Muskens, 23 February 1991. Another member of the family noted similarities between this residence and a Robin Dods house in the Maryborough district (possibly Ringsfield House, Nanango): Letter, Will Muskens to Bruce Buchanan, 30 January 1992.
[14] Horace Flower, ‘Toogoolawah and Upper Brisbane River Valley – 1906-1908’, Journal of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, 1956, p1158; Letter, Colin Munro to Mr WH and Mrs MA Muskens, 27 February 1991, pp1&3; Gold Coast Bulletin 5 May 2006 p76; Bruce Buchanan Architects Pty Ltd, Inverness Toogoolawah: A Conservation Plan, 1991, pp10,18.
[15] Nigel Isaacs, ‘How Britain made the New Zealand house’ in James Campbell, Karey Draper, Amy Boyington, Gabriel Byng, Amy DeDonato and Wendy Andrews, Studies in Construction History: The proceedings of the second conference of the Construction History Society, March 2015, pp323-332, at 326; Sydney Morning Herald 20 August 1915 p9 and 2 December 1916 p15; Queenslander 2 December 1916 p47.
[16] Wunderlich also undertook other work for Nestlé: in October 1917, it constructed a Swiss chalet style display house for Nestlé entirely from durabestos, and displayed it at its Tasmanian showgrounds. Mercury (Hobart), 25 October 1917 p10; Bruce Buchanan Architects Pty Ltd, Inverness Toogoolawah: A Conservation Plan, 1991, p12.
[17] Letter, Colin Munro to WA Muskens, 20 March 1991
[18] Queensland historic birth records, 1920; letter, Ailsa Stubbs-Brown to Mr Muskens, 20 February 1991; Brisbane Courier 31 October 1925 p17 and 20 February 1926 p14; Queenslander 20 February 1926 p10, 3 July 1926 p10; Queensland Times 6 November 1926 p11 and 26 November 1927 p12; Extract from letter, Colin Munro to W Muskens, 12 August 1991.
[19] Matthew J Fox (com), The history of Queensland: its people and industries: an historical and commercial review, descriptive and biographical facts, figures, and illustrations, an epitome of progress, Brisbane: States Publishing Co, 1919, p886.
[20] Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette 27 October 1930 p7.
[21] Kerr, Confidence and Tradition, 1988, pp76-7&197; The Queensland Magazine, December 1924, p56; Queensland Times 27 June 1930 p6, 19 June 1931 p10, 28 March 1934 p12, 6 July 1934 p12, 22 May 1935 p6 and 17 August 1936 p6; South Coast Bulletin 9 August 1929 p16; NG Coleman, The Early Settlement of Toogoolawah Town, Toowoomba: Southern Cross Printery, 1980, p23; Certificate of Title No 339654 (Vol 1813 Fol 144).
[22] Queensland Times 17 August 1936 p6; 23 June 1938 p6; Letters, Ailsa Stubbs-Brown to W Muskens, 1991, and Robert Riddel to W Muskens, 1991. The packing shed was apparently used as a storeroom for emergency food supplies (Queensland Times 1 June 1949 p6); Kerr, Confidence and Tradition, 1988, p77; Queensland Times 15 April 1947 p5; Queensland Country Life 11 November 1948 p3; Certificate of title no 339654 (Vol 1813 Fol 144).
[23] Queensland Times 1 June 1949 p6 and 17 September 1951 p2; Architecture AU, ‘The Condensery: Somerset Regional Art Gallery’,, accessed 3 April 2020.
[24] The Munro family stated that there had been another Bellambi house, at the base of the hill; Certificates of title no 339654 (Vol 1813 Fol 144); 584533 (Vol 2871 Fol 23); 590852 (Vol 2897 Fol 92); 632801 (Vol 3072 Fol 41); 680934 (Vol 3268 Fol 174); Queensland Globe, Lot 37 on SP258265; certificate of title; plan of lots 7 & 37 on SP258265; Bruce Buchanan Architects Pty Ltd, Inverness Toogoolawah: A Conservation Plan, 1991; aerial images, 1955-2019; Exemption Certificate CHCH60061623042014, April 2014. The front door and eight french doors on the verandah were restored in 2014-5: Exemption Certificate CHCH04963614, May 2014; Queensland Government, ‘Inverness at Toogoolawah’,, December 2014, accessed May 2020; Facebook, ‘Bebe’s Country Weddings’,, accessed May 2020.

Image gallery


Location of Inverness within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
14 November 2022
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