Maryborough State High School | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government

Skip links and keyboard navigation

Maryborough State High School

  • 600697
  • Kent Street, Maryborough


Also known as
Maryborough Boys' Grammar School; Maryborough Girls' Grammar School; Maryborough Grammar School
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Education, research, scientific facility: School—private
9.2 Educating Queenslanders: Providing secondary education
Carandini, Victor E
Hall, John Richard
Stanley, Francis Drummond Greville
Crystall & Armstrong
Kinne, F
Taylor, H
Construction periods
1881, Former Boys' Division Building
1883, Former Girls' Division Building
1884–1890, Gymnasium (c1884-90)
1909, Memorial Entrance Gates
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century


Kent Street, Maryborough
Fraser Coast Regional Council
-25.53366162, 152.6986023


Street view

Photography is provided by Google Street View and may include third-party images. Images show the vicinity of the heritage place which may not be visible.

Request a boundary map

A printable boundary map report can be emailed to you.


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

The former Boys Grammar School demonstrates the growth of Maryborough in the 1870s and 1880s when the town was large enough to raise sufficient funding to erect a substantial Grammar School, second only to that in Brisbane.

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

The building is an accomplished example of the nineteenth century architectural style, Gothic Revival, as applied to an academic building. The steeply pitched roofs; siting; Gothic detailing including pointed arched openings and polychrome masonry detailing; and massing of the building contribute to Gothic Revival styling. The building is characteristic of Grammar Schools throughout Queensland constructed in this style.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

The building is of architectural merit as a well-composed and interesting example of a Gothic Revival structure, adapted to the sub tropical Maryborough climate and well sited. The building is a landmark in the town.

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

It has a special association with the town as a place of public education since the late nineteenth century.

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.

As a good and intact example of the work of Brisbane architect, John Hall, the building has special associations with him.


Maryborough State High School was established as Maryborough Grammar School in 1881 during a prosperous period in the town. The school comprised two departments - boys' and girls' - and opened in a grand, new building designed by architect, John Richard Hall, on the north side of Kent Street. In 1883 the girls' department moved across Kent Street to their own separate site with an equally-grand, new building designed by architect, Francis Drummond Greville Stanley. The schools were transferred to state control in 1936 and were amalgamated and renamed Maryborough State High School in 1974. The buildings stand prominently on large, landscaped sites, facing each other across the main thoroughfare, Kent Street, and the schools have a strong connection with generations of Maryborough students, staff and parents as a centre of secondary education in Maryborough since 1881.

On the traditional land of the Badtjala (Butchulla) people, the small town of Maryborough grew quickly from its establishment in 1847. The site of the town was relocated downstream from its original position between 1852 and 1856; Maryborough was proclaimed a Port of Entry in 1859 and a municipality in 1861. Early exports from the port included wool, timber, tallow, sugar, and coal. Maryborough became the port for Gympie after gold was discovered there in 1867.[1]

The 1880s were a prosperous time for the colony of Queensland generally. The population of Maryborough and district grew dramatically between 1876 and 1881, and this continued into the late 1880s.[2] Maryborough's dominance as a regional centre was strengthened when a railway line connecting Gympie to Maryborough's port was completed in 1881.[3] The years 1870 to 1890 were extremely profitable for Maryborough and new commercial establishments, industries and financial and other institutions were established in the town.[4]

The first government school opened in the town in 1862 and Maryborough experienced a dramatic growth in schools beginning in 1875, with nine schools opening in 16 years. Granville State School and Tinana State School opened in 1875, the Sisters of Mercy Convent School in 1880, Maryborough Grammar School in 1881, St Helens State School in 1882; Albert State School in 1883, Maryborough West State School in 1886, a Christian Brothers School in 1888, and Sunbury State School in 1891.[5]

The establishment of schools was considered an essential step in the development of early communities and integral to their success. Locals often donated land and labour for a school's construction and the school community contributed to maintenance and development. Schools became a community focus, a symbol of progress, and a source of pride, with enduring connections formed with past pupils, parents, and teachers. The inclusion of war memorials and community halls reinforced these connections and provided a focus/venue for a wide range of community events in schools across Queensland.[6]

Education was important to the colonial governments of Australia. After separation in 1859, the Queensland Government addressed the growing need for an institutionalised secondary educational system by passing the Grammar Schools Act 1860, encouraging the establishment of secular grammar schools. Under the Act, if the local community could raise more than £1000 toward the establishment of a grammar school, the government would provide double the amount and an annual endowment. Due to this large deposit of money, Queensland grammar schools were only established in prosperous settlements with stable populations.[7]

The establishment of a grammar school in Maryborough began in January 1871 and came to fruition a decade later.[8] By the end of 1871, a 7 acre 3 rood and 22 perch (3.19ha) block was set aside in town for a grammar school, but this grant was cancelled in 1872 when local support waned briefly.[9] However, donations grew and in 1878 it was recorded that over £1493 had been raised. The first trustees decided the new school site should be on the edge of town on the Ululah reserve.[10] After strong public debate, this site was abandoned and the original site was reserved again in 1880, and increased to 10 acres (4ha). The school site was part of a 90 acre (36.42ha) reserve that also accommodated Maryborough National School (now Maryborough Central State School [QHR 601264]) and, later, other important civic uses including the Maryborough Railway Station [QHR 600702], police station, and a small hospital.[11]

In 1879, a competition was called by the Board of Trustees to design a substantial new building to accommodate 50 boys and boarding facilities.[12] The winning design was by important and prolific Brisbane architect, John Richard Hall.[13] Hall had previous experience supervising the construction of Brisbane Grammar School and had designed fine buildings throughout Queensland including buildings for the Queensland National Bank; residences including 'Greylands' [QHR 600230], 'Langlands' and 'Pahroombin'; commercial projects; churches; and hotels.[14]

Construction of the grammar school building began in 1880 and was completed in 1881 by Maryborough contractor, Henry Taylor, for £5500.[15] Standing in the centre of the site, the two-storey brick building faced south onto Kent Street and accommodated classrooms and a double-height lecture hall on the ground floor, and living rooms for the headmaster on the first floor.[16] It was in a Gothic Revival style, typical of grammar schools in Queensland at the time.[17] Upon completion, the classrooms were described as spacious, lofty, well ventilated, and allowed a desirable amount of subdued light to enter the spaces.[18]

Prior to completing the building, a 'Grand Bazaar' was held in the town in 1880 to raise additional funds to ensure a larger government contribution and annual endowment.[19] Above the anticipated amount, a £617/2/1 surplus was raised and reserved for the establishment of a girls' grammar school, a separate division of the Maryborough Grammar School.[20] The boys' and girls' divisions were to be controlled by one board.[21] In preparation for opening, advertisements were placed in prominent English newspapers and on 8 March 1881 Mr James Murdoch, a scholar of Aberdeen, Cambridge, Paris and Gottingen universities, was appointed the first headmaster of the boys' division and later in the year, Miss Caroline Darling of Dulwich College in England was appointed the principal of the girls' division.[22]

The Maryborough Grammar School opened on 5 September 1881 with 50 pupils (24 boys and 26 girls).[23]

It was the third school in Queensland to provide grammar school education for girls. The concept for formal academic education for women was just emerging in Australia in the late nineteenth century. Queensland's first grammar schools were exclusively for boys but in 1875 Brisbane Girls' Grammar School opened, the first in Queensland, followed in February 1881 by Rockhampton Grammar School, which had a girls' department.[24] Initial considerations for the girls' grammar school in Maryborough had been to lease a suitable building near the boys' school but this was soon rejected in favour of a purpose-built school building to be completed promptly after the school's opening.[25] Ten days after the opening of Maryborough Grammar School, a 4 acre 16 perch (1.65ha) site directly across Kent Street was reserved for a separate campus for the girls' division.[26]

The new girls' building was designed by Government Architect, Francis Drummond Greville Stanley. Stanley immigrated to Queensland in 1861 and became one of the most prolific and well known Queensland architects of the late nineteenth century, responsible for a great number of important government and private buildings throughout the state, including the entirety of Queensland Government education architecture between 1875 and 1879.[27]

Construction of the girls' division building began in 1882 and was completed 1883. It was the first girls' grammar school in Queensland to be housed in its own separate building.[28] It was built by local contractor, Fritz Kinne for £3396.[29] The new, two-storey brick building opened 29 January 1883. It was designed in an Italianate Revival domestic style, as was typical and deemed 'suitable' for girls' grammar schools in Queensland at the time.[30] The ground floor included a large lecture hall, classrooms, a dining room for boarders, and a private dining room for the principal. The first floor included a large dormitory, linen room and bathroom, bedrooms, and principal's drawing and sitting rooms. The interior was described as 'having excellent lighting and ventilation, and extensive views of Maryborough and the surrounding areas'.[31] An attached rear wing accommodated a kitchen, laundry, servants' room, washhouse and toilets.[32] Later in the year, extensive plantings were added along Kent Street to correspond with the boys' campus opposite.[33]

The grand buildings of the boys' and girls' divisions are two of many significant buildings constructed in the late 1870s and 1880s in Maryborough, reflecting the prosperity of the town at the time. These include: Maryborough Court House (1877), the Bank of New South Wales (1877), St Paul's Church of England (1879), Maryborough Railway Station (1880), the Criterion Hotel (1883), Maryborough Mortuary Chapel (1884), Maryborough Hospital (1888), and the Maryborough School of Arts (1888) - as well as fine, architect-designed suburban villas for wealthy residents.[34]

Changes have occurred to both buildings over time. Completed in 1890 and costing £3500, remodelling and extension of the boys' division building was performed by local contractors, Messrs Crystall and Armstrong to the design of Brisbane architect, Victor Carandini. This work included a one-storey timber wing (later demolished) and a two-storey brick wing that extended the eastern elevation. Prominent from the central business district and the main thoroughfares, the building now appeared much grander and included a large stained glass window with the school crest and motto.[35] It accommodated a kitchen on the ground floor and two bedrooms and a 'hospital' on the first floor.[36]

In 1891 an extension was added to the girls' division building, costing £2300. Built by local contractors, Messrs Negus Brothers, under the supervision of Mr W Devon, Clerk of Works, the new wing dramatically increased the accommodation, doubling the size of the dining room, and adding an impressively-decorative assembly hall, an office, three bathrooms, three dormitories, and a sitting room.[37] This wing was attached to the northwestern side of the building and featured a prominent cupola.[38]

Works promoting health and exercise occurred at the boys' campus in the late 1880s. At some time between 1884 and 1890 a gymnasium was constructed by Crystall and Armstrong to a design by Carandini.[39] It was an open-sided structure, 54ft x 36ft (16.46m x 10.97m), standing to the west of the boys' division building.[40] It had an iron-framed structure with a domed, galvanised iron clad roof and the ground was a thick bedding of soft tan, intended to reduce injuries from falls. It was fitted with equipment including horizontal and parallel bars, swing rings, ladders, and poles.[41] By 1890 a cricket pitch had been constructed to the east of the boys' division building, between the new wing and Fort Street.[42]

In 1902 a first floor was inserted into the double-height volume of the hall of the boys' division building to provide extra accommodation for boarders on the first floor. This work included adding a pressed metal ceiling to the hall and improved the acoustics of the room. The dormitory above was described as large, commodious, well ventilated, and very cool. The works were designed and completed by Crystall and Armstrong.[43]

Funds donated by local Maryborough residents and past pupils of the schools contributed to the improvement and provision of facilities at the grammar school. In 1906, £5000 was bequeathed to the school by Robert Travis.[44] This money funded several additions to the girls' division building, as well as memorial gates constructed in 1909 at the front entrance to both campuses and dedicated to Travis.[45] A wide verandah was added along the eastern side of the girls' division building at some time prior to 1929.[46]

A Jubilee Fund was established by the Maryborough Grammar School's Old Boys' Association and funded an extension to the science laboratory, behind the boy's division building. The extension cost £299/7/11 and opened 5 September 1931 but was demolished by 1957.[47]

Also in 1931, the gymnasium was renovated, costing over £250. These works modernised the building by raising it up on a timber floor and enclosing it with walls. The building was then used as a meeting, dance, and general recreation space.[48]

The 1930s economic depression dramatically reduced student attendance at Maryborough Grammar School. In 1934, the school's Board of Trustees, the Director of Education, and the Minister for Public Instruction discussed the school's poor financial situation and condition of the buildings.[49] In October 1935, it was decided to transfer control of the school to the Queensland Government.[50] To do so, the Maryborough Grammar Schools Transfer Act 1935 was passed and the board and school were dissolved.[51] The school reopened as two separate schools in 1936: Maryborough State High and Intermediate School for Boys (in the boys' building) and Maryborough State High and Intermediate School for Girls (in the girls' building).[52] Boarding ended and the dorms were converted into classrooms. A domestic science building was constructed behind the girls' building during conversions in 1936-7, measuring 102ft x 32ft (31m x 9.75m), with two 29ft x 17ft (8.84m x 5.18m) front wings.[53]

The boys' school shared the site and facilities with the Maryborough Technical College and in 1943, the two schools were amalgamated.[54] In 1943 and 1950 Technical Training workshops were erected in the northwest corner of the site.[55] The workshops were demolished sometime between 2009 and 2010.[56]

The Advisory Council of the Boys' School was established in 1942 and immediately advocated for better conditions for students.[57] In 1947, Fort Street was closed to traffic between Kent Street and Sussex Street and the land was amalgamated into the boys' school grounds. It was decided to level this area (including the 1880s cricket pitch) into a large sports field and name it King's Oval in honour of, and as a reception place for, King George VI, who was soon to visit Maryborough. The work was completed quickly, but due to the King's ill health, the royal visit was cancelled. The oval opened on 7 May 1949 with a large fete.[58] Covering 4 acres (1.62ha), it was considered an asset to Maryborough and described as 'the most up-to-date sporting field in the city'.[59] It became an important gathering place for Maryborough citizens. Over 2000 children gathered there in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and on 2 September 1959, Princess Alexandra was received on the field.[60]

In the 1950s and 1960s, new buildings were constructed on both campuses and alterations were made to old buildings to accommodate a strong increase in student population.[61] In 1956, the front verandah of the boys' building was enclosed to create additional room for the library.[62] In 1959 the gymnasium was moved to be adjacent to King's Oval. In 1966 it was moved again, to the northern edge of the oval, adjacent to Sussex Street.[63] The girl's campus was extended in 1964 to the south by 2 acres, 1 rood, 6 perches (0.92ha).[64] By 1966 the rear, timber wing of the former boys' school building was demolished and the brick face where the wing connected to the main building was concrete rendered.[65] In 1967, the boys' building was renovated and repainted, and between 1969 and 1974 the rear wing of the former girls' building was demolished.[66] Throughout the 1960s, the grounds of both campuses were complimented on their fine appearance, with beautiful shade trees and well-kept lawns.[67]

In 1974 the technical college (by then, a TAFE college) was decoupled from the boys' school and took possession of the entire boys' campus. The boys' and girls' schools were amalgamated and renamed Maryborough State High School and all students were taught, co-educationally, in the former girls' campus. The total enrolment was 927 and the school struggled with the limited accommodation. Initially, eight classes were held in the former boys' school building until the end of 1974 and the school continued to use the manual training, science, and toilet blocks on the boys' campus.[68]

Since the 1970s, new buildings have been constructed on both campuses; however, the two original grammar school buildings and the gymnasium remained virtually unchanged. The gymnasium was renovated at some time by the 1970s but alterations were only minor. By the 1990s, TAFE began to vacate the former boys' school building and the high school began to occupy the building as enrolments increased.

In July 2012, a small museum was relocated from the former girls' division building to the boys' division building and was opened to the public, exhibiting a large range of educational paraphernalia from the school's history.

In 2015 Maryborough State High School operates from both campuses using both original grammar school buildings. The buildings are linked across Kent Street between the memorial gates, framed by mature trees. The gymnasium and King's Oval continue to be used by the school for sports and by external organisations and Maryborough residents. The school is important to the town and district having operated since 1881 and having taught generations of Maryborough children. The attractive grounds and early buildings are a prominent feature on the main thoroughfare and the school remains a key social focus for the Maryborough community with the grounds and buildings used for regular community events.


Maryborough State High School comprises two campuses (formerly the boys' and girls' divisions of the grammar school) separated by Kent Street, the main thoroughfare of Maryborough. Standing in picturesque grounds, the school comprises two substantial brick buildings: the former boys' division building (1881); and the former girls' division building (1883). The school also retains a gymnasium (1880s), memorial entrance gates (1909), and King's Oval (1949). The two campuses are a complementing pair with the front entrances to the two grammar school buildings in alignment across Kent Street, visible between the memorial gates and framed by mature trees.

Former Boys' Campus

Standing picturesquely in the centre of the 3.9ha boys' campus is the former boys' division building. Set well back from Kent Street behind a lawn and approached by a long, straight gravel path, the two-storey brick structure is impressive, well-composed, and in a Gothic Revival style. The building is approximately H-shaped in plan and its form expresses its original functions. A central wing, comprising ground floor classrooms and first floor living spaces, is terminated by perpendicular wings with prominent gable ends. The western wing contains an assembly hall (formerly double-height but now with a first floor inserted) and has prominent pier buttresses with rendered cappings, a series of high-level circular windows, and later skillion-roofed dormer windows lighting the first floor former dormitory. The eastern wing is longer, projecting from the rear, and contains a large classroom, former sitting room, and former kitchen rooms (now partitioned to create bathrooms) on the ground floor and a former hospital, large drawing room and bedrooms on the first floor. The building has red English bond facebrick walls, a steeply-pitched, multi-gabled roof clad with corrugated metal sheets, and three tall rendered chimneys.

The front elevation is approximately symmetrical around a projecting, central, gable-roofed entry porch. Timber-framed verandahs line the front of the central wing on both levels and have paired timber posts and a tall, scalloped valance of boards with geometric, patterned cut-outs. The first floor verandah balustrade is enclosed with later sheet material. Pointed arch windows have timber-framed sashes and are protected by awnings with iron brackets. The exterior features a variety of decorative treatments including contrasting rendered quoining, elaborate timber fretwork bargeboards, acroteria, and other fine timberwork. Central access is via a pair of large timber, low-waisted doors with an arched fanlight. Flanking this, and on the upper verandah, are glazed French doors that provide access into the classrooms.

The eastern elevation is prominently visible from the town, facing the flat grassed expanse of King's Oval. The elevation is approximately symmetrical. A single-story, skillion roofed verandah runs along this side and has stop chamfered posts and a scalloped valance of boards that have patterned cut-outs. The verandah wall has panelled French doors and double-hung and centre-pivot windows into the classrooms. The upper level has timber-framed, pointed arch windows with gable roof projections, and a large central stained glass window featuring the boys' grammar school crest and MARYBOROUGH BOYS' GRAMMAR SCHOOL, FOUNDED 1881. A rendered pointed arch moulding above the window is sheltered by a gable roof projection that features timber fretwork bargeboards. Bricks of a different type surround the window and continue to the east, indicating the later addition.

The rear (north) of the building shelters a small courtyard. The eastern gable wall is rendered on the lower half, indicating the location of the demolished service wing. The wall has double-hung windows protected by a hipped convex hood, clad in corrugated metal and supported on ornate cast iron brackets, and decorative timberwork in the gable apex. The remainder of the rear elevation is lined on the lower level with a skillion-roofed verandah with a scalloped and patterned valance, and stop-chamfered timber posts. A small weatherboard-clad enclosure of the verandah accommodates store rooms. The verandah wall has glazed French doors opening into the classrooms and timber-framed double-hung and casement windows with corrugated metal clad, timber-framed hoods on the first floor.

Internally, the ground floor layout comprises a central stair hall running from front to back with a perpendicular, central hallway providing access to the classrooms on either side. The classrooms have plaster walls with large, decorative skirting boards and detailed cornices. Most walls have timber picture rails and one classroom features a framed section of wall with student signatures that date to at least 1918. Classroom ceilings are lined with beaded boards. The ground floor of the 1890 extension is converted to bathrooms, and the eastern stair hall has been removed and a floor inserted to increase first floor space.

At the western end of the ground floor is the assembly hall. It is the largest volume of the building and has timber floorboards, plaster walls, and large, moulded timber skirting boards. The elaborate pressed metal ceiling of the hall incorporates coffering, cornice, and vented ceiling roses. Mounted at intervals on the hall walls are eight impressive, large honour boards recording the grammar school bursary, scholarship, and academic award recipients. An additional honour board commemorates past students that served in World War I and II, and a wall-hung memorial plaque is dedicated to a former principal. In 2014 the hall accommodates a museum of school memorabilia that includes: trophies, shields, photos, and early furniture, textbooks and uniforms.

The first floor is reached via concrete stairs and accommodates classrooms and store rooms, as well as a large space above the hall (formerly a dormitory). The large timber roof framing is exposed in this space and the ceiling is lined with diagonal boards and has dormer windows. The first floor classrooms have similar floor, wall, and ceiling treatments as those on the ground floor but ceilings here have vented filigree ceiling roses. Early window and door hardware is retained throughout the building as are decorative timber mantelpieces.


The gymnasium stands on the northwestern edge of King's Oval, adjacent to Sussex Street. Originally open-sided, it is a timber and iron-framed structure enclosed with later timber-framed weatherboard-clad walls. It is lowset on concrete and steel stumps and has a bell-shaped hipped roof clad with corrugated metal sheets and topped by a ventilated roof lantern. All elevations have banks of later awning windows. Timber stairs lead to timber doors in the southeastern and southwestern sides. Fixed timber-framed fanlights are above most doors and windows. Internally, it is one space. The iron framing is exposed and supported on large, stop-chamfered, timber posts. The walls are single-skin with internally exposed timber framing and bracing, with the exception of half-height weatherboard cladding on the northeastern wall.

King's Oval is positioned between the former boys' division building and the adjacent Maryborough Central State School. Surrounded by established trees and grassed embankments, the flat ground is used for sports and recreation and is an attractive setting for the adjacent boys' building. In the face of an embankment is a flight of concrete stairs down from the boys' building.

Memorial Entrance Gates

Memorial entrance gates stand at the front entrance to both campuses, facing each other across Kent Street. Either side of the fine, wrought iron gates is a short section of curved fence comprising facebrick walls and pillars with rendered dressings and iron palisades.

Former Girls' Campus

The former girls' division building stands prominently in the centre of a 2.59ha site. It is set well back from the road and aligned across Kent Street with the former boys' division building. It is approached via a circular front lawn with established plantings and perimeter footpaths. The building is a graceful, two-storey brick structure in the style of a substantial Victorian Italianate Revival house, incorporating elements of the style including: elaborate verandah decoration with filigree iron balustrades and cast 'turned' balusters, bracketed eaves, faceted bays, round-arched windows, corner rustication, pilaster window mullions, a prominent cupola, and a picturesque relationship with the landscape. It is approximately H-shaped in plan, comprising an east and a west wing connected by a core. The west wing contains an assembly hall and is the most prominent and decorative. The building has red, English bond facebrick walls, a multi-gabled and hipped roof clad with corrugated metal sheets, and three tall rendered chimneys. Original filigree, metal wall vents are retained.

The front (north) elevation has a well-composed asymmetry with a central timber-framed verandah on both levels terminated by the end wings. The verandah posts are cast iron and stand on rendered plinths on the ground floor. The elevation features decorative treatments including corner rustication, shaped bricks, and rendered mouldings. The windows are large with double-hung or casement sashes and glazed timber French doors with fanlights (lunette on the ground floor) open onto the verandahs. The cupola has a bell-shaped roof clad with flat metal sheets, a flagpole finial, and is an open-sided structure with cast metal posts and a low, filigree cast iron balustrade.

Visible and accessed from Ferry Street, the western elevation is picturesque, arranged around a projecting central, faceted entrance bay aligned with the cupola. Windows on this elevation are generally timber-framed double-hung, fixed, or casement sashes with arch-headed fanlights. The entrance door is a panelled set of French doors with fan and sidelights with coloured, patterned, or leadlight glass - the fanlight features the crest of Maryborough State High School.

The projecting side wings of the rear (southern) elevation shelter a central, paved courtyard. The gable end of the eastern wing is rendered, indicating the location of the demolished service wing. The western wing has a faceted bay with large windows with rendered mouldings. A central timber-framed verandah on both levels has stop-chamfered timber posts. A tall valance on the ground floor has geometric cut-outs. The upper level verandah has a cross-braced timber balustrade and a raked ceiling of beaded boards. Panelled timber, glazed French doors provide access to the interior on both levels and there are large windows with double-hung timber-framed sashes.

The western elevation has a wide timber-framed verandah on both levels. The posts are cast metal and those of the ground floor stand on rendered plinths. The upper level verandah retains early lead flashings. Large windows with double-hung sashes and glazed French doors open onto the verandah on both levels. At the centre of the ground floor is a fine, panelled timber door with side and fanlights and an early brass knocker, which provides access to a stair hall.

The interior layout is intact. The ground floor accommodates classrooms (in 2014 used as administration rooms) and the assembly hall, and the first floor accommodates former dormitories, and teachers' sitting and bed rooms. Partitions are solid brick, plastered and have tall, moulded skirting boards, architraves, and cornices.

The ground floor former classrooms have fireplaces with moulded timber mantelpieces. Honour boards hang on the walls of the central classroom recording the names of the high school's captains, sports, and bursary winners. The south eastern classroom has been converted to bathrooms. A central hallway with clear-finished timber dado panelling leads to the western assembly hall.

The assembly hall is the largest and grandest space of the building. The walls are plaster and the room features finely-worked, clear-finished timber including dado panelling, windows, fanlights, architraves, pediment-topped doors, and cornice. A marble mantelpiece surrounds a cast iron fireplace and four large honour boards are hung on the walls recording the names of grammar school prefects and high performing students. A low stage stands at the northern end of the room. The tall, elaborate ceiling is coved and lined with v-jointed boards in contrasting directions. This is divided into sections by clear-finished, moulded trimmings and features ornate plaster and timber vented roses and panels.

The stair hall has a timber stair with decoratively-turned timber balusters and handrail up to the first floor. The first floor rooms are large with high ceilings lined with v-jointed boards with plaster cornices. They retain fireplaces with moulded timber mantelpieces, arched openings into bay window projections with moulded architraves, and filigree timber and glazed fanlights.

Early furniture is retained in the building as is window and door hardware.

The girls' campus has mature trees including hoop pines (Araucaria cuninghamii) near the girls' building and a variety of fig tree species, including a row of evenly-spaced figs along the Kent Street boundary.

All other structures within the heritage boundary are not of cultural heritage significance.

Maryborough State High School is a major element of a cohesive education precinct and a wider precinct of civic buildings primarily addressing Kent Street. The buildings and landscapes contribute to the streetscape and form an attractive landmark on the main thoroughfare of Maryborough.


[1] Matthews, Tony, River of Dreams: A History of Maryborough and District, Maryborough: Maryborough City Council, 1995, pp.17-18.

[2] Matthews, River of Dreams, pp.155, 158.

[3] Riddell Architecture, Maryborough Heritage Centre: (former Bank of NSW) - Conservation Management Plan, for Fraser Coast Regional Council, 2009, p.3.

[4] Riddell Architecture, Maryborough Heritage Centre: (former Bank of NSW) - Conservation Management Plan, p.33.

[5] Project Services, ‘Albert State School', in Queensland Schools Heritage Study Part II Report, for Education Queensland, January 2008, p.4; 'Opening and closing dates of Queensland schools' at <> accessed 5 September 2014.

[6] Project Services, 'Mount Morgan State High School' in Queensland Schools Heritage Study Part II Report, for Education Queensland, 2008, pp.4-5; Burmester, Paul, Margaret Pullar, Michael Kennedy Queensland Schools A Heritage Conservation Study, a report for the Department of Education, 1996, pp.87-88.

[7] Blake, Thom, Queensland Historical Thematic Framework, Chapter 9: Educating Queenslanders, 2007 (rev.2013 by EHP), p.2.

[8] Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (MCWB&BA), 26 January 1871, p.2.

[9] MCWB&BA, 11 November 1871, p.2; MCWB&BA, 23 November 1871, p.2; MCWB&BA, 06 November 1872, p.2.

[10] Brown Tony, et al, Centenary: Sept 5th 1881 to Sept 5th 1981, Maryborough State High School, 1981, p.5.

[11] Brown, Centenary, p.7; Maryborough Central State School, Queensland Heritage Register (QHR) 601264; Maryborough Railway Station Complex and Air Raid Shelter, QHR 600702; Matthews, River of Dreams, pp.436-439.

[12] MCWB&BA, 16 June 1879, p.3; Brown, Centenary, pp.5-6.

[13] MCWB&BA, 08 January 1880, p.3.

[14] Greylands, QHR 600230; Watson, Donald and Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th Century, 1994, pp.86-89.

[15] Maryborough Chronicle (MC), 8 January 1880, p.3.

[16] MC, 11 June 1881, p.2.

[17] Brisbane, Ipswich, and Rockhampton grammar schools were built in a 'suitable' Gothic Revival style.

[18] MCWB&BA, 11 June 1881, p.2.

[19] MCWB&BA, 13 May 1880, p.3; Brown, Centenary, p.6.

[20] MCWB&BA, 18 September 1880, p.2.

[21] Brown, Centenary, pp.8,12.

[22] Brown, Centenary, pp.8-9.

[23] The Queenslander (TQ), 3 July 1909, p.29.

[24] Brisbane Girls' Grammar opened on 15 March 1875, Rockhampton Grammar School opened on 4 February 1881; Brisbane Grammar School QHR 600124; Rockhampton Grammar School QHR 600781; School House QHR 601029; Ipswich Girls Grammar School QHR 600565; 'Opening and closing dates of Queensland Schools', Department of Education Training and Employment, Library Services, 2014 <> accessed 22 October 2014.Brisbane Girls Grammar .

[25] Brown, Centenary, pp.6-7.

[26] Brown, Centenary, p.11; Queensland Times, 24 September 1881, p.405.

[27] Burmester, Queensland Schools A Heritage Conservation Study, p. 94; Watson, Queensland Architects of the 19th Century, pp.166-179.

[28] It was followed in 1884 by Brisbane Girls' Grammar School and in 1892 by Ipswich Girls' Grammar School and Rockhampton Girls Grammar School; 'Historical Timeline', Brisbane Girls' Grammar School, <> accessed 7 July 2014; Ipswich Girls Grammar School, QHR 600565; Rockhampton Girls Grammar School, 600780.

[29] TQ, 3 July 1909, p.29; MCWB&BA, 30 January 1883, p.2.

[30] Brisbane, Ipswich, and Rockhampton girls' grammar schools were built in a similar style; Theobald, Margaret, Knowing Women: Origins of Women's Education in Nineteenth Century Australia, 1996, p.52.

[31] MCWB&BA, 30 January 1883, p.2.

[32] MCWB&BA, 30 January 1883, p.2.

[33] MCWB&BA, 21 July 1883, p.2.

[34] Baddow House QHR 600690.

[35] MCWB&BA, 15 March 1890, p.2.

[36] TQ, 3 July 1909, p.29.

[37] MCWB&BA, 21 July 1891, p.2.

[38] MCWB&BA, 16 May 1891, p.3.

[39] TQ, 3 July 1909, p.29.

[40] Department of Environment and Heritage Protection aperture card, Boys' Grammar School, Maryborough: Insurance Plan, SH-684.

[41] MCWB&BA, 15 March 1890, p.2.

[42] MCWB&BA, 15 March 1890, p.2.

[43] MCWB&BA, 25 January 1902, p.2.

[44] Brisbane Courier, 23 October 1906, p.4; MCWB&BA, 10 December 1909, p.2.

[45] TQ, 3 July 1909, p.29; MCWB&BA, 21 August 1909, p.8.

[46] Brown, Centenary, p.49.

[47] MCWB&BA, 18 May 1932, p.11; Morning Bulletin, 07 September 1931, p.6; Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM), Queensland Aerial Project (QAP), 727-82,1957.

[48] MCWB&BA, 18 May 1932, p.11.

[49] MCWB&BA, 13 December 1935, p.8.

[50] Northern Miner, 5 October 1935, p.5.

[51] Blake, Qld Historical Thematic Framework, 2007 (rev.2013 by EHP), p.9-10; Maryborough State High School, 'History', Department of Education, Training and Employment, <> accessed 7 July, 2014.

[52] Maryborough State High School, 'History', p.9.

[53] Department of Public Works, Annual Report 1937

[54] Brown, Centenary, p.61.

[55] Department of Public Works, Annual Report, 1943; 1950.

[56] GOOGLE EARTH; DNRM, QAP 6248-130, 2010.

[57] Brown, Centenary, p.61.

[58] Brown, Centenary, p.62.

[59] MC, 07 May 1949, p.4; MC, 09 May 1949, p.2.

[60] MC, 27 May 1953, p.5.

[61] Brown, Centenary, p.94.

[62] Brown, Centenary, p.83.

[63] DNRM, QAP 1610-25,1964; DNRM, QAP 1686-65, 1966.

[64] DNRM Survey Plan, 1964 cat. M.20.266.

[65] DNRM, QAP 1610-25, 1964; DNRM, QAP 1686-65, 1966.

[66] DNRM, QAP 2013-142, 1969; DNRM, QAP 2707-199, 1974.

[67] Brown, Centenary, p.94.

[68] Brown, Centenary, p.95.

Image gallery


Location of Maryborough State High School  within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
  1. Is your feedback about:
  2. (If you chose ‘website’ above)

    Page feedback

    1. How satisfied are you with your experience today? *
  3. (If you chose ‘service’ above)

    Feedback on government services, departments and staff

    Please use our complaints and compliments form.