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Victoria Park

  • 602493
  • 454 Gregory Terrace, Spring Hill

General

Classification
State Heritage
Register status
Entered
Date entered
3 December 2007
Type
Parks/gardens/trees: Public park/reserve
Themes
2.9 Exploiting, utilising and transforming the land: Valuing and appreciating the environment and landscapes
8.5 Creating social and cultural institutions: Sport and recreation
Construction periods
1875–1945, Archaeological potential
1875–2021
1875–2021, Mature plantings and lawns
1925–1935, Sporting Fields (1925; re-laid 1935)
1928, BCC Electricity Substation No. 4 (former, 1928)
1930–1936, Gilchrist Avenue (1930-32, and 1936)
1933–1936, Ornamental Lake (York’s Hollow) (1933-36, with later alterations)
1936, Riding Row Entrance Piers and Former Alignment (1936)
1936, ‘Play the Game’ Wall (c1936)
1943, US Army Flag Pole (1943)
1958–1962, Dressing Shed & Kiosk (c1958-62)
1959, Gundoo Memorial Grove (1959)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century
1900–1914 Early 20th century
1914–1919 World War I
1919–1930s Interwar period
1939–1945 World War II
1940s–1960s Post-WWII

Location

Address
454 Gregory Terrace, Spring Hill
LGA
Brisbane City Council
Coordinates
-27.4549182, 153.02477505

Map

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Significance

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

Victoria Park, gazetted as a reserve for recreation in 1875, is important for its association with key phases of Queensland's history. Over the course of its existence Victoria Park’s functions have included social, cultural and sustenance grounds for Aboriginal people in the colonial period; brickmaking and timber-felling industries; municipal rubbish dump; campsites for displaced people; and sports and recreation grounds. Despite large incursions into its land (for educational and other purposes), and the construction of railway lines and roads through its centre, Victoria Park remains one of the largest parks in Brisbane, and demonstrates the value afforded to green recreational space from the 19th to the 21st century.

As part of York’s Hollow, the site was one of Brisbane’s first industrial areas following European occupation.

The park was the site of conflict between Aboriginal people and Europeans in the colonial period; the site of camps for displaced people, including Chinese and Scottish immigrants (1840s), itinerant camps during the Great Depression (1929-1932), war brides (1945-7), and families awaiting housing commission accommodation (1947-1960). As Camp Victoria Park, the park hosted Australian and US soldiers/operations during the Second World War, as well as temporary accommodation for returned servicemen and their families after the war.

The Sports Fields (1925; re-laid 1935; and including ‘Play the Game’ Wall (c.1936) and Dressing Sheds & Kiosk (1959-60)) are associated with the development of sports organisations, particularly as the first headquarters of the Brisbane Hockey Association.

The Brisbane City Council (BCC) Electricity Substation No. 4 (1928), is important in demonstrating the expansion of the electricity supply network in Brisbane during the 1920s.

Gilchrist Avenue, its retaining wall/stair and its tree plantings (1930-2, and 1936), the Riding Row Entrance Piers (1936) and the Ornamental Lake (1933-6) are important as examples of work carried out under the Intermittent Relief Scheme during the Great Depression.

The park contains examples of the work of professional horticulturalists Henry Moore (Brisbane Parks Superintendent 1912-1940) and Harry Oakman (Brisbane Parks Superintendent 1946-1963), including mature tree plantings, planter beds, and the Gundoo Memorial Grove plantings of native trees in 1959 to celebrate the centenary of Queensland, and remnants of the adjacent subtropical plantings in the early 1960s.

Criterion CThe place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Queensland’s history.

Victoria Park has the potential to contribute knowledge that will lead to a greater understanding of early urban material culture, consumption and disposal habits in Queensland, and early and evolved service infrastructure and occupation activities on the urban fringe.

Archaeological investigations of the extensive late-19th and early-20th century municipal refuse deposits have the potential to reveal artefacts that may provide further information on the lifestyles, diet, and health of Brisbane’s occupants, and facilitate studies of market access, consumer choice, refuse disposal patterns, and social and economic life in the late colonial period. The apparent disposal of refuse progressively across the park – from east to west – also provides an opportunity to explore change in material culture over time.

Archaeological investigations of areas subject to late-19th and early-20th century reclamation and drainage improvements, and in the vicinity of the interwar Brisbane City Council Electricity Substation No. 4, have the potential to reveal surface and sub-surface features that could contribute to a greater understanding of the planning, design, and construction of drainage and electrical distribution infrastructure.

Historical use of the park for a variety of purposes has resulted in the potential for subsurface archaeological evidence that could inform about the nature and extent of early- to mid-19th century gathering, camping, rifle range and brickmaking activities in the historically low-lying ‘York’s Hollow’ area, and occupation of the place during the Great Depression and World War II.

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

BCC Electricity Substation No. 4, located in the southeast corner of Victoria Park, is an excellent and highly-intact example of an electricity substation constructed during the interwar period in Brisbane. In its form, fabric and materials, it is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of its type, which include: its urban location; domestic scale and form with modest Classical influences; masonry construction with red-brown face brick walls and render details; parapet to the main entrance; use of robust materials with simple detailing; and open and well-ventilated interior designed to contain electrical equipment, with roller door access.  

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Victoria Park is significant for its aesthetic attributes, derived from the juxtaposition of the place’s natural qualities with its metropolitan setting, and from the aesthetic contribution of BCC Electricity Substation No. 4.

An extensive green site within the cityscape, Victoria Park features an arrangement of mature trees, planted along an avenue (Gilchrist Avenue), within a grove (Gundoo Memorial Grove), along the circumference of the park, and interspersed with playing fields and open grasses areas. The sloping nature of the site and open grassed areas provide expansive vistas within the park and out into the surrounding area.

BCC Electricity Substation No. 4, highly intact and standing prominently on the corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Gregory Terrace, has aesthetic importance for its beautiful attributes and streetscape contribution. Through its skilful use of modest Classical-style architectural features, symmetrical composition with central parapet and projecting end gables, and complementary material palette of red-brown face brick, terracotta roof tiles, and render details, the building forms an attractive, well-composed design. The building’s scale, form and design, modelled on contemporary domestic architecture, complements the streetscape of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road.

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

Victoria Park has a special association with the people of Brisbane as a popular inner-city park for organised sport and informal recreation (having served the community formally since 1875 as a valued green space for recreational purposes). It contains sporting facilities, particularly sports fields.

The sportsgrounds within the park have an association with the Brisbane Hockey Association (established 1931), which used the sportsgrounds as its first headquarters and hosted its matches there into the 1970s.

History

Victoria Park covers an area of undulating land bordered by Bowen Bridge Road, Gregory Terrace, the Royal Brisbane Hospital and Breakfast Creek in the suburbs of Spring Hill and Herston. Initially part of Barrambbin and Walan, the park was gazetted as a reserve for recreation in 1875. Over the course of its history, Victoria Park’s functions have included social, cultural and sustenance grounds for Aboriginal people across the region; brickmaking and timber-felling industries; municipal rubbish dump; campsites for displaced people; military camps; and sports and recreation grounds. Despite large incursions into its land for educational and other purposes, and the construction of railway lines and roads through its centre, Victoria Park remains one of the largest parks in inner Brisbane.

Aboriginal custodianship

Meanjin, the area now encompassing the Brisbane CBD, is traditionally part of Turrbal and Jagera/Yuggera country.[1] Walan or Woolan (meaning ‘bream’) and Barrambbin (meaning ‘windy place’) comprised the areas now known as Herston and Bowen Hills. Walan and Barrambbin were meeting and gathering places for groups travelling to and from the Blackall Ranges, as well as corroboree sites and hunting and fishing lands. The land was undulating, with hills punctuated by a chain of waterholes and gullies. It was an extensive camp, contact and cultural site.[2]

European use (1820s-1840s)

European occupation began in the 1820s, with the establishment of the Moreton Bay Penal settlement at Meanjin in 1825. The Europeans used Walan and Barrambbin for industrial activities needed to support the settlement such as brick-making and timber getting. They named the area ‘York’s Hollow’, after the leader of the local clan, whom the Europeans referred to as ‘the Duke of York’, thought to be an Anglicised version of the name Daki Yakka. A small number of interactions took place between Europeans and Aboriginal people prior to, and following, the establishment of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, likely the Duke of York’s clan. The Duke of York, estimated to be in his 40s in 1836, visited the European settlement at the invitation of two Quakers, and a reciprocal visit was made by the commandant of the settlement, Foster Fyans. The clan largely avoided the penal settlement, with only a limited number of interactions reported by European sources.[3]

The Moreton Bay Penal settlement was opened for free settlement in 1842. York’s Hollow, just beyond the town boundary, proved convenient for accommodating unexpected arrivals in the colony. A Chinese camp was established in 1848 following a failed attempt to employ Chinese shepherds on pastoral stations. In 1849, 253 immigrants from the Fortitude, Chaseley and Lima formed a temporary village on the York’s Hollow slopes, after arrangements for land grants fell through. Other recent immigrants to Queensland in the mid-1800s stayed in these temporary fringe camps. As Herston and the surrounding area became increasingly urbanised, these camps were deemed unhealthy. Its residents were 'moved along', and new immigration facilities were constructed elsewhere.[4]

The brickmaking industry continued within the gully, and York’s Hollow bricks were reportedly used in the construction of Parliament House in 1866. The waterway along the hollow provided a water supply for the fledgling residential settlement, supplementing the tank stream within the town.[5]

The Duke of York clan retained its presence in York’s Hollow despite these incursions. Gatherings continued at York’s Hollow, with clashes between different tribes occurring in June 1847 and June 1850; up to 800 people were present. Interactions between the clan and the Europeans were mixed: some members of the clan were employed in Brisbane town by Europeans, while Europeans allegedly visited the camp to collect native vegetation for their gardens, as well as for more nefarious purposes. There were also reports of European assaults on the camp. In December 1846, following the deaths of three European settlers on the Pine River, European soldiers raided the camp at 11pm, firing on the estimated 300 – 400 people sleeping there. Kitty, daughter of the Duke of York, died in the affray. In November 1849, Turrbal people at the Barrambbin camp were shot by military officers after a false report was circulated that they had killed a bullock. Three men were wounded; two police were sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for the offence. Local newspapers stopped reporting on the camp after 1860, but the clan likely remained within Barrambbin and Walan beyond that date.[6]

Colonial Queensland use (1860s-1890s)

When Queensland became a separate colony in 1859, the Queensland Government made a concerted effort to provide recreational lands for the people of Brisbane. It was believed that the fledgling society would benefit from having open spaces included in the infrastructure. At a time when industry was choking many of the large cities in Britain and Europe, the Queensland Government did not want the same fate to befall Brisbane. Terms such as 'lungs of the city' and 'breathing space' were used to describe parks established in Brisbane.[7]

York’s Hollow had been proposed for a recreation reserve under the New South Wales Government, and the new Queensland Government indicated its intention to create the reserve. In 1864 the Government announced that it was ‘pleased to grant a reserve of about three hundred acres, in York’s Hollow, for the purpose of a public park and recreation ground for the citizens of Brisbane.’[8] The Brisbane Municipal Council was to be granted the deed, but the Queensland Government retained control over the site. The name ‘Victoria Park’ emerged in the mid-1860s, either in tribute to the then-monarch, or the London park of the same name. In 1866-7 the park was fenced, and the Public Lands Office leased grazing rights over the land for additional revenue. Lessees attempted to evict the brick-makers and squatters who had erected tents and temporary houses within the park. [9]

Victoria Park was formally gazetted as a reserve for recreation in 1875. A Board of Trustees was created to manage the 321 acres and 2 roods (approx. 130ha) of parkland; they 'expeditiously drew up a code of by-laws which provided, not only for the protection and good government of the park, but also laid down the rules for raising revenue for the improvement of the park'. The trustees, however, had limited success in fundraising for and improving the site. [10]

The area referred to as ‘York’s Hollow’ had included an extensive area now covered by the Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills and parts of Herston, to what is now the Normanby Fiveways. From the 1860s, this area was reduced as land was required for other uses, including the Acclimatisation Society Gardens and the Grammar School Reserve. Despite its gazettal, the land set aside for Victoria Park was also reduced, as demands for services and facilities were met by encroachments on the undeveloped park. Land was resumed from the park for a night soil/manure depot (1866), a rifle range (1877, rescinded 1883[11]), sporting facilities for nearby schools, the Brisbane-Sandgate railway (1882), government domain (1883),[12] and children’s hospital (1883). Most of the resumptions were located on the park’s boundaries, but the railway crossed through the centre of the park, dividing it in two. By 1883, Victoria Park had been reduced to 217 acres (88ha), though it remained the largest open reserve within the immediate city area.[13]

At the same time, the importance of the park for recreational use was emphasised. The residential areas surrounding the park (particularly Spring Hill and Fortitude Valley) experienced dramatic residential growth in the second half of the 19th century, becoming amongst the most densely populated areas in Brisbane by 1890. These inner urban areas were also home to a cross section of Brisbane society, from the poorest living in small cottages in the lower slopes of the hill, to the prestigious and wealthy homes overlooking Victoria Park on Gregory Terrace. The park provided an open space for residents, particularly those who lived in crowded and poor conditions at the bottom of the hill.[14]

Rubbish dumping

In 1872-3, amendments to the laws and regulations relating to public health placed additional restrictions on the disposal of refuse and led to the establishment of municipal dumping grounds.[15] The Local Board of Health, with consent from the Surveyor-General, declared that rubbish could be deposited in Victoria Park – initially ‘in the clay-holes on the side of the ridges’ and later buried in trenches.[16] By 1886, a reported 1,053 loads of rubbish had been trenched and the following year it was noted by council’s health officer Dr Joseph Bancroft that the ‘available ground on the Gregory Terrace side of the railway of sufficient depth of earth is nearly worked out’.[17] In 1899 the park trustees granted the Brisbane Municipal Council permission to deposit and bury rubbish in trenches in one of the Victoria Park gullies, near the watercourse on the western side of the railway.[18] This practice continued until 1901, while unofficial dumping continued into the 1930s.[19]

Land use (1890s-1930)

In 1889, a large scheme of improvements was drafted for Victoria Park by William Soutter, a member of the Queensland Acclimatisation Society. Some proposals were rejected, such as selling residential subdivisions within the park, but Soutter implemented other improvements between 1890 and 1892. Much of the park was cleared and the rubbish burned. A 60ft (18m) drive with 12ft (3.6m) walkway was cut and kerbed through the park, atop the park’s excavated clay pits. The railway corridor was fenced, and trees grown in the Acclimatisation Society garden (including camphor laurels and umbrella trees) were planted along both sides of the railway. Drainage was improved, and the waterway running through the park was diverted. Extensive planting schemes were to follow, but were not carried out due to lack of funds.[20] By 1897, despite Soutter’s work, Victoria Park was considered ‘a magnificent tract of country many acres in extent, but it is literally in a state of nature. Little has been done to it’.[21]

The park remained popular for recreational and non-recreational uses. In the absence of formally designed facilities, informal recreation included swimming in the ponds formed in the former brickpits, and football and cricket games on the flat ground at the centre of the park. Military drills and musters were held regularly, with the Queensland Defence Force marching to the park from the Adelaide Street drill shed. Squatters, ‘larrikins’, gamblers, drinkers and others committing undesirable activities in the park were reported. Between August and October 1890, mass meetings drew thousands to the Gregory Terrace section of the park opposite the Exhibition Building each Sunday. The ‘Park Hospital’, a tent hospital for quarantine cases, was operated in the Herston Road section from late 1890. The park also drew the attention of a University Commission as a possible site for a tertiary educational facility.[22]

In 1903, Victoria Park was brought within the boundary of the City of Brisbane, and in 1908, the trusteeship of 210 acres (85ha) of the park was transferred to the Brisbane City Council (BCC). The BCC had been seeking control of the parks within its area, in place of the trustees who administered the parks. Between 1887 and 1913 it gained full control of Wickham, Observatory, Hardgrave, Babbage, Albert, Alexandra and Victoria Parks. The International Town Planning movement that existed at the time also helped to put city planning and beautification programmes on the city council's agenda. Between 1913 and 1925, Bowen, New Farm, Raymond, Newstead, Perry, Centenary and Teneriffe Parks were created.[23]

Victoria Park was the largest of the BCC’s new parks, but was ‘a rather difficult one to handle’,[24] due to its uneven topography, waterways and poor soil. Interest in the park for its non-recreational potential had continued, and in 1914, the BCC agreed to reserve around 100 acres of the park for the future use of the university, following extensive lobbying by the University Permanent Site League. While the park was to remain publicly accessible, it would not be developed for park purposes. Park funding was funnelled towards the newly acquired parks, while small improvements were made at Victoria Park. This included tree planting and the construction of tennis courts (1913, not extant), and the creation of rockeries along Gregory Terrace, bordering the park (not extant). In 1913, the park also became part of a worldwide experiment, as a small temporary tent was erected in the park near the hospital, to carry out measurements for the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Terrestrial Magnetism study. However, the park predominantly continued to be used for non-recreational purposes, including cattle agistment (between Gregory Terrace and the railway) and wool and grain storage (in a former quarry near Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road).[25]

In 1922, 108 acres (44ha) of Victoria Park was formally reserved for university purposes under the University Site Act. The site was reserved conditionally; if the site were not to be used for the university, it would revert to the park. Four years later, funding was provided from a private donor for a larger site at St Lucia, and the reserve was set to be returned to the trustees.[26] This took some time, however, and as the land remained unused, complaints about its condition had continued. ‘[N]ot a flower has been planted in it,’ wrote a correspondent to the Brisbane Courier in 1921, ‘no improvements, except the planting of some trees, and an incompleted, unused, and miserable carriage way or road.’[27] The park was described in 1924 by the Daily Mail as both ‘a magnificent reserve’[28] and ‘a couple of hundred acres of barren land… intersected by more or less smellful drainage channels.’[29]

One of these drainage channels ran through the flat section of the park used for sporting fixtures, making the land swampy and frequently mosquito-infested. Between 1923 and 1925, a 15-20 acre (6-8ha) area at the western end of the park (now between Gilchrist Avenue and the railway reserve) was sewered, levelled and graded for use as sports grounds; a shrub-rockery entrance was laid out from Bowen Bridge Road; and five sports fields were laid out. These improvements were funded by the £750 transfer of Bowen Park to the National Agricultural and Industrial Association. Amateur athletics competition held there in 1928. Football, cricket and hockey teams acquired formal leases of the grounds, and the park hosted up to 200 players each Saturday.[30]

Brisbane City Council (BCC) Electricity Substation No. 4

In 1928-9, the BCC’s Substation No. 4 was constructed at the Gregory Terrace/Bowen Bridge Road section of Victoria Park.[31]

The BCC became a public authority for the provision of electrical services across Brisbane in 1925. Electricity in Brisbane to that point had been provided by public and private authorities in a complex overlapping system. Most of the local councils in greater Brisbane arranged supply through bulk supply contracts with the City Electric Light Company. The Brisbane Tramway Company also supplied 600-volt DC power to properties along its electrified tram system, until its responsibilities were transferred to the BCC 1925. Faced with the tramway’s obsolete electricity network, and the BCC decided to upgrade its own generation capacity and infrastructure. This led to rapid expansion in the late 1920s, as a coordinated, uniform distribution system was developed. The BCC encouraged the public to connect to existing supply lines, and constructed a large powerhouse at New Farm in 1928. Substations were quickly constructed in the suburbs, supplied with bulk energy from the BCC power stations and converted for use by consumers.[32]

In 1927, the BCC’s Electrical Department had established stores in the unused woolstores off Bowen Bridge Road in Victoria Park (outside the heritage boundary). The substation was constructed the following year, and served as a central station as the suburban electricity supply was gradually brought onto the New Farm powerhouse grid. It was one of four substations constructed in 1928 for the Electricity Supply Department, the first main control substations erected by the BCC. They received 11,000 volts AC from the New Farm Power Station via high tension underground feeder cables.[33]

Electricity substations from the interwar period were typically of masonry construction, with red-brown face brick walls and simple, render details. Most featured a parapet to the main entrance, modest Classical details, and robust material palette. The interiors housed electrical equipment, were well-ventilated, and had roller door access. Located in urban areas, the substations were generally of a domestic scale and form, in line with the council’s policy of producing substations to a domestic style and scale, so that they could fit neatly into the streetscape.[34]

The building at Victoria Park was designed by the BCC's City Architect, AH (Alfred Herbert) Foster. It was located on the corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Gregory Terrace, and had a tiled, hip roof with gables narrowly projecting from each elevation. Of a symmetrical design, the substation featured light-coloured rendered details and darker face brick walls, which complemented the prominent museum (Old Museum Building, QHR 600209) on the opposite side of Bowen Bridge Road.  A c1944 photograph shows a stone retaining wall wrapped around the road (southeast and east) sides of the substation.[35]

Great Depression

The first set of large-scale improvements at Victoria Park began with the Great Depression. As funding was made available for public works under the Intermittent Relief Scheme to boost employment, Victoria Park was targeted for enhancement.[36]

The largest work were two projects proposed in the mid-1920s: the construction of a golf course and a road. The Queensland Golf Association had made the proposal for a municipal golf course in Victoria Park in 1922, as similar municipal golf courses were being opened throughout Australia. With the return of 108 acres of land from the university forthcoming, the proposal was accepted in 1926. As the return of the land was delayed, however, work on the golf course did not begin until April 1931. The 18-hole golf course was opened in 1931, with a Spanish-style clubhouse designed by AH Foster built in 1935 (QHR 602034).[37]

In addition to the new golf course, Gilchrist Avenue was constructed under the scheme in 1930, connecting Bowen Bridge Road to Ithaca Street, near Kelvin Grove Road at Normanby. This provided a long-sought vehicular path directly through the park, as well as access to the golf course and sportsgrounds. The avenue was named for the City Engineer EF (Eneas Fraser) Gilchrist. As part of the long-awaited beautification of the park, the avenue was lined with silky oak, crepe myrtle, flame and jacaranda trees. In 1933 an ornamental lake was created in a natural basin off Gilchrist Avenue at the western end of the sports fields. The lake was stocked with fish, its banks planted, and an island for birds created in its centre.[38]

Improvements were also made to the sports grounds, as lessees had complained about the rough, flood-prone surfaces of the Victoria Park fields. A new amalgamated hockey organisation, the Brisbane Hockey Association, formed in 1931, using Victoria Park as its headquarters. The Association contributed finance towards the improvements, and four new fields were formally laid out in the section fronting the newly-created Gilchrist Avenue, between 1933 and 1935. As well as hockey, these were used for cricket in summer, and hosted some football games in winter. Drainage was also improved to control flooding, and a stone wall with ‘Play The Game’ spelled out in stones was likely constructed at this time.[39]

In the Gregory Terrace section of the park, a 1.5 mile (2.4km) long, 20ft (6.1m) wide horse-riding track called ‘Riding Row’ was created, and palms were planted along its route. The Row was officially opened in 1932, with a military parade and a crowd of around 1,000 people. Two stone piers, made of Brisbane tuff, were constructed to mark its entrance at the corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Gregory Terrace in 1936.[40]

Other landscaping and reclamation work was undertaken during this time, notably as part of the beautification of the park.[41]

The Depression also impacted on the use of Victoria Park, as camps for the unemployed were erected throughout the park reserve in the 1930s. An increasing number of unemployed, itinerant men travelled either on foot, or by rail, across the state looking for employment. Between 1929 and 1933 Queensland Government policy stipulated unemployed single men, not working on relief projects, would not be able to draw state government funded emergency rations from the same centre in successive weeks. This forced them to move onto the next town, often many miles away, to demonstrate they were seeking work. The term ‘swagmen’, used to describe itinerant men walking around the country, or ‘waltzing Matilda’, seeking work in 19th and early 20th century Australia, was applied to these men who were compelled to travel long distances.[42]

A small camp of ‘shanties, shacks, huts and humpies’[43] arose in the Gregory Terrace section of Victoria Park in the early 1930s. It remained until 1932, when the camp was ‘visited by a large policeman, and the occupants agreed that the beauties of the new riding track would be enhanced by the removal of their dwellings.’[44] Other camps within Victoria Park mostly occupied the government and university domains near Herston Road (not within the heritage boundary).

Second World War

Further improvements were promised for the park, including the construction of dressing-shed accommodation for the sportsgrounds,[45] but work was put on hold following the outbreak of World War II. When the war reached the Pacific in late 1941, Brisbane was transformed into a locale of intense military activity, with thousands of American troops stationed in the city before being shipped off to fight the Japanese forces in the Pacific.[46]

In 1942, the BCC offered Victoria Park to the US Army as a large administrative and accommodation camp. ‘Camp Victoria Park’ provided support services for US combat troop operations in the South West Pacific. An air raid shelter was constructed behind the electricity substation. A Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery was emplaced in the golf course (not within the heritage boundary).[47]

Camp Victoria Park provided extensive accommodation for US and Australian forces. The camp was divided across the park, with an Officers’ Camp for Base Section 3 (Brisbane), US Army Services of Supply in the Gregory Terrace section, and an enlisted men’s camp near Herston Road (not within the heritage boundary). While most of the accommodation was canvas tents, a number of huts of fibrolite on timber stumps were constructed south of Herston Road and along Gregory Terrace. [48]

The camp was gradually vacated after the end of the war, with the final occupants departing in 1946. A flagpole from the officers’ camp was left standing in the Gregory Terrace rockeries.[49]

Postwar

The military facilities remained standing in the park for some years following the war, and were put to other uses. The vacant huts were initially used to house Australian war brides: Australian women who had married American servicemen. During and immediately after the war, between 12,000 and 15,000 Australian women married US servicemen stationed in Australia, including around 4,500 in Queensland. Some remained in Australia, but most travelled to the US to live with their husbands. Mass transportation of the war brides to the US on ‘bride ships’ was arranged from 1945, from ports in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. In September 1945, passage for over 200 brides on the Lurline was cancelled at the last minute, and a number of the women were accommodated in the empty Victoria Park buildings until new passage could be arranged for them.[50]

The post-war reconstruction process heralded an era of rapid population growth in Queensland. This growth, concurrent with material shortages, led to an acute housing shortage. The Queensland Government began repurposing military facilities for temporary accommodation, establishing ‘housing camps’ in suburbs including Holland Park, Chermside, Wacol and Kalinga. Up to 100,000 Queenslanders lived in temporary housing between 1946 and 1960. In February 1947, as the last of the war brides departed, the State Government acquired buildings in Victoria Park for temporary housing purposes. The Queensland State Housing Commission made use of the military facilities in Victoria Park, creating the second largest temporary housing settlement in Brisbane. Each hut housed several families. By 1950 Victoria Park was the impermanent home for 460 families, occupying the park for up to three years while new housing was slowly constructed in outer-lying suburbs. The Victoria Park camp, being close to the city, was highly visible to Brisbane residents. In the 1950s, the camp became the subject of media coverage about the poor living conditions experienced by the ‘old and new Australian families’.[51] As residents were moved to new houses, the temporary housing camps in Victoria Park were gradually emptied in the late 1950s, closed in 1960, and the fibrolite buildings were sold or demolished.[52]

Centenary

With the end of the war, the removal of the housing camps, and the appointment of a new Parks Superintendent, improvements to Victoria Park were planned from the 1950s. In 1959 the Centenary Pool Complex [QHR 601240] was constructed by the BCC as its principal contribution to the celebrations of Queensland’s centenary. The pool was placed at the southwest corner of Victoria Park, bordering Gregory Terrace. The complex was designed to fit into the slope of the hill overlooking the park and was designed by BCC's City Architect James Birrell. The initial design of the complex included a landscaped entrance road designed by the Superintendent of Parks and Gardens, Harry Oakman.[53]

Oakman was one of the pioneers of landscape architecture in Australia. In 1945 he began his seventeen-year appointment with the BCC as Superintendent of Parks and Gardens, and the Director of Separate Parks Branch. One of his earliest roles was transforming many of Brisbane's parks that had been damaged by the military use during the Second World War. He also led an extensive flowering tree planting programme on the slopes and gullies of the Victoria Park golf course, and poincianas, oleanders, jacarandas and flame trees along the fairways. Oakman was recognised as a Fellow of the British and Australian Institutes of Landscape Architects and the Royal Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation.[54]

Another commemorative gesture made within Victoria Park was the planting of a grove of eucalypt trees in the southeast near Bowen Bridge Road. This area of Victoria Park had been the site of some of the Housing Commission buildings, and required beautification. Named 'The Gundoo Memorial Grove', it was planted by the students of the Brisbane Girls' Grammar School as their contribution to the celebrations. The trees were provided by the Forestry Department and comprised nine [ten] different varieties of native trees (mainly eucalypts). In a memorandum, Harry Oakman stated that ‘tree planting along forest lines in this parkland would give a unique feature to the city of Brisbane, particularly if the trees chosen are Eucalypts'. He believed that the eucalypts would provide an attractive, shady grove at low cost and requiring little maintenance.[55] In the early 1960s, the grove was supplemented by subtropical plantings in the area between the pool and Bowen Bridge Road, to beautify and create a ‘tropical atmosphere in the heart of the city’.[56]

Late 20th & early 21st century use (1950s-2021)

Beautification and improvement works were undertaken under Oakman’s supervision of the park. In order ‘to provide a pleasing view on one of the city’s outlet roads’, planter beds were installed along the Gregory Terrace frontage in 1958; two beds, flanking the Riding Row entrance piers, remain extant. The park’s main entrance was also repositioned from opposite the Museum to a new road from Gregory Terrace.[57]

Sports continued at the sports fields, with leases to the Brisbane Hockey Association, Queensland Rugby Union and schools. The Hockey Association used up to seven of the fields during its playing seasons between the 1930s and the 1950s, holding junior and school fixtures, women’s practices and regular matches. It contributed finance for the ongoing maintenance of the fields, and hosted its grand finals at the park. The fields were also used to host archery contests, travelling circuses, military and royal parades, and parking for the annual Royal National Agricultural & Industrial Society show.[58]

A new brick dressing-shed, kiosk and lavatory facilities was added to the sportsgrounds from 1958. Dressing shed facilities had been provided for the sportsgrounds from 1930, but the dressing shed, a simple timber structure, burned down in 1947. When finance became available, the dressing shed was designed within the BCC and erected by 1959, being opened for the use of the sporting groups in 1960. The kiosk was leased to sporting clubs and individuals to sell refreshments during the sporting seasons. Improvements to the parking and facilities for the sportsgrounds were made in the following years, including two sets of steps from Gilchrist Avenue, flanking the dressing shed.[59]

Non-recreational and non-public uses also continued across the park. Small portions of land throughout the park were resumed for railway purposes, school use, hospital and temporary carparks, the Gregory Terrace road reserve and telecommunications, and leases were granted for school playing fields. In 1968 the Department of Electricity acquired land in the park and built an office building behind the substation. They also purchased a large stores building previously used by the Queensland Railway Department in the same corner of the park (not within the heritage boundary). In 1972 it was proposed to run a freeway through the park, though this plan did not come to fruition until the late 1990s.[60]

In 1988 the lake area in Victoria Park was reconditioned and officially named 'York's Hollow'. In the following years, artwork and sculptures were added, including figures from Expo 88. A section of lawn near the Centenary Pool was planted with trees by the Royal Geographical Society of Queensland and named ‘Gregory Grove’ in 1989 in honour of Augustus Gregory’s 170th birthday. Sixty trees were planted in the Gregory Terrace area near Rogers Street to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.[61]

In 1999, construction on a bypass road connecting Hamilton to Milton was commenced. The bypass, called the Inner City Bypass, was undertaken to reduce traffic congestion in the central business district and Fortitude Valley. An area of 4.606ha was resumed from Victoria Park for the road, which ran through the park adjacent to the railway, exacerbating the park’s divided nature. The road was constructed in 2001, with the entire bypass completed in 2003. A landscaped pedestrian overpass was added to bridge the bypass (not in the boundary).[62]

Archaeological investigations undertaken by ARCHAEO Cultural Heritage Services in late 1999, ahead of the construction of the Inner City Bypass, revealed early sections of the York’s Hollow watercourse, fill associated with the construction of the 1880s railway, and refuse dating from the 1890s to early 1900s deposited in natural depressions and buried in rubbish trenches.[63] Over 100,000 artefacts were recovered, including: glass bottles and stoppers; ceramic kitchen, tableware, bottles, and doll parts; clay tobacco pipes; personal and clothing items including buttons, pins and beads; medicine, hygiene and writing implements; metal cutlery, nails, hardware, and coins; leather and textiles fragments; faunal and floral remains, and worked bone artefacts. Further municipal refuse trenches, likely dating from the 1870s and 1880s, were uncovered within the railway corridor and in the southeast section of Victoria Park, during archaeological investigations associated with the Cross River Rail Project in 2020.[64]

In 2021 Victoria Park continues to provide recreational facilities including playgrounds, dog off-leash areas, walking tracks, bike paths, open space and sports fields. 

Description

Victoria Park occupies a large parkland site, divided through the centre by the North Coast Railway line (Bowen Hills – Roma Street section) and Inner City Bypass (ICB), and is located approximately 1.6km northeast of Brisbane central business district (CBD). Its undulating terrain generally falls steeply from the ridge of Gregory Terrace at the southeast, down toward the playing fields adjacent Gilchrist Avenue at the northwest. The park is largely an open space, with turf, sporting fields, established trees, footpaths, roads, structures and buildings; and it forms an open, natural setting within its metropolitan context. The heritage boundary excludes a lot in the Southeast Park Section containing tennis courts.

Features of Victoria Park of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Southeast Park Section:
    • Entrance Piers and Riding Row (former)
    • Brisbane City Council (BCC) Electricity Substation No. 4 
    • Gundoo Memorial Grove
    • United States (US) Army Flag Pole 
  • Northwest Park Section:
    • Gilchrist Avenue
    • Sporting fields
    • ‘Play the Game’ Wall
    • Lake (York’s Hollow)
  • Archaeological Potential
  • Landscaping / Plantings and lawns
  • Views

Southeast Park Section:

The Southeast Park Section is located south of the North Coast Railway Line, and bounded on other sides by Gregory Terrace (south), Bowen Bridge Road (east), and Brisbane Girls Grammar School (west). It contains expanses of lawn and mature plantings, the Entrance Piers and Riding Row (to its far eastern end and circumference), BCC Electricity Substation No. 4 (former) (to its far eastern end), and the Gundoo Memorial Grove (to its eastern end).

Riding Row Entrance Piers and Former Alignment (1936)

A pair of tall, stone piers mark an entrance into the Southeast Park Section. These Entrance Piers front the corner of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road, and frame the beginning of Riding Row (former) – a horse-riding track that formerly ran the circumference of the Southeast Park Section.

Some sections of the Riding Row’s early configuration of tree layouts is discernible.

Features of the Riding Row Entrance Piers and Former Alignment of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location of Entrance Piers adjacent to and fronting the corner of Bowen Bridge Road and Gregory Terrace
  • Entrance Piers: two stone piers, constructed of Brisbane Tuff, including their stepped and tapered form, dressed stone bases and dado panels, quarry-faced stone corners, and decorative metal gas lamp holders attached to the top of the piers (with gas pipe inlet to the inner face of each pier)
  • Groupings of trees associated with the early alignment of Riding Row (former), largely to the perimeter of the Southeast Park Section

Features of the Riding Row Entrance Piers and Former Alignment not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Concrete footpath and bitumen surfaces
  • Recent bollards located between and near piers

BCC Electricity Substation No. 4 (1928)

Located in the eastern corner of the Southeast Park Section, BCC Electricity Substation No. 4 comprises a single-storey, masonry pavilion fronting the tapered corner of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road, with a low stone wall to its east.

Angled parallel to the corner, with its long sides facing southeast and northwest, the building is rectangular in plan and is symmetrical. It features a hip roof with gables narrowly projecting at each end of the long elevations and at the centre of the short elevations. A narrow, central entrance porch to the front (southeast) elevation features a stepped and rendered parapet with ‘SUBSTATION.No.4’ in raised lettering. The porch frames dual entrance doors, which are topped with a lunette that displays a decorative crest bearing the lettering ‘BCC’. A number of small metal plaques are embedded in the riser of the front concrete stair, and are stamped with ‘BCC’.

Standing in front (southeast) of the substation is a low stone wall (c1928-44) that runs southwest-northeast along the corner of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road, and wraps around to the north along Bowen Bridge Road. Retaining earth along its park side, the wall terminates in a stone-capped pier at the northeast end. A small stair inset within the wall accesses a path that aligns with and connects to the main entrance the substation. 

Features of BCC Electricity Substation No. 4 of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location and orientation, fronting the corner of Gregory Terrace and Bowen Bridge Road
  • Timber-framed hip roof clad in tiles, with projecting gables at each end of the long elevations and at the centre of the short elevations
  • Thick (356mm), red-brown face brick walls, with rendered details and a rendered base (render is  inscribed to appear as ashlar)
  • Rendered moulded cornice
  • Multi-light centre-pivoting and fixed, timber-framed windows, with rendered lintels
  • Multi-light centre-pivoting and fixed, timber-framed windows to the projecting gables, with rendered lunettes and accented keystones
  • Timber panelled and V-jointed (VJ) timber board-lined, dual entrance doors, with rendered lunette featuring a crest bearing the lettering ‘BCC’
  • A number of small metal plaques embedded in the lower part of the front elevation, including to the riser of the front concrete stair and to the front stone fence
  • Metal wall-mounted lights either side of the front entrance doors
  • Metal plaques embedded in the riser of the front concrete stair, stamped with the lettering ‘BCC’
  • Random course, quarry-face ashlar, low stone wall constructed of Brisbane Tuff, including stone-capped pier at northeast
  • Stone stair inset into stone wall, flanked by low stone-capped piers and centred with the entrance to Substation No. 4

Features of BCC Electricity Substation No. 4 not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Wire mesh to window openings 
  • Recent downpipes
  • Adjacent garden / planter beds
  • Adjacent bitumen surfaces

Gundoo Memorial Grove (1959)

The Gundoo Memorial Grove stands at the eastern end of the Southeast Park Section, between Centenary Pool [QHR601240] and BCC Electricity Substation No. 4. Originally planted in a radiating arch pattern, the grove features mature trees that resemble native bushland (some of radial planting configuration remains evident).

Features of the Gundoo Memorial Grove of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location
  • Group of mature trees, comprising a cluster approximately 140m wide and 220m long (at its widest and longest points), with species including:
    • Moreton Bay ash / Carbeen (Corymbia tessellaris),
    • Grey box / gum top box (Eucalyptus moluccana),
    • Red mahogany (Eucalyptus resinifera),
    • Forest red gum / blue gum / red irongum (Eucalyptus tereticornis),
    • Queensland kauri (Agathis robusta),
    • Queensland brush box / Brisbane box (Lophostemon confertus),
    • Lemon scented gum / spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora),
    • Pink bloodwood (Corymbia intermedia),
    • Small fruited grey gum / grey gum (Eucalyptus propinqua),
    • Sydney blue gum / blue gum (Eucalyptus saligna),
    • Large-leafed spotted gum (Corymbia henryi),
    • White mahogany / barayly (Eucalyptus acmenoides),
    • Flooded gum / rose gum (Eucalyptus grandis), and
    • Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys)
  • Sections of tree plantings that remain in discernible radiating arch rows
  • Adjacent ‘tropical’ plantings (c1962), including queen palm trees (Syagrus romanzoffiana); Cuban royal palm trees (Roystonea regia); traveller’s palm trees (Ravenala madagascariensis); dwarf date palm trees (Phoenix roebelenii); giant white bird of paradise (Strelitzia Nicolai); and pandanus trees (Pandanus pedunculatus)

US Army Flag Pole (1943)

The US Army Flag Pole is located at the southern end of a traffic island in the Gregory Terrace road reserve (formerly a part of the Southeast Park Section, and aligned with the entrance to the Gregory Terrace Officers’ Club Quarters). The metal pole stands on an octagonal-shaped concrete base, which features a plaque by the Rotary Club of Windsor, detailing information on the flag pole’s history and restoration in 1988.

Features of the US Army Flag Pole of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location
  • Metal flag pole with spherical finial
  • Octagonal-shaped concrete base

Features of the US Army Flag Pole not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • 1988 plaque
  • Recent adjacent interpretive sign
  • Road reserve fabric of Gregory Terrace, including: road surface; kerbs; signs; power poles; and all other services, utilities and road infrastructure

Northwest Park Section

The Northwest Park Section is located north of the Inner City Bypass (ICB), and is bounded on other sides by Gilchrist Avenue (north and west; the avenue now terminates as a cul-de-sac); ICB off-ramp and Inner Northern Busway (east); and Victoria Park Golf Course (west). It contains large expanses of turfed sporting fields, with a stone wall adjacent Gilchrist Avenue, and a lake in the southwest corner of the site.

Gilchrist Avenue (1930-32, and 1936)

Gilchrist Avenue, formerly a thoroughfare running from Herston Road at the northeast end of the park to meet Victoria Park Road at the southwest end, is approximately half of its original alignment, with the road curving from Herston Road and terminating with a cul-de-sac near the Lake (York’s Hollow). Two rows of trees of varying ages and planted as part of an avenue, lines both sides of the road.

Along most of the northwest side of the avenue is a stone retaining wall that curves with the alignment of the road. At the northern end of the curve is a doglegged stone stair (1936) that leads to the top of the retaining wall.

Features of Gilchrist Avenue Plantings of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Row of trees planted along each side of Gilchrist Avenue (earlier planted species include: poinciana (Delonix regia), silky oak (Grevillea robusta), jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), flame trees (Brachychiton acerifolius)), crepe myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica), cape chestnut (Calodendron capense), frangipani (Plumeria sp.), bauhinia (Bauhinia sp.), and hoop pines (Araucaria cunninghamii). Many early trees have been replaced with other species, however their replacements continue to contribute to the avenue alignment
  • Doglegged stair, with capped balustrade constructed of Brisbane Tuff and feature stone displaying  ‘1936’ in relief 
  • Brisbane Tuff stone retaining wall running along the northwest side of the road

Features of Gilchrist Avenue not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Road reserve fabric other than significant trees (and their roots and canopies), including: road surface; kerbs; signs; power poles; and all other services, utilities and road infrastructure

Sporting Fields (1925; re-laid 1935)

The Sporting Fields occupy a large, turfed area south of Gilchrist Avenue, and have been used interchangeably over time for a variety of sports including hockey, cricket, football (soccer), rugby and athletics. The early extent of the Sporting Fields has been reduced to the south by the ICB and in the northeast corner by recent temporary carparks and offices.

Features of the Sporting Fields of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location and extent
  • Turfed, level ground used as fields by a variety of sports

Features of the Sporting Fields not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Recent line markings and goal posts
  • Temporary carpark, including bitumen surface, hard-stand, fences and signs, and offices to northeast end of the Sporting Fields
  • Recent change sheds
  • Cricket nets, associated surfaces and adjacent structures

‘Play the Game’ Wall (c1936)

A coursed ashlar stone wall constructed of Brisbane Tuff is located south of and parallel to Gilchrist Avenue. Tall and retaining earth along its northwest side, the wall features the words ‘PLAY THE GAME’ inset in stone in a random rubble pattern. The wall is reputably associated with use of the place for hockey.

Features of the ‘Play the Game’ Wall of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location adjacent Sporting Fields
  • Tall, coursed ashlar stone wall of Brisbane Tuff; including the words ‘PLAY THE GAME’ inset in a random rubble pattern

Features of ‘Play the Game’ Wall not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Recent concrete capping and metal balustrade attached to the top of the wall
  • Bitumen surface adjacent base of wall
  • Concrete block wall inset into the southern end of the stone wall

Dressing Shed & Kiosk (c1958-62)

The Dressing Shed & Kiosk is located to the west of the Stone Wall, positioned at an intermediate level between the Sporting Fields and Gilchrist Avenue. The building is rectangular, with face brick walls and a skillion roof. It accommodates dressing rooms, accessed from the centre of its southeast elevation, and a kiosk with a servery at its northeast end. The roofline continues over the servery to the northeast and features curved metal posts, and exposed roof framing.

Providing access to the Dressing Shed & Kiosk level from Gilchrist Avenue are two concrete stairs to the northeast and southwest of the building, set into concrete retaining wall.

Features of the Dressing Shed & Kiosk of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location adjacent Sporting Fields
  • Skillion roof, with roof framing exposed and clad in corrugated metal sheets
  • Red-brown face brick walls, with a section in a hit-and-miss pattern to the southeast elevation
  • Curved metal posts, servery with VJ timber cladding over, and concrete slab floor to northeast end of building
  • Concrete retaining wall wrapping around the northeast, northwest and southwest sides of the Dressing Shed & Kiosk, including concrete stairs to the northeast and southwest, providing access from Gilchrist Avenue to the building and sporting fields

Features of Stone Wall and Dressing Shed & Kiosk not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Bitumen surface adjacent base of structure
  • Interior fit-out

Ornamental Lake (York’s Hollow) (1933-36, with later alterations)

The Ornamental Lake (officially named York’s Hollow in 1988) is located in the southwest corner of the Northwest Park Section, with its water supplied from run-off from the ICB and nearby catchments of Kelvin Grove. The lake is surrounded by vegetation including mature trees, and its form and banks have been altered several times.

Features of the Ornamental Lake (York’s Hollow) of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Location
  • Waterway
  • Natural, treed setting

Features of the Ornamental Lake (York’s Hollow) not of state-level cultural heritage significance include:

  • Lake form / extent
  • Recent bronze statue at the northeast end of the lake, including associated Bunya Pine plantings to its east
  • Recent timber and steel footbridge that extends over the lake from the end of Gilchrist Avenue
  • Surrounding concrete footpaths
  • Stone wall banks

Archaeological Potential

Historical evidence and previous archaeological investigations indicate that archaeological deposits remaining from the place’s use as a municipal dump site during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are likely to survive, as well as brick and stone (Brisbane Tuff) drains. Likely to be found in areas that historically featured natural depressions / hollows / watercourses and within refuse trenches, there is the potential to identify these types of features and deposits through further archaeological surveys and physical investigations.

There is also some potential that archaeological features and deposits may remain from 19th century gathering, camping, rifle range and brickmaking activities in the historically low-lying ‘York’s Hollow’ area, and the occupation of the place during the Great Depression and World War II.

While much of the place has the potential for archaeological finds, areas of historical use where there is potential for archaeological evidence that could yield information that will contribute to an understanding of Queensland’s history (state-level significance) include:

  • Early to mid-19th century Indigenous gathering and camping along historically low-lying ‘York’s Hollow’, within areas of the Northwest Park Section least disturbed by later brick-making activities, refuse trenches, and drainage works. Potential archaeological evidence includes hearths, and stone, glass, and ceramic artefacts.
  • Mid-19th century brick-making, fringe-dwelling and immigrant camping along historically low-lying ‘York’s Hollow’, within areas of the Northwest Park Section least disturbed by later refuse trenches, and drainage works. Potential archaeological evidence includes subsurface kilns, pits and discarded bricks, hearths and domestic glass, ceramic and metal artefacts.
  • Mid to late 19th century rifle range located at the northern end of the Northwest Park Section. Potential archaeological evidence includes metal shot, casings, and bullets, and stop butt / target features.
  • Late 19th to early 20th century municipal dump, extending across much of the Southeast Park Section (including outside the heritage boundary), and within the Northwest Park Section. Potential archaeological evidence includes clay-capped refuse trenches, pits / depressions,  former watercourses, and scatters containing domestic and commercial refuse, including: glass bottles and stoppers; ceramic kitchen, tableware, bottles, and doll parts; clay tobacco pipes; personal and clothing items including buttons, pins and beads; medicine, hygiene and writing implements; metal cutlery, nails, hardware, and coins; leather and textiles fragments; and faunal (bone) and floral food remains, and worked bone artefacts.
  • Late-19th and early 20th century drains and services, associated with reclamation and drainage improvements along former watercourse flows and low-lying areas (Northwest Park Section) and to control runoff into the rail corridor (Southeast Park Section). Potential archaeological evidence includes brick and stone (Brisbane Tuff) drains.
  • BCC Electricity Substation No. 4, located at the eastern end of the Southeast Park Section. Potential archaeological evidence includes subsurface infrastructure associated with the early distribution of electricity in Brisbane, brick and Brisbane Tuff drains, and a WWII air raid shelter on the northwest side.
  • Depression-era dwellings and camping, possibly within the Northwest Park Section and in the vicinity of Riding Row (former) in the Southeast Park Section. Potential archaeological evidence includes flattened kerosene cans, roofing iron and other temporary building materials, and glass, ceramic and metal artefacts.
  • WWII military accommodation and administration camp, predominately across the sloping ground of the Southeast Park Section. Potential archaeological evidence includes post-holes, artefact deposits concentrated around former structures, and air raid shelters and trenches. 

Plantings and Lawns

The Park has open, turfed recreational spaces, and comprises various areas that feature mature shade and ornamental trees.

Features of the Plantings and Lawns of state-level cultural heritage significance also include:

  • Mature trees along the east and southeast side of the North Coast Railway line, including fig trees (Ficus spp.), hoop pine trees (Araucaria cunninghamii) and Camphor Laurels (Cinnamomum camphora)
  • Mature trees adjacent to Gregory Terrace (Southeast Park Section), including fig trees (Ficus spp.) and queen palm trees (Syagrus romanzoffiana), and jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia)
  • Large, open grassed areas, particularly at the southern end of the Southeast Park Section
  • Two stone-walled planter beds (1958), immediately adjacent to each of the Riding Row Entrance Piers

Features not of state-level cultural heritage significance

Features not of state-level cultural heritage significance not previously mentioned include:

  • Recent bitumen surfaces, concrete gutters, temporary offices, fences (temporary and otherwise), stairs and handrails
  • Recent toilet and amenity structures
  • Recent barbeque / picnic areas and shelters, shade structures, seats, and water bubblers
  • Recent playgrounds, and parkour structure
  • Recent dog park enclosures, including fences and agility training equipment
  • Metal gates
  • Timber log barrier fences
  • Recent footbridge extending over the lake from the southwest end of Gilchrist Avenue
  • Recent signs, pipes and drains
  • Power poles and lines
  • Recent plantings, other than those previously mentioned
  • North Coast Railway line and ICB, including associated rail lines, hard-stand, and fences
  • Concrete block-walled and concrete kerbed planter beds (2014, replaced earlier planter beds) along Gregory Terrace, southwest of the Entrance Piers; and stone walls (1978) to traffic island within the Gregory Terrace road reserve
  • ‘Inukshuk’ (1988, relocated to Victoria Park 2005): stone World Expo ‘88 sculpture adjacent North Coast Railway Line / ICB land bridge
  • ‘Showdown’ (1988, relocated to current location 2018): metal World Expo ’88 sculpture to traffic island within Gregory Terrace road reserve

References

[1] Alternative spellings for the language groups of Meanjin include: Yugerra, Yagara, Yaggara, Yugg-ari, Yackarabul, Turubul, Turrabal, Turrubul, Turrabal, Terabul, Torbul, Turibul, Toorbal, Churrabool, Yerongban, Yeronghan, Ugarapul, Yerongpan, Biriin, Ninghi, Ningy Ningy, Duke of York Clan, Jaarabal, Jergarbal. State Library of Queensland, Aboriginal Languages of the Greater Brisbane Area, https://www.slq.qld.gov.au/blog/aboriginal-languages-greater-brisbane-area, 16 March 2015, accessed June 2021.
[2] Constance Petrie, Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of early Queensland (dating from 1837), Brisbane: Watson, Ferguson & Co, 1904, pp.35, 55 & 316; Cross River Rail, Indigenous Cultural Heritage, 2011, pp.18-19; Rod Fisher, Boosting Brisbane: Imprinting the Colonial Capital of Queensland, Brisbane: Brisbane History Group, 2009, p.97; John Gladstone Steele, Aboriginal Pathways: in Southeast Queensland and the Richmond River, St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1984, pp.122, 124 & 129; Ray Kerkhove, ‘Aboriginal camps as urban foundations? Evidence from southern Queensland’, in Ingereth Macfarlane (ed), Aboriginal History, Vol. 42, Canberra: ANU Press, 2018, pp.141-172, at p.154.
[3] Most of the early interactions with the Europeans at Meanjin/Moreton Bay – from 1823 to 1842 – were probably undertaken by members of the Duke of York’s clan. Three escaped convicts from Botany Bay had encountered the clan in 1823 and were offered hospitality for a brief period, which they overstayed. Ship to shore sightings of people were reported by the crew of John Oxley’s Mermaid as they travelled up Maiwar/Meeannjin (Brisbane River), and an encounter between the clan and the crew of the Amity occurred at Enoggera Creek in 1824. Fyans’ 1836 visit took place along the Brisbane River, and he was able to watch a ‘fishing excursion’ which took place over several days: Steele, Aboriginal Pathways, 1984, pp.122-124. In 1837 the Petrie family arrived in Brisbane; youngest son Tom had frequent interactions with the Duke of York’s clan, and learned to speak their dialect: Noeline V. Hall, 'Petrie, Thomas (Tom) (1831–1910)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/petrie-thomas-tom-4395/text7163, published first in hardcopy 1974, accessed online June 2021. The ‘Duke of York’ may be an Anglicised version of ‘Daki Yakka’: Maroochy Barambah, ‘Relationship and Communality: An indigenous perspective on knowledge and expression’, in Brian Fitzgerald and Benedict Atkinson (eds), Copyright Future Copyright Freedom: Marking the 40th anniversary of the commencement of Australia’s Copyright Act 1968, Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2011, pp.159-160.
[4] From the 1850s, immigrants were housed in the Commissariat Store (QHR 600176) and other William Street buildings, but Victoria Park hosted new arrivals into the 1860s, including, for example, the November 1862 new arrivals evicted from tents on Windmill Hill (Albert Park), who were allowed to camp in York’s Hollow, ‘near the Brickfields’: Moreton Bay Courier, 3 February 1849 p.2; Courier, 18 December 1862 p.3; Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser, 4 August 1877 p.2; JJ Knight, In the Early Days: history and incident of pioneer Queensland: with dictionary of dates in chronological order, Brisbane: Sapsford & Co, 1895, p.270; Hector Holthouse, Illustrated History of Brisbane, Frenches Forest, NSW: AH & AW Reed, 1982, pp.22-24.
[5] Brisbane Courier, 27 February 1866 p.3; Northern Times (Newcastle), 27 March 1858 p.4; John Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, in Rod Fisher (ed), Brisbane: Houses, Gardens, Suburbs and Congregations, Kelvin Grove: Brisbane History Group, 2010, p.66.
[6] In the 1846 attack, Kitty had died along with her unborn baby. At the trial, her father had attributed her death to the soldiers, and some reports circulated that the soldiers had violated her, inducing the birth of her child and the death of both. Other witnesses were called to state that Kitty had been assaulted by an Aboriginal man from another tribe, and her death was not included with the charges against the police (Moreton Bay Courier, 13 February 1847 p.2). In 1848 the clan was also reported to have clashed with the Chinese immigrants who had arrived in the town, but this took place on Queen Street (Darling Downs Gazette and General Advertiser, 4 August 1877 p.2). Moreton Bay Courier, 19 June 1847 p.2, 8 June 1850 p.2 and 8 December 1849 pp.2-3; Petrie, Tom Petrie’s Reminiscences of early Queensland, 1904, pp.143-145; Kerkhove, ‘Aboriginal camps as urban foundations?’, 2018, pp.154-156.
[7] References to Victoria Park as 'the lungs of the city' appear in, e.g., Brisbane Courier, 23 September 1875 p.2 and 19 June 1878 p.5.
[8] Courier, 17 February 1864 p.3.
[9] Moreton Bay Courier, 22 September 1858 p.2; Brisbane Courier, 4 May 1866 p.2, 4 December 1866 p.4 and 12 December 1866 p.2; Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 19 April 1866 p.3; Parliamentary Debates [Hansard], Legislative Assembly, 26 September 1867, p.231; Queenslander, 26 March 1870 p.2.
[10] Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. 17 No. 133, 13 November 1875, p.2258; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.73,74.
[11] Survey Plan B2135 (1877). This was located outside the heritage boundary.
[12] Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. 33 No. 62, 20 October 1883, p.1084.
[13] Deed of Grant No. 53218; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.73-74.
[14] Centre for the Government of Queensland, Queensland Places: Spring Hill, https://queenslandplaces.com.au/spring-hill, accessed June 2021. The importance of the park for recreation was emphasised by a deputation to the Minister for Lands in September 1883 (Queenslander, 22 September 1883 p.472), as well as in protests against the rifle range (e.g., Telegraph, 9 December 1885 p.4).
[15] Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. 13 No. 79, 12 August 1872, p.1263; Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. 14 No. 45, 23 May 1873, p.821.
[16] Brisbane Courier, 21 October 1873, p.1.
[17] Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, p.77.
[18] Telegraph, 24 January 1900 p.4; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, p.77.
[19] Brisbane Courier, 18 April 1901 p.2, 30 April 1901 p.7 and 18 June 1901 p.3; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, pp.78&86.
[20] Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald and General Advertiser, 7 May 1889 p.2; Brisbane Courier, 15 April 1890 p.6 and Telegraph, 9 October 1890 p.3. In 1892, Soutter reported that a number of the young trees had been pulled up: Brisbane Courier, 8 July 1892 p.6.
[21] JJ Knight, Brisbane: A historical sketch of the capital of Queensland; giving an outline of old-time events, with a description of Brisbane of the present day, and a municipal retrospect, Brisbane: Biggs & Morcom, 1897, p.70.
[22] In 1881 The Week condemned the larrikins for swearing, card parties and nude bathing in the park within view of both Gregory Terrace pedestrians and the Grammar School occupants: The Week, 19 February 1881 p.6. Sports matches included Warehouse Cricket competitions (e.g., The Week, 22 March 1894 p.19) and church football fixtures (e.g., Telegraph, 3 August 1897 p.6); Brisbane Courier, 21 September 1891 p.5 and 27 June 1892 p.5. Crowds at the mass meetings, which were held in support of union activity, were estimated at between 2,000 and 3,000 in August (Telegraph, 25 August 1890 p.5); between 800 and 1,500 in early September (Telegraph, 1 September 1890 p.5); and 2,000 in late September (Queenslander, 20 September 1890 p.561). Victoria Park was used for hospital purposes in subsequent years, such as a field hospital encampment in 1906 (Telegraph, 27 June 1906 p.9; The Week, 29 December 1899 p.9; Ross Patrick, A History of Health and Medicine in Queensland 1824-1960, St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1987, p.437); Brisbane Courier, 17 June 1891 p.4.
[23] The boundary change was brought about by the absorption of the Division of Booroodabin into the City of Brisbane under the City of Brisbane Enlargement Act 1902 (Brisbane Courier, 9 January 1903 p.5). The Council had been appointed as a trustee in 1896 (Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. 66 No. 145, 12 December 1896 p.1280) along with private citizens, and registered as a trustee on the Victoria Park reserve title after the resignation of the other trustees in 1906 (Deed of Grant No. 53218), before the formal gazettal in 1908 (Queensland Government Gazette, Vol. 91, No. 81, 7 November 1908 p.932); entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, New Farm Park (602402).
[24] Truth, 30 April 1916 p.12.
[25] Brisbane City Council Annual Report for 1916, p.130, and for 1917, p.154; Minutes, 1918, pp,154-5; Mayoral Minutes 1916, 1917 & 1918, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Agreement between the Council of the City of Brisbane and Moreheads Limited 1922, Plan showing Wool Stores No 1 & 2, and Brisbane City Council Minutes 1919, p.81, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Jeannie Sim, ‘Harry Moore: The First Parks Superintendent in Brisbane’ [unpublished], 2000, pp.5-6. The university had opened in the former Government House on George Street in 1909, but this was considered too small to serve as its permanent site. Victoria Park, one of the largest undeveloped sites within reach of the city, was considered the only viable site for a university campus, and the University Permanent Site League had formed to advocate for the Victoria Park reserve (Brisbane City Council Archives, extract from Lord Mayoral Minute 1911, Victoria Park History File Part 1; Telegraph, 7 April 1914 p.2). The experiment was to study the magnetic variation from ‘true’ north and ‘magnetic’ north to eventually gain accurate bearings. The Victoria Park station was one of several established in various locations around the world. The site of the experiment – not within the heritage boundary – was marked with a sandstone block inscribe ‘CIW 1913’. This was uncovered in an archaeological dig in 2002 and moved to the Museum of Mapping and Surveying (Gillian Alfredson, A Report on the Impact on Cultural Heritage of the Excavation for INB5 (Inner Northern Busway Section 5) for Queensland Transport, August 2003, I, pp.2,5.
[26] Proposals for Victoria Park to host a state university had been mooted from the early 1900s, and the site excised from Victoria Park for a Government Domain had been converted to a reserve for university purposes in 1917. This site, just over 60 acres situated at the northwest end of the park, adjoined the 108 acres offered by the Brisbane City Council, creating a site of 168 acres for the university. However, the suitability of the site for a university was questioned; and the grant of the parkland to the university was conditional on the reversion of the land to the Victoria Park trustee if it was decided not to use the site for a university. The land returned to the park excluded 10ha, reserved for a medical school, which was built in 1939: entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, University of Queensland Medical School (601167). Herston Road was also created through the site, separating the park reserve from the school. University Site Act of 1922 (13 Geo V, No. 19); Brisbane City Council Archives, extract from Lord Mayoral Minute 1911, Victoria Park History File Part 1; Telegraph, 24 December 1903 p.4; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.81-84.
[27] Brisbane Courier, 1 September 1921 p.10.
[28] Daily Mail, 8 June 1924 p.13.
[29] Daily Mail, 28 January 1924 p.6.
[30] In the late 1920s, however, proposals to establish a speedway and a rugby union headquarters at Victoria Park were rejected as their proximity to the hospital was considered ‘undesirable’: Daily Standard, 21 March 1922 p.4, 10 July 1923 p.10 and 26 June 1928 p.5; Brisbane Courier, 24 January 1924 p.8; Daily Mail, 16 August 1923 p.6, 20 October 1923 p.17, 28 January 1924 p.6 and 26 August 1924 p.6; Telegraph, 10 May 1928 p.4; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.88-89.
[31] Brisbane City Council City Design, Victoria Park (including BCC Electricity Substation No 4) Spring Hill Conservation Management Study Site Report, Brisbane: Brisbane City Council, April 2002, pp.6-7.
[32] Brisbane City Council had inherited the Tramway Company’s three power stations at Countess Street, Fortitude Valley and Logan Road, Woolloongabba; however, these supplied DC only and were becoming obsolete. Entry in the Queensland Heritage Register, Coorparoo Substation No 210 [602495]; Jim Simmers, The Coming of the Light to Suburban Brisbane, Queensland Energy Exhibition Centre, August 2003, https://qldenergyexhibitioncentre.com/light-to-suburban-brisbane.html, accessed April 2021.
[33] BCC Tramway Archives, High Tension Feeder System 1933, in City Design, BCC-owned Former Electricity and Tramway Substations Conservation Management Plan, Brisbane: Brisbane City Council, 2003, p.13.
[34] This did not stop one correspondent to the Brisbane Courier from declaring that the substation at Victoria Park ‘destroyed’ the beauty of the ‘once picturesque corner’: Brisbane Courier, 1 March 1929 p.8.
[35] Electricity Substation No 4, Victoria Park [image], c1944, Brisbane City Council Archives, BCC-B54-44445; Bowen Bridge Road – Tramlines in Operation [image], 1941, Brisbane City Council Archives, BCC-B120-30563; aerial images ADA00065849 (1936) and QAP1829027 (1967). 
[36] Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, p.89.
[37] Brisbane Courier, 25 April 1930 p.17; William Jolly, Farewell Review by Lord Mayor Jolly on his retirement after 6 years of Greater Brisbane 23 February 1931, p.50, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Victoria Park Golf Clubhouse (former) (QHR 602034).
[38] Brisbane City Council Minutes, Lord Mayor’s Review for Year 1930, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Telegraph, 30 October 1930 p.6; Brisbane City Council Minutes, 1932-33, p.466, and 1933-34, p.75, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Brisbane Courier, 25 July 1929 p.3, 20 December 1930 p.12, 11 May 1933 p.12 and 29 July 1933 p.15; Moreton Mail, 4 August 1933 p.4, Courier Mail, 18 September 1933 p.10. Other species in the avenue included cape chestnuts, native cotton tree (hibiscus tiliaceus), flame trees (brachyciton sp) and hibiscus heterophyllus by 1940. The lake was originally 500ft x 300ft (152m x 91m), 6ft (1.8m) deep, and dammed by a clay wall (Courier Mail, 26 June 1937 p.12; Telegraph, 12 February 1938 p.19, 7 May 1938 p.21, and 31 August 1940 p.10).
[39] Daily Standard, 20 April 1933 p.2; Brisbane Hockey Association, Annual Reports 1931-1935; Telegraph, 9 June 1933 p.11, 7 August 1933 p.7, and 13 April 1935 p.19; Courier Mail, 11 July 1934 p.8. The new Victoria Park field were formally opened by the Governor, Sir Leslie Wilson, in April 1935. The expression ‘play the game’ was popularised by the 1897 Henry Newbolt poem Vitai Lampada. Brisbane Hockey Association President HA Kappe used the expression in his message to players in April 1936, referencing the players’ ‘highest ethics of true sportsmanship’ and proclaiming that ‘nowhere is there a finer spirit of “playing the game” displayed than in hockey in Brisbane’: Telegraph, 3 April 1936 p.13. The wall was visible in a 1950 image of the Victoria Park sports fields (Cricket Match – Victoria Park – 1950 [image], 16 January 1950, Brisbane City Council Archives, BCC-B54-685).
[40] ‘Victoria Park Scheme’, The Architecture & Building Journal of Queensland, 10 May 1932 p.17; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.91-92; Brisbane City Council Minutes 1932-33 and 1935-6, pp.65&68, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Telegraph, 21 July 1932 p.2; Daily Standard, 4 August 1932 p.12 and 1 October 1935 p.6; Brisbane Courier, 4 August 1932 p.6 and 8 August 1932 p.16; Courier Mail, 15 August 1936 p.14; Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs Gazette, 8 August 1932 p.4. Riding Row had been constructed at a cost of £2321: Daily Standard, 28 September 1932 p.6 and Brisbane City Council Minutes 1932-33, pp.152-153, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence.
[41] Courier Mail, 13 September 1938 p.6.
[42] Victoria Park had been occupied by the homeless throughout the 19th century into the 1920s (e.g., Brisbane Courier, 16 November 1923 p.7 and Daily Mercury, 5 January 1929 p.14), but on a much smaller scale than was experienced after the Great Depression. Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Eagles Nest Camp, Redwood Park (650263).
[43] Telegraph, 30 July 1932 p.8.
[44] Telegraph, 30 July 1932 p.8.
[45] e.g., Telegraph, 16 May 1938 p.10, 16 February 1939 p.13.
[46] Queensland Government, 'South West Pacific campaign', Queensland WWII Historic Places, 29 July 2014, https://www.ww2places.qld.gov.au/south-west-pacific-campaign, accessed 9 December 2021.
[47] RAAF No.3 Stores Depot Site, Victoria Park [plan], 1942, National Archives of Australia, NAA: J1018, LS488; Queensland Government, ‘38th (386th) Australian Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) Battery, Victoria Park Golf Course’, Queensland WWII Historic Places, 30 June 2014, https://www.ww2places.qld.gov.au/place?id=2068, accessed April 2021; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, p.93.
[48] Queensland Government, ‘Camp Victoria Park (Upper) – Officers’ Camp’, Queensland WWII Historic Places, 30 June 2014, https://www.ww2places.qld.gov.au/place?id=1439, accessed April 2021; Peter Dunne, ‘Camp Victoria Park Herston, Brisbane, During WW2,’ ‘USASOS Headquarters at Camp Victoria Park Herston, Brisbane, During WW2’ and ‘Gregory Terrace Officers’ Camp Base Section Three Gregory Terrace, Brisbane, Qld, During WW2’; Australia at War, http://www.ozatwar.com, 2015, accessed June 2021.
[49] The Brisbane City Council also took control of the RAAF’s flagpole in the Herston Road section of Victoria Park in 1946, and preserved it as it ‘possesses some historical value’: Brisbane City Council Minutes, 1946, p548, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence.
[50] Newcastle Sun, 13 September 1945 p.15; Courier Mail, 11 September 1945 p.3 and 18 January 1946 p.4. By January 1946 around 1,700 war wives, fiancees and children were positioned in and around Brisbane; approximately 4,500 were around Queensland, but not all wished to travel to the US. Victoria Park was the headquarters for the US Army officer in charge of transportation in Queensland, and accommodated a number of war wives and children awaiting transport on one of the ‘bride ships’ to the US. Sunday Mail, 7 October 1945 p.1; Courier Mail, 17 January 1946 p.3 and 31 January 1946 p.1; Telegraph, 8 November 1946 p.7; Queensland Times, 11 September 1945 p.3.
[51] Sunday Mail, 1 August 1954 p.2.
[52] Brisbane Telegraph, 30 November 1953 p.3; Queensland Times, 15 February 1947 p.1; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.94, 96, 98-99; Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Brisbane City Council, ‘Recognising housing styles’, https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/planning-and-building/do-i-need-approval/restoring-and-researching-heritage-properties/fact-sheets/recognising-housing-styles, May 2019, accessed June 2021; Courier Mail, 15 September 2014.
[53] Entry on the Queensland Heritage Register, Centenary Pool Complex (601240).
[54] John Gray, ‘Oakman, Harry (1906-2002)’, Biographical Notes, Council of Heads of Australian Herbaria, Australian National Herbarium, 2015; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp100-101.
[55] Oakman requested permission for 1,000 trees in April 1959 and ordered 1,550 trees from the Forestry Department in July 1959, though reportedly 800 trees were ultimately planted. Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, p.105; Brisbane City Council Archives, images BCC-B54-12534 to BCC-B54-1236 (July 1959), BCC-D-120277 (1959), BCC-B54-26566 and BCC-B54-26467 (January 1967).
[56] Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, p.102. Species planted included phoenix canariensis, pandanus pendunculatus, phoenix roebelenii, oreodoxa regia, arecastrum romanzoffianum, ravenala madagascariensis, strelitzia Nicolai, pampas grass, nolina longifolia; as well as clumps of golden bamboo, cocos palms and royal palms: Brisbane City Council Department of Parks, Proposed extension of layout, Gregory Terrace Frontage, Victoria Park, November 1962, via Brisbane City Council Archives.
[57] Memorandum, H Oakman to Secretary Metropolitan Works Board (Parks), 4 August 1960, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1, Correspondence 1870-1969; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, p.105; Brisbane City Council Department of Parks, Redesign of Gregory Terrace Entrance to Park, Plan No D83G1, April 1958. Three of the five beds originally planted were removed in 2014 (Google Earth Pro aerial images).
[58] Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.102-104; Memo, Re Lease of Playing Fields in Victoria Park – Brisbane Hockey Association, c.1951, in Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park History File – Part 1 Correspondence. Brisbane Hockey Association, Annual reports, various years. While the condition of Victoria Park hockey fields was not as good as others, particularly the St Lucia university grounds, Victoria Park was preferred for its central location. ‘When [the finals] are played on other grounds, only the privileged few who have means of transport or are actually playing there can watch them.’ (Brisbane Hockey Association, Annual Report, 1956, p.3); Truth, 25 May 1952 p.26; Victoria Park – Archery Competition – Herston – 1950s [image], Brisbane City Council Archives, BCC-B120-31536 and The Great Moscow Circus in Victoria Park – Herston – 1968 [images], Brisbane City Council Archives, BCC-B54-29101 to BCC-B54-29103.
[59] The first dressing shed had been erected at a cost of £280 and partly funded by the Brisbane Hockey Association (Brisbane Courier, 30 January 1930 p.12). A new, 200ft dressing shed had been designed by Council Architect AH Erwood in 1938 but was apparently not constructed. Following the 1947 fire, the Brisbane City Council Financial Committee recommended the calling of tenders for the erection of a kiosk, dressing room and lavatory facilities in 1950, but this also apparently did not happen (Brisbane Telegraph, 24 August 1949 p.30, Brisbane Courier, 18 March 1950 p.6). The building was finally constructed in 1959, but not open for use for the sporting clubs until 1960. Lessees of the kiosk included soccer and cricket clubs. Brisbane Hockey Association, Annual Report 1959 p.8 and 1960 p.7. Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, p.105; Brisbane City Council Department of Parks, Victoria Park Proposed Improvements to Spectators’ and Parking Area, Plan No D83P1, April 1961; aerial images QAP5121187 (1992), QAP562760 (1999).
[60] Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, pp.104-106. This also included a diversion of Gilchrist Avenue around the hospital carpark near Bowen Bridge Road: survey plan RA3232; aerial images QAP4020279 (1982) and QAP4260001 (1985). Two small portions of vacant land were added to Victoria Park, but are located outside the heritage boundary.
[61] Brisbane City Council Archives, Victoria Park Ponds, Proposed Landscape Development, D83 No 32, December 1985 and D83 No 33, February 1986; Development application CHCH03369912, 26 June 2012; Laverty, ‘Dissecting Victoria Park’, 2010, footnotes to p.286; Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, ‘The Mystery of Gregory Grove’ and ‘The Gregory Grove mystery solved!’, RGSQ Bulletin, Vol. 54 Nos. 7 & 8, August & September 2019, pp.8&4 respectively. The trees planted by the Society do not survive.
[62] The section of Gilchrist Avenue between Ithaca Street and the ornamental lake was closed as the Inner City Bypass was opened. In 2018 the Inner City Bypass was connected to Legacy Way. Additional roadworks were undertaken, but largely impacted areas outside the heritage boundary: SKM & Connell Wagner, Northern Link Phase 2 – Detailed Feasibility Study, September 2008, p12-27; Linkt, ‘Escape the city to the western suburbs via the Inner City Bypass’, https://www.linkt.com.au/brisbane/using-toll-roads/news/escape-the-city-to-the-western-suburbs-via-the-inner-city-bypass, 12 February 2019, accessed 12 May 2021; aerial images SEQ_50cm_SISP_PeriUrban (2008) and 2021; Survey Plan SP123915 (1999).
[63] ARCHAEO Cultural Heritage Services, Archaeological Excavation of Victoria Park, Brisbane, Queensland, Vol 1, Main Report, Brisbane: Unpublished report prepared for Brisbane City Council, 2001.
[64] UNITY, Victoria Park Updated Detailed Archaeological Assessment, Revision A, Brisbane: Unpublished report for CRRDA, 2020.

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Location

Location of Victoria Park within Queensland
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Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
14 November 2022
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