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School House

Paxton Street, North Ward

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School House (2000); Heritage Branch Staff

School House (2000)

School House (2000); Heritage Branch Staff

School House (2000)

School House (1903) State Library of Queensland; John Oxley Library

School House (1903) State Library of Queensland

Schoolhouse after the 1903 cyclone; John Oxley Library

Schoolhouse after the 1903 cyclone

The School House was erected 1903-4 as the Townsville Grammar School. It replaced the cyclone-damaged 1888 grammar school building on the same site, designed by architect FDG Stanley. Townsville Grammar School was the only grammar school in North Queensland in 1888. It provided subsidised secondary education, prior to the establishment of state secondary schools. It is also the longest surviving co-educational grammar school in Queensland. The school opened initially as a boy’s school but when Mary Foley was awarded a scholarship to attend high school in 1893, her father applied for her enrolment at Townsville Grammar. There was no girls’ grammar school in town and no State High School until 1924. Mary’s enrolment was accepted. She achieved the highest pass in her 1895 Sydney University exams. Townsville Grammar also educated Agnes Mc Whinney in 1906, who became Queensland’s first female solicitor in 1915. The school was extensively damaged during Cyclone Leonta in 1903. This school house was reconstructed using many of the original materials. It was designed by Townsville architects Tunbridge and Tunbridge and reflected Stanley’s original scheme. During WWII, the RAAF used the school as an aircraft monitoring station. In recent times it has been used as boarding accommodation.

Coordinates: -19.2515558, 146.80608522

Full details of this heritage-registered place are in the Heritage register.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023