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Townsville Central State School

4-6 Warburton Street, North Ward

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Townsville Central State School (2016); Toni Massey

Townsville Central State School (2016)

Townsville Central State School (1888) State Library of Queensland; State Library of Queensland

Townsville Central State School (1888) State Library of Queensland

The peaceful garden setting of the Townsville Central School incorporates remnants of the first Townsville gaol, dating to 1878. The gaol, designed by Colonial Architect F D G Stanley and built by J Rooney, was operational by 1878. By 1880 it included the gate house and gaoler’s house. The Townsville Central School was relocated to this campus in 1954. This school evolved from the 1869 National School in Townsville which occupied an old hospital building on The Strand. It eventually expanded to a separate boys and girls’ school; amalgamated in 1936. A new larger site was needed, however WWII prevented any real progress on relocation. The old gaol had been decommissioned in 1893 when Stewart’s Creek Gaol opened, and remained in the management of the police. After the war, the gaol buildings were altered to accommodate the school. The boundary wall was shortened with walkways cut into it for easier access. The women’s cells were demolished, leaving a concrete slab. The administrative office was created in the old gaoler’s and turnkey’s quarters – perhaps some students may think that nothing has changed. Additional classrooms were built in 1960, with landscaping designed by the curator of Townsville’s Botanic Gardens.

Coordinates: -19.25164044, 146.81125144

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