Find inspirational homes and gardens to visit!

Sneak peek at Maryborough Open Gardens

If you love gardens, then you won’t want to miss the annual Maryborough Open Gardens event, held each year in late August.

From traditional gardens to those with a more modern twist, the event is a rare opportunity for visitors to see some of the best private gardens in the city.

Hosted by the Maryborough Horticultural Society, the private gardens are open to the public for just two days every year, but there’s more to it than just seeing beautiful gardens.

Maryborough Open Gardens also raises funds through plant sales that go to local charities and encourages people of all ages (even children) to take up gardening as a hobby.

With 14 beautiful private gardens opening on 27 and 28 August 2022, it was no wonder that many visitors had trouble deciding which they liked best.

Wendy Ford from Stirling House in North Street said the fantastic response from hundreds of garden enthusiasts was wonderful to see.

“We moved into Stirling just 10 months ago and this is our first year opening to the public as part of Maryborough Open House,” she said. “It was fantastic.”

So without further ado, let’s take a look at two of the 14 gardens on show in 2022.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, these gardens are sure to inspire you.



Disclosure: As a affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

1. Stirling House

As I walked up the driveway toward Stirling House, Suzanne McLean’s painting at the entrance first drew my attention.

Wendy Ford’s exquisite artwork closer to the stately manor also showed Stirling House was not just a place of beauty and tranquillity, but also of storytelling.

“The painting was a gift from my neighbour, Suzanne McLean, who is a beautiful artist,” Wendy said.

“She has lived over the road for decades, raised her family there and her grandchildren, and yet had never been inside Stirling.

“We formed a lovely friendship because we both enjoy our art.

“So, I invited Suzanne over, and then when her children visited, I invited them over; and when her grandchildren visited, I invited them over.”

Wendy said the children dubbed the house ‘Rapunzel House’ because it looked like the balconies in the Rapunzel story.

“Suzanne gave me this painting as a gift, which I just still can’t believe. It’s so beautiful. She called it Wendy’s Garden. I said, ‘Let’s call it Wendy’s Garden Rapunzel House’ because that’s their history and the gift to us.”

Suzanne’s gift to her new neighbour was a wonderful way to greet the newcomers from the Brisbane suburb of Wynnum.

Just over 10 months ago, when Wendy’s husband, Bruce Ford, noticed a real estate advertisement for the sale of Stirling online, he said to her, “We should buy this place.”

“Let’s!” Wendy replied.

Five days later, they purchased it.

Previously owned by romance novelist Anne de Lisle, and before her Rod Grieves, the house dates back over 140 years.

The stunning home features some American Gothic styling combined with the look of a Queenslander.

“Anne had the house set up beautifully, but since then we’ve made a lot of changes to the gardens. Wendy is the gardener. I’m the labourer,” Bruce laughed.

History and nature thrive in revamped gardens.

Goldfish love to swim around in the large 3-tiered fountain, where they can explore all their favourite nooks and crannies. The original smaller fountain is also home to many of them as well.

Restored garden seats provide a place for peaceful resting.

The hedges have been replanted, and arbours remain with two Petrea Volubilis and other plants like Yellow Bells, Jasmine and Climbing Roses.

The garden is a colourful oasis with new plantings including Summer Sense, Murraya, Gardenias, Rhoeo, Bromeliads, Magnolias, Rosemary, Lavender, Grevilleas, Lilies, Blue Eyes, and annuals.

“A mango tree was dying, so it’s now with the local wood turners’ group where members are turning it into bowls and other beautifully turned pieces,” Bruce said.

Maryborough Open Gardens - Stirling House

Maryborough Open Gardens - Stirling House



2. 296 Lennox Street

It was easy to see why the garden at 296 Lennox Street is one of Maryborough’s finest. The lush greenery and beautiful flowers were what first caught my eye.

A leisurely walk through the beautiful and diverse gardens took me on a journey of discovery, with intriguing plants like azaleas, citrus trees, and potted flowers.

At each turn, there was another world full of fauna and flora that offered their own gifts for visitors keen to explore the natural space.

As well as the mature trees, palms and explosion of colour one might expect to see in a traditional garden, there were also rarer plants such as Phoenix palms surrounded by agapanthus, hoya plants, and Indian rope plants growing under the shade of the historic Queenslander home.

The southwest side of the house was home to a giant mango tree that was originally planted to shade the house from the western sun. The tree also provided ample shade and shelter for a rock garden and shade-loving plants beneath.

Beside the mango tree was a large deciduous Persimmon Tree, and a Coral Tree coming from India and Western China that was just getting its little flowers on the top.

Along the side fence, a stunning Fraser Island Creeper (Tecomanthe hillii), was just coming into bloom, a rare thing at this time of year.

The house itself is relatively unique because it straddles two blocks of land. Built in the middle of the double block, it dates back to about 1905.

There aren’t many houses built on two blocks of land in Maryborough.

Maryborough Open Gardens - 296 Lennox Street

Maryborough Open Gardens - 296 Lennox Street

PHOTOS: Jocelyn Watts

So, if you’re a fan of gardens, or just want to see some beautiful ones, mark your calendars for next year and head over to the Maryborough Open Gardens website to find out which gardens will be opening.




Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while discovering the history and culture of Australia.

So, if it’s time for a new adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here today!

There’s something about High Tea with Mary

Maryborough’s beloved Mary Poppins Festival is back on track in 2022 after a two-year hiatus because of Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns across the world.

To welcome the festival’s return, organisers paid tribute to its historical significance by hosting a High Tea for its founding group, Maryborough’s Proud Mary’s Society.

The Proud Mary’s Society was formed in 1999 to recognise Maryborough, Queensland, as the birthplace of Mary Poppins author, Pamela Lyndon (P.L.)Travers.

To celebrate her 100th birthday on 9 August that year, the local group hosted a Birthday Afternoon Tea on the Maryborough Town Hall Green.

This celebration grew and evolved into the Mary Poppins Festival that people know and love today.

Here we explore the secrets of hosting a successful High Tea.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Australia Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links in this post.

high tea - table setting

High Tea usually includes sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes. Photo: Shutterstock.

Why hold a High Tea?

High Tea is often associated with Mary Poppins, the iconic character from Walt Disney’s 1964 film.

In one magical scene, Mary Poppins drinks tea on a bed with the children, Bert, and Uncle Albert, and soon everyone is laughing and floating around the room.

There are several other reasons High Tea is associated with Mary Poppins:

  1. High Tea and Mary Poppins are British institutions.
  2. They both involve enjoying good food and conversing with loved ones and friends.
  3. Mary Poppins is known for her impeccable manners–something that is also associated with High Tea.

So next time you sit down for a pot of tea and some sandwiches, remember that you’re taking part in a tradition that has been linked to Mary Poppins for over 50 years.

What is High Tea?

High Tea is a quintessentially British tradition, but contrary to popular belief, it isn’t actually a type of tea.

It’s a term used to describe an afternoon meal that usually includes sandwiches, scones, pastries and cakes.

High Tea became popularized in England during the Victorian era when Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, began hosting Afternoon Teas for her friends.

Because upper-class people wouldn’t eat their evening meal until 8 pm or later, the ‘mini meal’ called Afternoon Tea bridged the gap between their main meals during the long afternoons.

However, while the upper class had Afternoon Teas with servants attending to their needs, the working class couldn’t afford such luxury.

Instead, their evening meal became known as High Tea and usually comprised a mug of tea with a beef stew or pies and vegetables.

Over time, Britain’s upper class also adopted the name High Tea for their more elaborate Afternoon Tea, which may have been because the meal was originally eaten at a table, whereas Afternoon Tea was eaten while seated in low chairs or sofas.

High Tea eventually became a staple of English culture and remains popular today, and many other cultures around the world, including Australia, have adopted the tradition.

Today, High Tea is often served in luxury hotels and restaurants, often to celebrate milestones, but it can also be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home at any time of the year.

What occasions could be celebrated with High Tea?

There are several occasions that are perfect for celebrating with this elegant meal.

High Tea can mark a special anniversary or birthday, celebrate a promotion or milestone at work, or simply enjoy a leisurely afternoon with friends.

No matter what the occasion, the tradition will create lasting memories.

High Tea typically includes a selection of delicate sandwiches, pastries and scones with cream and jam.

Of course, no High Tea is complete without a pot of freshly brewed tea.

Whether you prefer black, green or herbal teas, this ancient beverage is the perfect complement to the food served.

high tea - pouring tea

High Tea is a quintessentially British tradition. Photo: Shutterstock.

How do I host a High Tea in my home?

If you would like to host a High Tea party in your home, there are a few things you will need to do in order to prepare.

First, you will need to create a menu.

Typically, light sandwiches are included, along with scones with cream and an assortment of pastries.

It is important to have a variety of items so everyone can find something they enjoy.

Next, you will need to set the table.

High Tea is traditionally served on a tiered serving stand, with the sandwiches on the bottom tier, followed by the scones, and then the pastries on the top tier.

You will also need to provide teacups and saucers for each guest, as well as a pot of hot tea.

Finally, you will need to plan for entertainment. These parties are usually quite relaxed, so plan for some light conversation starters or games that everyone can enjoy.

The art of invitations

Calligraphy is making a comeback as beautifully designed stationery and invitations.

Your guests will love receiving this personalised touch with their name scribed onto it by you, as they open up their invitations delivered to their letterboxes.

But when you’re short on time, it’s hard to come up with the perfect invitation.

Luckily there are pre-made e-stationery items and templates available from online stores or local craft shops that allow for customisation by using calligraphy ink or other creative designs.


High Tea is a type of afternoon tea that is typically a more formal affair and is usually served with a mix of savoury and sweet foods.

Etiquette dictates that one should wait to be seated by the host before sitting down.

Once seated, one should not begin eating until the host gives the signal to do so.

The meal should be eaten with your pinky finger extended and you should take small bites in a gentile fashion.

When eating a scone, it is proper to spread thickened cream on the scone first, and then add jam on top.

Ideally, leave your mobile phone at home!

Finally, it is important to remember to thank your hostess for the meal before leaving.

By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that you have a pleasant experience.

How do I decorate my home?

There are many ways to decorate your home to create a High Tea atmosphere.

One way is to use pretty tablecloths and napkins, and set the table with your best china.

You can also add some special touches, such as fresh flowers or scented candles.

If you want to create a more formal setting, you can use white tablecloths and linens, and set the table with silverware and crystal glassware.

And of course, don’t forget the tea! Put out a selection of tea bags or loose leaf tea, along with milk and sugar.

What games and music can we play?

There are many games and music that can be played at a High Tea party.

One popular game is Croquet, which is played with either small balls or larger ones, mallets and hoops.

Another game that is popular is Charades. This game can be great fun for all ages, and it’s a good way to get everyone interacting with each other.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, then card games such as Euchre or Whist are always popular choices.

For more experienced card players, Bridge or Gin Rummy are also good options.

There is also Word Ladder. This involves making a list of words that all relate to a certain topic, and then seeing who can come up with the most creative word ladder linking all the words together.

High Tea parties are also often accompanied by live music or other forms of entertainment.

Whether you hire a harpist or simply play some soft background music, be sure to set the mood for a sophisticated afternoon gathering.

Mary Poppins Festival

The Mary Poppins Festival features events such as the Chimney Sweep Challenge, Great Nanny Race and Grand Parade, and the ‘Poppins Pop Up Picnic.’

The event encourages attendees to showcase their creative and imaginative side; joining in on the Costume Competition, taking part in activities, marching along in the Grand Parade, attending shows and displays, and much more.

“People come here to Maryborough to get that connection to Mary Poppins and P.L. Travers,” Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said.

“The festival allows attendees to dress up however they want; there are chimney sweeps, there are Mary Poppins and Admiral Boom characters. The festival allows attendees to embrace the experience.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said the festival was about families coming out and enjoying the day with a program that’s been going on for 22 years, showcasing the art of storytelling and encouraging children to take part in the activities.

For more information on the Mary Poppins Festival – Day in the Park, follow @frasercoastevents on Facebook and Instagram and visit the website


If you enjoyed this story, you might also like The Story Bank: Where Imagination Comes to Life



If you go

Maryborough is about 255 kilometers north of the Queensland capital, Brisbane.


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Collectibles can help you make a fortune

Are you looking for a way to supplement your income? Perhaps you require funds for a rainy day or are putting money aside for a fantastic holiday.

Or maybe you’d like to increase the size of your retirement fund.

You may already know the classic comics in your garage or the coins in your precious collection are priceless, but you may be overlooking other valuable stuff.

Many people collect vintage goods for investment.

Continue reading to learn more about the vintage goods you might sell for a profit.

Collectibles - old wares

Collectibles can be found while travelling at markets and secondhand stores.

Find collectibles at home or while travelling

You could be wealthy and be completely unaware of it. Most collectibles are the ordinary things you see in your house or what you find while travelling.

You might have considered them worn out till now, but perhaps it’s time to see whether they are vintage.

From antique barware to classic band and movie posters, you might want to consider auctioning these artifacts, especially if they’re currently collecting dust in your garage.

Collectibles are items that can be bought or sold for a considerably higher price than they were originally worth.

If they’re in short supply, they can be even more valuable.

However, the item’s condition has a significant impact on the amount you can get.

You’ll be able to get more for your collectible if it’s in good condition. There’s a good risk you won’t get anything at all if it’s damaged.

Look at these things that might make you rich:

1. Vintage Toys

Let’s imagine you’ve already gone through your house looking for any unopened toys you might have tucked away, like those original Star Wars miniatures your son played with many years ago.

Consider what’s hot in toys right now that you could buy at face value.

Toys that are related to movies are usually a tremendous hit.

After all, these aren’t large investments. Disney collectibles have long been popular.

Once you’ve purchased a few dolls, keep them safe in their original boxes for the following few years and monitor their worth.

They have the potential to become the next major Disney collectible.

Since 1958, Lego, a Danish toy corporation, has been in operation.

As children, many of us played with them, and as parents, we walked painfully on the errant blocks that youngsters leave on the floor.

Rare Lego sets in immaculate condition fetch the greatest prices from collectors.

A brand-new, sealed Lego set is worth up to ten times what one has been opened.

The Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon Lego set was valued at approximately $4000 in 2016!

2. Vintage Comics

Rare and old comic books are selling for exorbitant amounts to collectors all over the world, proving that comic books have become a precious item.

The higher the calibre of these comics, the higher the price, with some fetching more than a million dollars each.

Some of the most well-known characters appear on the list of the most valuable comic books of all time, with a focus on their debut appearances.

The higher the superhero profile, the more valuable the issue, from the most costly Superman comic to the most expensive Spider-Man comic.

These comics are extremely difficult to come by in good condition, so when one does surface with a high grade, all bets are off in terms of its worth, as collectors go to great lengths to secure the item as their valued possession.

3. Sports Memorabilia

If you’re a sports lover, you might be interested in collecting sports memorabilia.

You may have caught a home run or, better still, received the game ball after a grand final — and had it autographed. You might cash in if that’s the case.

Baseball cards are the most well-known sorts of trading cards, although there are many others, such as Magic the Gathering.

These delicate paper treasures, like comic books, perform best when stored in perfect condition.

Treat them as you would a comic book when storing them, especially if you have a really rare example.

4. Numismatics

It is the stuff of dreams to discover a buried treasure in an old dresser drawer.

So is rummaging through your coin jars and finding a rare coin worth a lot of money.

While striking it rich with a large coin collection is unlikely, you might uncover some loose change that’s worth more than you think.

If you’ve ever researched the value of collecting coins and currency, you’re aware of how valuable individual pieces may be.

You might have been excited because you thought you had a rare penny in your piggy bank, only to spend hours looking for it to discover you have nothing worth more than face value.

That’s the problem with this collectible item — it’s rare to come across extremely valuable coins and currencies out of nowhere.

So, when you come across and gather those odd and rare goods, treat those collectibles with care.

Collectibles - Australian Numismatics

The kangaroo, a well-known Australian symbol, was chosen as the motif of the Australian gold investment coin.

5. Art Photography

Most of us know paintings may sell for millions of dollars, but digital photographs can be just as valuable and command similar auction prices.

Collectors will even pay a lot of money to buy a piece of an image: in February 2018, a group of ten investors paid $1 million for a crypto-art shot by Kevin Abosch named The Forever Rose.

Although the Forever Rose is not an actual photograph, each investor was given a “token” they could retain or sell.

Andreas Gursky, whose image Rhine II was sold for slightly over $4.3 million in 2011, holds the record for the most expensive verifiable sale of a photograph.

The first of a six-part series, this image portrays a stretch of the Rhine river just outside of Dusseldorf.

Gursky has digitally deleted nearby structures to create the final shot, making it one-of-a-kind, as you won’t be able to see the same perspective if you go to the river yourself.

To learn what makes fine art photography distinct, visit Adobe.

6. Wines and Spirits

Rare wine is an investment that grows in value and quality over time.

Some of them, such as the rare red and white Burgundies, have had incredible price increases in recent years, far exceeding stock market performance.

Rare wine, as an investment, can provide substantially better returns than any other traditional financial asset.

For a rare occasion, you can even uncork your prized bottle of 1964 Dom Perignon.

People rush to acquire wine from a particular vintage when it achieves cult status.

This is because each vintage has its distinct characteristics, and its flavour can never be duplicated. This is typically how it advances to the “rare wine” category.

A bottle of wine with a fascinating backstory (such as the 1907 Heidsieck that was rescued from a shipwreck) is also uncommon and can command astronomical prices from selective purchasers.

So, if you invest in uncommon wines as collectibles, you can sell them for a premium in the future to a high net worth buyer, a specialist restaurant, or a boutique wine store.

In 2018, Sotheby’s sold a bottle of 1945 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from a private collection for $558,000.

The bottle was projected to sell for $32,000.

The auction’s record-breaking price had such an impact that many felt it influenced the price of a bottle of the same vintage, the same wine that sold shortly after ($496,000).

A bottle of Macallan Fine and Rare 60 Year Old 1926 sold for £1.5 million ($1.9 million) at Sotheby’s, breaking the previous record for any wine or spirit.

The bottle contained the unusually dark liquor and was part of a very restricted run of only 40 bottles made from cask 263.

This could be the ‘holy grail’ of whiskies for a collector.

Where to buy collectibles?

Most common-use items can sometimes turn out to be your precious gold mine.

For anyone thinking about investing in collectibles, online stores or your local shops could be great places to start acquiring items.

You can even sell your collectibles there if you wish to part with them or the value goes up.

The bottom line

Investing in collectibles will almost certainly always require a leap of faith.

As a result, it’s best not to spend too much money upfront.

After all, no one can predict which products will appreciate in value.

So be patient if you’re planning to collect for investment. And don’t even think of opening that box!


The collectibles market can be a minefield for the unwary.

Not only do you need to be on the lookout for rare finds, but you also need to know how to avoid being scammed by counterfeiters.

With so much at stake, it pays to do your homework and build up some expertise in your chosen collectible category.

This way, you’ll be able to spot bargains when you see them and know when you’re being offered a fake.

Of course, even the most experienced collectors can occasionally be fooled, but by being cautious and doing your research, you can minimise the risk of being taken for a ride.



This article is general in nature and is in no way intended to influence anyone’s individual buying and/or selling decisions.

For expert advice, be sure to consult a licenced antique dealer or another professional who specialises in collectibles.



Looking for inspiration for your next adventure?

Is the daily rat race leaving you feeling exhausted?

Jocelyn Magazine acts as a source of inspiration to help you indulge your taste buds and curiosity while also discovering the history and culture of Australia.

So, if you are looking for your next adventure, check out some of our travel destination posts here.

Fishing shack transformed to a modern beachside home

It’s hard to imagine the stunning beach-side home of Keith and Daphne Buhr in Hervey Bay was ever a little fishing shack.

The original owner, if still alive, would never recognise his former cottage. Even a subdivision of land has changed the street number.

Keith from Core Architecture admits that even he did not realise the cottage’s potential when they bought it about three years earlier.

When he and Daphne moved from Brisbane seeking a semi-retired lifestyle they bought two blocks of land in the street. They intended to keep the cottage as a boat shed on one block and build their home on the other.

“It wasn’t until later that we realised this block with the fishing shack had more potential,” Keith said.

The northeast aspect suited Hervey Bay’s climate perfectly.

While living in the rickety old cottage, Keith set about designing their dream home based on what was already there including the huge albesia tree that now shades most of their backyard.

Two and a half years later Keith and Daphne had a striking beachside home that, to the untrained eye, looks simple in design. The reality is, however, every nook and cranny has been carefully planned to make the most of their environment.

“We installed an air-conditioner in the main bedroom but we have only used it once for heating in winter.”

A new building stands beside the old cottage, which is now a self-contained guest room, with a covered deck joining the two sections.

In keeping with the original style, the home was built with tin and timber. Daphne has completed the beach look with original Hervey Bay artworks throughout.

Originally published in the Fraser Coast Chronicle’s My Place feature, 2009.

If you enjoyed this story, perhaps you’d like to read about Ilfracombe

Fishing shack renovation

Stunning renovation of an old fishing shack to contemporary living.














Woodstock stands the test of time

Nestled under towering Norfolk and Bunya pine trees on the banks of the Mary River is a significant piece of Maryborough’s history – Woodstock Estate.

Woodstock, the 160-year-old home now belonging to Maryborough businessman Rollo Nicholson.

Difficult to see from the river or its Lennox Street frontage, Woodstock Estate does have an impressive history and its future looks bright.

Mr Nicholson said Woodstock was built in the mid-1850s by Mr J.E. Brown, a pioneer of commerce who was not interested in attending civic events but instead focused his attention on education and horticulture.

Much of Maryborough State High School owes its beginnings to Mr Brown’s benevolence. He also built the Wharf Street building now occupied by the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum.

Woodstock Estate was once the centre of Maryborough’s social life and notable guests including the Earl of Normanby, Governor of Queensland 1871 – 1874, Lord Henry Phipps, and his son slept between its walls.

Fraser Coast architect Marian Graham said the home was constructed using the ballroom of another local mansion and it still had a formal dining room that was almost subterranean.

Over the years, the home on Woodstock Estate has been renovated numerous times in styles that haven’t been always been sympathetic to the original era but as architect Marian Graham points out, every renovation is part of its heritage.

When asked how long he had owned the home, Mr Nicholson’s replies: “Too long – my plans have been on the drawing board too long.”

About two years ago, his controversial plans to turn the historic home into nine units and a house were met with opposition from a few people who insisted such a development would destroy the significant piece of Maryborough’s heritage.

Mr Nicholson won the battle and his redevelopment is expected to be complete a year from now.

“It is not heritage-listed,” he said. “None of the outside walls is original and a lot of the original timber has rotted away.”

Indeed, the transformation promises to return the property to a “centre of social life” as it was in its heyday.

Mr Nicholson said a front section of the Woodstock Esate home would be demolished to make way for a new living room overlooking the river.

There will be a swimming pool in the back yard, between the home and the river where tennis courts used to be, and an entertainment section that he expects will be a popular meeting point for residents to socialise around the barbecue and games room.

Turning back the clock at Woodstock Estate

If you turned back the clock 160 years while driving along Lennox Street, you would be driving through the wide entrance gates of Woodstock Estate.

The massive block of land belonging to Englishman J.E. Brown, one of Maryborough’s pioneers of commerce, stretched from the riverbank to John Street.

On it, in the mid-1850s, he built a cottage, the front gates of which were erected where Lennox Street now crosses the grounds.

A story in a 1941 edition of The Steering Wheel and Society and Home magazine, tells of Mr Brown adding large living and reception rooms to his home after his marriage to Miss M. Portus.

It goes on to say the home was constructed of specially selected timbers including cedar.

In one wing was a billiard room that housed the first billiard table in the Wide Bay district, which attracted a lot of interest.

There was also a large reception room with the floor specially sprung for dancing.

The main section of the house included a large drawing-room, dining and children’s dining rooms, bedrooms and guest suites. Beneath this was a special cellar stocked with wines of rare vintage. Latticed verandas separated the staff quarters, pantries and huge kitchens.

The grounds of Woodstock Estate were about 38 acres, of which 18 acres were used for grazing horses, ponies and cows.

Woodstock was the centre of social life, dating back to the mid-1800s with notable guests including the Earl of Normanby, Governor of Queensland 1871 – 1874 and his son, Lord Henry Phipps. Government officials were frequent guests of Mr Brown, who often put his yacht at their disposal for trips to Fraser Island.

Historic horticulture at Woodstock Estate

Mr Brown was recognised for his love of horticulture.

A Sydney botanist, when importing trees and shrubs to Australia, sent choice specimens to Mr Brown and as a result, his property was filled with:

  • Hibiscus shrubs, Bunya and Norfolk Island pines, jacarandas, magnolia and poinciana trees plus a cork tree from Spain,
  • There were also patches of maize, Lucerne, sorghum, banana palms and a vegetable garden,
  • In the fields were plums, Bauple nuts and ornamental shade trees, and
  • Native companions (brolgas), emus and wallabies roamed freely.

Possession of the Woodstock property remained in the Brown family until 1911 when the extension of Lennox Street cut the grounds in halves.

Present owner Rollo Nicholson said a front section of the home was also removed when Lennox Street was built.

In the 1940s, what remained of old Woodstock home and about two acres of the garden was returned to the possession of the family – Mr A. H. T. Brown, a grandson of the pioneer.

The estate later passed to the family of Maryborough’s Dr Tom Dunn and more recently, businessman Rollo Nicholson.

Originally published in the Fraser Coast Chronicle, June 2011.


If you enjoyed this story, perhaps you’d like to read about Ilfracombe.



A new era for Ilfracombe

A curtain has drawn on the Hyne family’s ownership of Ilfracombe, one of the most prestigious historic riverside homes in Maryborough.

After almost 80 years in the Hyne family, the chamfer board timber home now has a new owner.

James Hyne, resource manager at Hyne Timber, recalled the many days he spent on the bull-nosed verandas chatting with family and friends or quietly contemplating the world as the muddy waters of the Mary River flowed past.

“My grandfather Lambert left the home to Dad and it became the family home about 1985,” James said.  “The most memorable day for me at Ilfracombe was the day I married Jodie on the front lawn.”

Beautifully positioned to host weddings, James’ uncle Chris Hyne and his wife Carol also chose Ilfracombe as their wedding venue.

They were married in the drawing-room where the original anaglypta-lined vaulted ceiling still exists.

Over the years, Ilfracombe’s sweeping garden with its many large established trees has been the scene of many functions, the last of which was a garden party in May for this year’s Biggest Morning Tea in support of the cancer research.

Sadly, James’ mother Margaret succumbed to cancer just three months after his wedding in 2000. His father Warren died seven years later.

Manors on Mary: Ilfracombe 2021

Manors on Mary: Ilfracombe, 2021.

James said it was also sad the home was destined to be sold and would no longer be in the Hyne family.

“There are just a few minor renovations to be done and it’ll be ready for sale,” he said.

Over the years, rear sections of the home have been removed and replaced, and the kitchen extended.  Despite many internal renovations, many original features remain intact including the drawing-room ceiling and a fireplace with painted tiles.

James is the son of Warren and Margaret Hyne and great-great-grandson of Richard Matthews Hyne who established the iconic timber milling business in 1882.

Ilfracombe history

Concealed from street views, the state-heritage-listed manor Ilfracombe overlooks the Mary River close to the heart of Maryborough.

Originally named Blairholme, the chamfer board timber home with corrugated iron gabled roof, which includes an attic, decorative finishes and large garden, is characteristic of the large timber homes built in Queensland in the late 19th century.

The historic river-side home is associated with prominent Maryborough families, the Wilsons and the Hynes.

Queensland Heritage Register archives show Ilfracombe was built between 1893 and 1895 as the residence of Margaret Blair and her four children following the death of her husband in 1893. Margaret was the sister-in-law of Andrew Heron Wilson on whose land the house was built, adjacent to his home, Doon Villa.

Mr Wilson arrived in Maryborough about 1866 and established Maryborough Sawmills before teaming with R. Hart and J. Bartholomew to build a larger sawmill for Wilson, Hart and Co. in 1881, where the Brolga Theatre now stands.

After Mr Wilson’s death in 1906, the land was transferred to the Queensland Trustees Limited but the Blair family stayed in the home until 1935 when the allotments were subdivided and sold.

Hugh Keys bought the land on which Ilfracombe stood and two years later the property was transferred to James Richard Lambert Hyne, a member of another prominent Maryborough timber milling family.

J.R.L. (Lambert) Hyne was the grandson of Richard Matthews Hyne, an English carpenter who founded the Hyne dynasty on the banks of the Mary River in 1882.

The Hyne family had a family home in Lennox Street called Ilfracombe and when they bought Blairholme the name was transferred from this earlier residence.

On the death of J.R.L. (Lambert) Hyne, the property was transferred to his son Warren Henry Hyne who lived in the home with his wife Margaret (pictured below) from about 1985 until their deaths in 2007 and 2000 respectively.

Originally published in the Fraser Coast Chronicle, June 18, 2011.

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