Hanworth in East Brisbane

by AF

Hanworth in East Brisbane sold in August for $2,025,000.

*Update: The home was severely damaged in a fire overnight on March 18~19, 2013. The fire took 2 1/2 hours to get under control. The new owners had started renovating the property shortly after their purchase in 2012 and renovations were said to still be underway in 2013. Luckily no one was in the home when the fire broke out. – See the full article in the Brisbane Times here.

The owners had submitted an application for a permissible change of use to the Brisbane City Council in December 2012 to convert the house/hospice into a women-only boarding house, which would only involve minimal changes such as painting and installing new floor finishes. No doors, walls or windows would need to be removed or changed under their proposal. However, on March 15 2013, the owners formally withdrew their application.

Built in 1864-1865, it is one of the fine riverine estates that lined the Brisbane River in the mid-19th century and is believed to be one of Brisbane’s oldest homes.

The heritage listed property was designed by James Cowlishaw and was built for Captain George Poynter Heath – the Portmaster of Brisbane in the 1870s and 1880s. Captain Heath had purchased the land in 1863. He named the house “Hanworth” after his hometown in Norfolk.

The low-set home was primarily constructed out of hand-made bricks. There is also an attic at the southern end of the house with gable windows from which Captain Heath was able to keep a lookout for boats. The Captain and his wife held many social gatherings and honored many guests in their home.

In 1912, Mr. Joseph Tritton purchased the estate, sub-divided the land and auctioned off the sections. The house was passed in at auction, but sold one year later to Mrs. J.D. Weinholt, who re-purposed the home as a hospice for elderly women.

Mrs. Weinholt took a strong personal interest in the running of the home, which she called “The Hospice” until handing it over in mid-1927 to the Brisbane Theosophical Society in honor of her late mother. The Society continued to operate the home according to her wishes for nearly 70 years.

Hanworth in 1930 – State Library of Queensland

Hanworth in 1930 – State Library of Queensland

In 1995 it was sold to the Anglican Church who renamed it “Hanworth Home for the Aged” and operated it as a hospice until very recently. It was considered very suitable for the elderly because of its due east aspect, which allowed the residents to enjoy the sun in the winter mornings from the verandas. As it was low-set, there were only 3 steps to take them down into the garden.

There are two wings that run out from the back of the house and a veranda running between them. It is currently configured with 20 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a commercial kitchen. An addition to the home includes 15 bedrooms and a self-contained unit.

The land was valued at $2,350,000 in 2011. It is on a  3,081 sqm block of land. The original estate was much larger in Captain Heath’s days.

This has been run as a hospice for almost 100 years, so the interiors reflect that. The original marble fireplace remains as it was when Captain Heath lived there.

Seven News

Nine News


109 Lytton Road, East Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Listing and recent photos via Place.

The Queenslander, 22 May 1930.
Your Brisbane: Past and Present.
Environmental Protection Agency database, 2006.
The Brisbane Courier, 24 January, 1931.
The Courier-Mail, 27 May 1950.
Heritage Heritage Impact Report Stage 1, Conrad Gargett Riddell, 6 December 2012.