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Wynnum Manly Heritage Trail

Wynnum Manly has managed to maintain its rich history as one of the oldest areas of Brisbane. The bayside suburbs offer an abundance of heritage buildings, places and landmarks that tell a story from indigenous occupation to European settlement, the threat of invasion and the development of a seaside community. This history can be experienced through the Wynnum Manly Heritage trail which leads you on a memorable journey over two exciting centuries.

  1. Fort Lytton
  2. The Quarantine Station
  3. Nazareth House
  4. Tingal Road
  5. Wynnum Hotel
  6. Fox Street Bridge
  7. Wynnum Fish Markets
  8. Shire Clerk's Cottage
  9. Kitchener Memorial
  10. Waterloo Bay Hotel
  11. Wynnum Central Post Office
  12. Wynnum Baptist Church
  1. Guardian Angel's Church
  2. Mt Carmel Convent
  3. Wynnum-Manly School of Arts
  4. Wynnum Ambulance Centre
  5. Wynnum Masonic Hall
  6. Cambridge Parade Shops
  7. Stone Retaining Wall
  8. View of Moreton Bay from Manly Hill
  9. Lota House
  10. Manly Boat Harbour
  11. Wading Pool
  12. Wynnum Pier and Pandanus Beach

Fort Lytton
Fort Lytton.

1 Fort Lytton
Fort Lytton provides a great opportunity to experience an exciting part of Queensland's history. Built in 1880-81, the Fort was a frontline of defense against the feared threat of naval raids by European superpowers. The Fort was shrouded in secrecy as its design, a classic example of a coastal fortress, was intended to conceal itself from an invading force until the first warning shot was fired. A warning that if ignored was followed by an armour piercing shot fired amidst the ships.

Heavy armour, consisting of six gun pits, two machine gun ports, and Armstrong guns which could be raised rapidly to fire over the Fort's ramparts and lowered below the parapet just 20 seconds later, were supported by a controlled mine field that operated from a concealed tunnel under the Fort. This minefield made it impossible for a vessel to enter the Brisbane Port unless authorised to do so. A Search officer from an Examinations Steamer examined vessels wishing to enter the Brisbane River. The Steamer communicated to the Fort using a secret code of signals. Once established that a vessel was harmless, a pilot escorted the ship through the minefield. This system was replaced in the 1930s by a boom gate monitoring all river traffic through a series of flags.

During the forty years that Fort Lytton served as Australia's frontline of defense, only three warning shots were ever fired. No further shots were fired as no vessel was prepared to take the Fort up on its challenge. Although the volunteers were never required to defend Queensland against an invasion, when a permanent Queensland Defense Force was established in 1884, the skilled gunners and engineers of the Fort became the elite of the force.

After World War 11 Fort Lytton fell into disrepair. This changed however when Ampol took over the site in 1963 and undertook regular maintenance. While secrecy was the agenda at the start of the century, the new volunteer force, the Fort Lytton Volunteers have a new priority, to allow the public access to colonial Queensland's secret weapon. Fort Lytton is open to any member of the public from Sunday to Friday. Guided tours are also conducted on these days. Fort Lytton forms part of the historic precinct managed for the people of Queensland by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, other sites managed by the Service includes nearby St Helena Island, a former colonial prison.
More on Fort Lytton

The Quarantine Station
The Quarantine Station.

2 The Quarantine Station
When the township of Lytton was resumed for defense purposes at the end of the 19th century, forty years after it had been established and named after Lord Bulwer Lytton, a portion of the site was set aside as a quarantine station. This station allowed for the isolation of infected ships, people and goods who were aiming to pass through the mouth of the Brisbane River. The use of this Quarantine station continued into the 1980s. Not all of the original buildings remain on the site and those that do are not currently open for inspection.

Nazareth House
Nazareth House.

3 Nazareth House
One of the most recognisable landmarks of Wynnum-Manly is Nazareth House. This home for the aged dominates the top of Tingal Hill and is run by the Poor Sisters of Nazareth, an order of nuns founded in London in 1854 by Mother St Basil. This property has a notable history and was formally the site of 'Mt Margaret', home of the former Premier of Queensland, Mr W. Kidston and later the Archbishop of Brisbane, James Duhig.

View Plaque Tingal Road
Tingal Road.

4 Tingal Road
The Margaret Marr Memorial Home for Boys was opened in 1924 and during World War II served as staff barracks for RAAF Radar Station No. 23 positioned at nearby Lytton Hill. A plaque located on a rock, 200 metres on the left along Tingal Road, commemorates this use of the site.

Tingal Road is one of the earliest in the area, and is an important element in the journey which led to the discovery of the Brisbane River. This journey began in 1823 when Pamphlett, Parsons and Finnegan were blown off course by a storm south of Sydney. The men shipwrecked on Moreton island and after building a canoe with the help of the Ngugi Tribe, crossed to the mainland, probably near Wellington Point. The three men sighted the Brisbane River after heading north, travelling along the ridge of Tingal Hill. Soon after, Lieutenant John Oxley was sent from Sydney to establish a site for a convict settlement at Moreton Bay. Oxley then named the Brisbane River after the governor of New South Wales.

5 The Wynnum Point Hotel (Formerly Wynnum Hotel)
The hotel was built by Wilde and Adams in the late 1870s, and later passed into the hands of the `Fisher' family. This building has come under a number of refurbishments including the closing in of two storey open verandahs, and the recent change to its 'art deco' style. It has long been a popular hotel for the workers of the fishing fleet moored in nearby Wynnum Creek and locally has been known as "Fishers" for many years. Building has now been demolished.

Fox Street Bridge
Fox Street Bridge.

6 Fox Street Bridge
In 1892 the Creek Storekeepers were vigorously opposed to a new bridge being built over the Wynnum Creek as they could see many of their customers driving to the rapidly growing Bay Terrace Centre. They were over ruled and the new bridge went ahead, originally as a shaky structure of logs which formed a footbridge and later in 1921 replaced by the present stone and concrete bridge which has since been altered by the addition of a footpath and railings.

Wynnum Fish Markets
Wynnum Fish Markets.

7 Wynnum Fish Markets
At the height of productivity in the 1930's the fishing fleet based in Wynnum Creek employed 108 men on 28 vessels and had an annual haul of one million lbs (2000 tonnes). Today sees a somewhat smaller fleet, but the popularity of the local fish market is booming. They supply many of the local shops and are open to the general public who take advantage of the freshest of produce.

Shire Clerk's Cottage
Shire Clerk's Cottage.

8 Shire Clerk's Cottage
With the establishment of the Wynnum Shire in 1884 and the developing nature of the time it was a major advantage to have the Shire Clerk available at all times. So it was that the Shire Clerk's Cottage was built in 1890 next to the Council Chambers. As well as a place to conduct Shire business, it was also used for receiving visiting officials. The cottage is of a late Victorian Filigree style and has seen many changes over the years.

Over time it was modified to accommodate more sleeping space on the verandahs and some of the fancier parts where removed, probably due to maintenance. As well as a place for the conduct of business, the cottage was also home to a number of family's as the Clerk's and other employee's usually brought their family's with them when they were appointed. Eventually it fell into disrepair and was allowed to decay in an over grown garden and grounds. However in the early 1980's the Leisure Centre next door (the old Council Chambers long since demolished) was able to acquire it from the Brisbane City Council and begin restoration. Today we see it as it was originally built, a testament to the Restoration committee and the community of Wynnum Manly.

Kitchener Memorial
Kitchener Memorial.

9 Kitchener Memorial
Lord Kitchener was well known for his command of British troops during the Boer War in South Africa in 1900. The memorial plaque which commemorates the occasion when Lord Kitchener reviewed troops from Fort Lytton in 1910, as well as Kitchener Park located on the other side of the railway line, are the only Queensland public mementos of his visit to Australia.

Waterloo Bay Hotel
Waterloo Bay Hotel.

10 Waterloo Bay Hotel
The original section of the hotel with open verandahs was built in 1889, for George Gibbs, a local stonemason. The adjoining public bar area dates from the 1920s. This Hotel is still a favourite among locals, and has maintained much of its original elegance.

Former Wynnum Central Post Office
Former Wynnum Central
Post Office.

11 Former Wynnum Central Post Office
This post office, the second in Wynnum, was built in 1923. The design was one which was repeatedly used for post offices throughout Queensland from 1920 to the mid 1930s. Common elements include the symmetrical design, with twin open porches leading into the public space. It ceased to be a post office in 1995 and has been adapted as a medical centre. However the original structure remains mostly unchanged.

12 Wynnum Baptist Church
The Wynnum Baptist Church was a late edition to the suburb with original services held in the Shire Clerk's cottage. In 1912 a small church was built in Edith Street and extended in four stages. The church was then relocated in two sections to the present site in 1930. The church still holds services with many dedicated members in the community.

Guardian Angel's Church
Guardian Angel's Church.

13 Guardian Angel's Church
Architect Richard Gailey designed the first Catholic Church to the area. The church was built in 1905 and was built on an acre of land that was a gift to the parish Archbishop Dunne. The site also houses the Guardian Angel's primary school with mass still held in the beautiful church.

Mt Carmel Convent
Mt Carmel Convent.

14 Mt Carmel Convent
Hall and Dods, Architects designed this Victorian style building for the Sisters of Mercy in 1915. The building itself is an impressive sight with cast iron filigree balustrade and shady verandahs still in beautiful condition. The serenity that surrounds the walls of this amazing structure suggests that the sisters of Mercy left their mark.

Wynnum-Manly School of Arts
School of Arts.

15 Wynnum-Manly School of Arts
This building has had many different faces and has been used for even more purposes. The central section of this building was built as a library in 1915 with later extensions being made on each side, for concert and dining halls. In its earlier days the building hosted the district horticultural shows, society balls and weekly dances. Today it is in great condition and still hosts many functions for the whole community.

Former Wynnum Ambulance Centre
Former Wynnum
Ambulance Centre.

16 Former Wynnum Ambulance Centre
In 1926 the affluence of the community was given testimony when they equally shared the cost with the government to construct this impressive red brick with rendered bands building for £3000. Its style is in keeping with the earlier built Masonic Hall. The ambulance service relocated to new premises in 1995.

Masonic Hall
Masonic Hall.

17 Masonic Hall
An intriguing sight is the stand-alone building of the Masonic Hall. Surrounded by residential buildings this Regency style Temple was built in 1920 at a cost of £4,000 and had 24 founding members.

Cambridge Parade Shops
Cambridge Parade Shops.

18 Cambridge Parade Shops
Looking at Cambridge Parade it is hard to believe that Manly Creek once flowed through this commercial area, and the early water supply was drawn from a dam constructed across the creek. The shopping village has a colonial feel to it as the shops still retain the original post-supported awnings and the residential top floors with their verandahs projecting over the footpath.

Stone Retaining Wall
Stone Retaining Wall.

19 Stone Retaining Wall
Towering 7.5 metres above road level on the side of a steep slope this stone structure looks more like a medieval bastion rather than the 3 metre thick retaining wall that it is. It is remarkable on its own, but even more so that it was constructed in 1933 during the Depression by relief work, with stones quarried at Lytton. Relief work was a particular method of supplying wages to those out of work through the combined efforts of State and Local Governments.

The Brisbane City Council also sponsored a number of other sites around the Wynnum Manly area during the Depression such as the Wading Pool and Pier. The wall is made all the more unique by a particularly artistic workman who created small concrete figures of kangaroos, emus, goannas and human heads into some of the mortar joint between stones. So make sure you allow yourself some extra time to find these delightful carvings.

View of Moreton Bay from Manly Hill
View of Moreton Bay
from Manly Hill.

20 View of Moreton Bay from Manly Hill
One of the charms of this area is Manly Hill. As you drive around the area you are constantly being presented with vistas over the bay as you round various corners. From the top of Manly Hill the whole of Waterloo Bay is visible. Waterloo Bay is the area around Wynnum-Manly and it was named such by Governor Brisbane in honour to the Duke of Wellington and the British Army's victory at the Battle of Waterloo. The larger and better-known Moreton Bay which was named by Captain Cook in 1770 encompasses Waterloo Bay. It was up to Captain Matthew Flinders however to fully explore the inner bay in 1799 and realise it was made up of a series of islands instead of being part of the mainland as originally thought.

When looking out at the bay from the top of Manly Hill the islands from left to right are: The port of Brisbane at Fisherman's Island; Moreton Island; St Helena Island; Green Island; and Stradbroke Island.

Lota House
Lota House.

21 Lota House
William Duckett White had this Victorian Regency house - a style carried over from the Colonial period and England - built for retirement in 1864. He named it 'Lota' after his wife's house above Cork Harbour in Ireland. It is now run by the Anglican Church as a home for the aged and is known as 'Edwin Marsden Tooth Memorial Home'. The house, which overlooks Waterloo Bay, retains much of its earlier grandeur as the oldest residence in the area.

Manly Boat Harbour
Manly Boat Harbour.

22 Manly Boat Harbour
The jewel in the crown of Wynnum-Manly is the Manly Boat Harbour. This impressive harbour is the largest small-craft harbour in Queensland and is a safe haven for hundreds of crafts. It was established in 1958 and in 1964 the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron moved its clubhouse to the harbour. The stone breakwaters at the harbour entrance provide protection and a handy place to fish. At the point (end of the bitumen road beside the Wynnum-Manly Trailer Boat club) is the Rotary Club directory plaque. This is a great guide to the surrounding areas and Islands.

Wading Pool
Wading Pool.

23 Wading Pool
Built in 1932 this tidal pool can retain the seawater by closing valves along the sea wall and is affectionately known as "the Wading Pool". It has always been a major draw card to the area and is just as popular today as ever. The surrounding parklands have been extensively planted with trees and the local take-away shops ensure that this area is packed with people on weekends, making this a very lively part of Wynnum Manly's heritage. The large sandstone monument containing three drinking fountains is a memorial to W.H. Barnes, M.L.A, a former State Treasurer who represented the Bulimba and Wynnum electorates from 1901 until 1933.

Wynnum Pier and Pandanus Beach
Wynnum Pier and
Pandanus Beach.

24 Wynnum Pier and Pandanus Beach
It was not until the construction of the stone sea wall in the 1930's that the waterfronts salt flats could be reclaimed as parkland. On blustery days and king tides a walk along this wall becomes an adventure as the sea boils up and over it. The Wynnum Pier stretches out into the sea where you can always see the outline of an angler or two.

In 1987 Pandanus Beach was opened and provides an extensive stretch of sandy beach (the largest in the area). The name Pandanus is a direct derivative of Wynnum which comes from the Aboriginal word "Winnam" meaning place of the Pandanus Tree.