Collingwood – Great Houses of Ipswich 2019
Collingwood – 15 Murphy Street, Ipswich
Collingwood at 15 Murphy Street was constructed in the 1860s or 1870s as an investment property by building contractor William Hancock. Built as a six room, two-storey residence with walls of load-bearing brick, the site included a detached brick kitchen and a two-stall stable at the rear.
Land in this section of Ipswich was first offered for sale in 1861. The first owner of the 15 Murphy Street allotment was investor and member of Queensland’s first Parliament, Patrick O’Sullivan. One of the allotment’s subsequent owners was William Hancock, who had arrived in Moreton Bay in 1856 accompanied by his wife, Jane. Moving to Ipswich, William Hancock had been employed in the extension of Rockton Villa before becoming a building contractor working on a number of Ipswich places including Booval House. After 1862 William Hancock constructed Orangefield in Eastern Heights, the family’s home until 1875.
According to Hancock family history, 15 Murphy Street is one of three brick houses in a row that William Hancock built from the 1860s, the others being the heritage listed Brickstone at 11 Murphy Street and Cornubia at 13 Murphy Street, the Hancock family home after 1875.
During the late 1880s and 1890s, Joseph and Kate Gore occupied 15 Murphy Street. Following his arrival from England in 1885, Joseph Gore worked at the Queensland Woollen Company, eventually becoming its managing director. From 1898 he was a partner in the timber milling company of Hancock and Gore, formed with Josias Hancock, a nephew of William Hancock. Following the departure of Joseph and Kate Gore from 15 Murphy Street, the house became a rental property owned by Frederick Goleby, then an Ipswich alderman and in 1906 the Ipswich Mayor.
The next owner to leave his mark, literally, was Thomas Salisbury who etched his initials and the date of 1932 into a stone on the site. Thomas Salisbury, with his wife Elizabeth and their family, moved to 15 Murphy Street around 1930. According to the Electoral Roll for 1934, the Salisbury family had given the name of Hollinwood to 15 Murphy Street. Although Thomas and Elizabeth Salisbury both died in 1950s, the house remained in the family until the 1980s. The current owner purchased 15 Murphy Street in 2010.
Given its construction era, Collingwood remains relatively intact. In the 1930s, the wall between two rooms on the first floor was removed to create one room. An enclosed breezeway now connects the ground floor to the once detached kitchen and a scullery provides a link to the old stables, now a bathroom. The initials ‘WH’ stamped on a joist under the floor upstairs, discovered by the owners, attest to its construction by William Hancock. Research continues into its two surprisingly similar house names.