A nineteenth century architectural gem - jewel in its own right.
Nestled amongst other historical buildings in Charters Towers, Lyall’s Store could almost be missed by passers-by due to its tiny street frontage. However, what this iconic shop lacks in dimensions it compensates for with rich historical value and intricate architecture. Donated to the National Trust of Australia (Queensland) in 1975, the store once referred as a ‘palace of wonders’ served for a short time as a museum.Lyall’s Store is a small, single storey brick shop with a recessed front entrance that features curved plate glass in its display windows and coloured glass panes above. While its allotment has a street frontage of only 4.2 metres, the interior is divided into three parts, with the largest section being used as retail space at the front.
This masonry store, located one and half hours from central Townsville, was constructed in 1897 for watchmaker and jeweller David Lyall. A well-known and prestigious store, Lyall’s was fitted out fashionably and expensively as a high-end jewellery store to be seen as a ‘palace of wonders’. One of the most impressive features upon its opening was the electric lighting within.
Following Lyall’s death in 1910 the store passed through a series of owners before being purchased by the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Historical Society in 1970. Following repairs by the society’s volunteers, the store was opened as a museum. In 1975 Lyall’s Store was gifted to the National Trust of Queensland. The collection, now too large for the tiny store, was relocated to Zara Clark Museum.
Lyall’s Store front can be seen daily throughout the year without cost.