Discover Brisbane’s oldest residential farmhouse and the hauntings within!
Hidden in the bustling fringe of Brisbane’s outer suburbs is a nineteenth century rural gem known as Wolston House. The oldest surviving residential farmhouse in the district, Wolston House has been a key property in the portfolio of the National Trust in Queensland since 1963.
Wolston House love visitors. At Wolston you can wander through rooms that embody the comfortable rural lifestyle of previous owners. Afterwards you can feast on the tasty cultural heritage experience of a Victorian-style High Tea. Some visitors just take in the afternoon breeze as it finds its way lazily upriver.
Established by Dr Stephen Simpson, Wolston House was constructed in 1852 on 640 acres he purchased on the banks of the Brisbane River, half way between Brisbane and Ipswich. He established a horse and cattle station there, naming it after his Warwickshire birthplace. Stephen Simpson was a learned man—a doctor, Justice of the Peace, Police Magistrate and later member of the first Legislative Council of Queensland. Little wonder he was appointed Crown Commissioner of Lands following the closure of the Moreton Bay penal colony in the 1840s.
In 1860 Matthew Goggs purchased the Wolston Estate from Simpson, who was returning to England. Goggs continued the property tradition of breeding horses and cattle but also raised this large family there. His son, also a Matthew Goggs, sold Wolston to the Grindle family in 1906. They introduced a dairy business, supplying milk to Brisbane suburbs into the 1930s. Farmer Bert Hurley bought the Wolston Estate in 1956 before selling it to the Queensland Government.
The National Trust acquired Wolston House and a small area of land surrounding it from the Queensland Government in 1963. By that time the house was in a very dilapidated condition. Today’s Wolston House, restored and popular with visitors, features furnishings and artefacts dating back over a century. Some visitors testify to sensing or experiencing paranormal activity, which is not surprising given the tragic deaths of two previous residents—John Ommaney in 1856 and Jem Grindle in the 1940s. Both died as a consequence of horse riding accidents.
The National Trust is planning some improvements to Wolston House and during this process the private hire of the venue for functions and events will be suspended until certain improvements have been completed. We look forward to presenting a refreshed venue ready to hold your event in future. We are however still open on Sundays from 11am to 4pm, Wolston House is not to be missed by anyone seeking adventure of a historical kind! Entry fees are listed below.