When Woolloongabba was Wattle Scented

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Brisbane's Old Town Hall - Tale of History Lost & Found! - Part 2.

The Stewart and Lloyds site is located at 99/119 Montague Road at South Brisbane, it was here that labourer's found the lost builders rule, as it was about to be tipped as a load of fill. Stewart and Lloyds were iron merchants and later became part of the company we know today as B.H.P. Billiton. The foundry was relocated from Anne Street in the Valley after it was resumed for construction of the Story Bridge. Their original buildings fronted Anne Street where today cars drive up the ramp to the bridge and a pedestrian subway runs under the same ramp.

Partially demolished Stewart and Lloyds buildings Anne St. Construction of the bridge has commenced and can be seen emerging in the centre of the photo.

Stewart and Lloyds inspected many sites for relocation and even entered negotiations at one stage with the Catholic Church to purchase land where All- Hallows Girl's School is today (more property wheeling and dealing by Archbishop Duhig). Eventually they purchased the 5 acre site on Montague Road, it was mentioned as part of the claim for compensation that the land was below flood level and that part of it would need to be filled. We set off on a field trip to photograph the site and see if we could find any evidence of it being filled.

Foundry site at 119 Montague Road, the double storey walls have a red brick base and are decorated in a restrained relief pattern that looks as though it is pressed from steel. 

On the Riverside Drive side of the site, just before the bike way approach to the Go Between Bridge, is a retaining wall that runs East to West (the area is circled on the map above). Get your shovels ready for a little digging around, our proposition is that buried behind this wall are the remnants of Brisbane's old Town Hall.


1938 'Building Wrecked For Bridge Approach.', The Courier-Mail(Brisbane, Qld. : 1933-1954), 3 March, p. 3, viewed 22 May, 2011, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article39731407


  1. I wonder if the rule still exists somewhere.

  2. The rule could be "lost" again. There are a few other missing items (including 36 granite columns)from this tale. Check out our Facebook post for more.