With Ipswich City Centre having more historical buildings than you can poke a Georgian walking stick at, it’s a great place to explore on foot. The CBD Then & Now Heritage Walk has a host of charming, elegant buildings within cooee distance of each other so that it’s a really do-able walk – a ‘walkette’ almost.
Start off in the middle of town in Brisbane Street where you can check out the handsome Post Office and Old Town Hall. The Post Office’s clock tower has been giving locals the right time since 1901, while the Town Hall was originally a School of Arts back in 1861. Just around the corner is Global Arts Link, with the much lauded Ipswich Art Gallery occupying a fantastic art space combined with interactive computer technology.
A hop, skip and a jump away in Limestone and Ellenborough Streets, check out the RSL Memorial Hall and Technical College, both designed by George Brockwell Gill – whose work is seen all around Ipswich. Students of eras gone by started attending technical classes in 1891 at the college and it was officially opened in 1901 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
There are many historical Ipswich churches with interesting stories to tell, with the Ipswich City Uniting Church being the oldest church in Queensland in continuous use, and the 1859-built St Paul’s Anglican Church once being described as ‘the nicest church in New South Wales’! Prizes for guessing it was built shortly before Queensland separated from its southern cousin.
Other highlights include d’Arcy Doyle Place, named in honour of Ipswich-born artist, d’Arcy Doyle, and boasting a fountain sculpted by Rhyl and Rob Hinwood, and the simple but charming Mary Tregear Hostel, a Colonial Georgian house erected c. 1860 and now owned by the QCWA.
by Vicki Englund