Glengallan Homestead is a two-storey sandstone heritage place built in 1867 in Queensland’s southern country region.
The name Glengallan was given by the Campbell brothers who secured leases to establish the Glengallan run in 1844. The name is from a district near to their homelands in Scotland.
The homestead wasn’t started until well after the Campbell brothers transferred Glengallan to C.H. Marshall, who partnered with John Deuchar.
It was John Deuchar that who embarked on building the homestead. Despite drought, rural depression, and mounting debts, he continued with costly improvements to the property, including the house.
John Deuchar lived in the stone house for less than a year when his creditors demanded payment. The house was intended to be a symbol of hard-won status.
The Brisbane Courier advertised Glengallan for sale in 1869. From the advert, you can get a sense of the grandeur of the property being one of the finest and largest in its time.
MAGNIFICENT PROPERTY, GLENGALLAN ESTATE, IN THE DISTRICT OF DARLING DOWNS,
Including 36,000 Acres of Purchased Land, all fenced in, and subdivided into paddocks, with substantial post and rail sheep-proof fences, together with 40,000 first-class sheep, 500 head of pure-bred cattle.
situate in the Darling Downs District, Queensland, comprising 36,000 Acres of Freehold Land (more or less), purchased from the Crown, besides the leased portion of the run, all securely fenced in, and subdivided into paddocks, about 300 acres of which are laid down in lucerne, the whole being equal to the finest pastoral lands in any of the Australian colonies, abundantly watered, and possessing fattening properties of the very highest order.
GLENGALLAN adjoins Goomburra, Toolburra, and Canning Downs ; is distant 70 miles from Ipswich (the head of navigation), 8 miles from the township of Warwick, and 7 miles from Allora, the terminus of the railway.
The IMPROVEMENTS are all very extensive and complete ; the buildings are principally of stone and brick, the DWELLING-HOUSE ALONE having been erected at a COST of £10,000. The out-offices and improvements generally are all of the best description, but much too numerous to particularise in an advertisement.
The STOCK consists of 40,000 SHEEP, more or less, and 500 PURE-BRED CATTLE.
Of the former, 3000 are STUD SHEEP, and have lately been valued by competent judges as worth £5 PER HEAD ALL ROUND. The CATTLE are PURE-BRED, and cannot be surpassed in the colonies, cost being no consideration when fresh blood had to be introduced, as an instance of which it may be mentioned that £1200 was GIVEN FOR TWO BULLS and ONE COW.
BREWSTER & TREBECK have much pleasure in drawing the attention of capitalists and investors to this magnificent pastoral property situated in the very choicest portion of DARLING DOWNS PROPER.
They solicit intending purchasers to inspect it, as no description can adequately convey to the mind the many advantages which it possesses, embracing a fine position, uniformly excellent quality of pasture, and acknowledged superiority of both sheep and cattle to any others in the colony–the substantial and complete fencing and other improvements, and the whole situated in one of the best wool-producing as well as the most enjoyable climate in the world. INDEPENDENTLY of the ANNUAL PROFITS from such FIRST-CLASS SHEEP, UNDER FENCING, the INCOME from the sale of PURE RAMS and BULLS from this estate is the LARGEST of ANY in the AUSTRALIAN COLONIES.
…The Brisbane Courier (Sat 12 June 1869, page 8)
Before Glengallan Homestead was built, a sandstone Station Office and Store was built in 1864. In contract to the masonry of the main house, the station office has a variety of block sizes and irregular stonework.
A block and tackle lifted heavy stores in and out of the stone-flagged cellar, fitted with a wide shelf around three sides. An iron roof on top protects the original shingles underneath it.
There were a number of other buildings there too, such as the stables now represented only by the stone floor, and the Cedar Wing represented by a frame outline of where it once stood.
The Cedar Wing was a three-roomed building constructed of cedar and attached at one end at the back of Glengallan Homestead, built in the 1880s.
It is the main homestead, however, that defines the grandeur of Glengallan Homestead. The sandstone pieces are uniform and neatly fitted for the two storey homestead and the doorways have beautiful keystone arched tops. The verandah runs the full length of the front on both floors and wraps part way around each side.
Steps in the centre of the front lead to the verandah and into Glengallan Homestead’s entryway, where a grand stairway wraps around the back of the room and forward again onto the top floor. To the sides of the entry are the formal dinning room at one end and the ball and drawing rooms on the other.
Upstairs has a number of bedrooms from a long hallway from the top of the stairs, also opening through to the upper balcony. The sandstone arch above the doorways is the defining feature on the outside, from inside it is the dark wooden frames around the doorways.
The interior is a mix of restored glory and reminders of its abandoned life with deteriorated holes in many of the rooms. The boys were worried about going upstairs because the ceiling of the bottom floor had holes and they were worried it would collapse. It is fine, of course, although there is a limit of 50 persons upstairs.
During restoration, a mummified cat was found under the floor. The cat’s body still remains where it was found and with a weird feature of Glengallan Homestead, a glass viewing window in the floor presents Moggy resting forever on display.
The restoration is still ongoing and possibly always will be, sandstone can be expensive so funding for restoration doesn’t go far. It does show how far the restoration has come, even though the deterioration that can be seen is minor compared to what it was previously.
Abandoned, the house became a home for birds and other wildlife. Cattle also used the building, trampling through the homestead. The roof had collapsed letting the weather enter freely. The roof has been replaced with an iron roof instead of replacing it with shingles it originally had to give it longer life and more economical to restore.
The bathroom has the earliest flushing toilet plumbed into the house you will likely ever see. Using a plank of cedar with a hole in the seated area, the flushing toilet sits underneath with a complicated mechanism to tip and flush the inner bowl.
The slate bath complemented the flushing toilet, providing Glengallan Homestead with the ultimate in 19th Century conveniences. Water was supplied from a lead-lined tank in the rafters above, with water forced in from Glengallan Creek.
The bath and toilet were stored in Warwick from 1969, returning to Glengallan Homestead in 2002.
Sitting on the fireplace mantel is a 1950s Miroy Freres clock, a piece that adorned the Glengallan Homestead during the Gillespie era since they purchased Glengallan in 1904. Miroy Freres was commissioned by Queen Victoria to produce clocks, statues, and lamps. The clock may have been purchased by the Deuchars during a visit to Europe in 1958 to 1960.
A descendant of the Gillespie family, Jill Wrathall, recognised the clock in a photo at Glengallan as the same clock handed to her by her mother. The clock has returned to Glengallan Homestead, adding to the authenticity of its restoration.