Rangemoor in Clayfield: Architectural Jewel Sets New Sales Benchmark

Did you know that Rangemoor, a heritage-listed Robin Dods Queenslander, which represents a significant era in Clayfield’s architectural history, was recently sold for a remarkable sum of money? This transaction has not only set a new record for the suburb but has also caught the attention of locals and architectural enthusiasts alike.

In a carefully managed Top Offer campaign, Rangemoor was sold for an undisclosed amount after 30 days of intensive market activity.

This architectural masterpiece located at 165 Adelaide Street East, Clayfield was first built in 1907 and shows the influence of Brisbane’s first builder in its strong roofline, large verandas, and intricate woodwork.

Photo Credit: Website/Place New Farm

The house attracted huge bidder interest due to its prime location on one of Clayfield’s most recognized streets, its large block, and Brisbane’s architectural legacy.

The property’s deep historical roots and family-friendly atmosphere resonated with potential buyers, who were also drawn to the large grounds where kids could play.

Photo Credit: Website/Place New Farm

The house was designed to blend in. A central courtyard and single-level plan allow natural airflow and light into the apartments. When you enter, the formal and informal living areas blend smoothly. Beautiful French doors, 11-foot ceilings, and leadlight windows enhance the rooms.

Photo Credit: Website/Place New Farm

Sydney landscape designer Myles Baldwin’s 2018 plans for Rangemoor’s east and back gardens enhance the private suites’ luxury.

A young family looking for a legacy and home purchased Rangemoor. They value good schools and a safe environment for their children.

History of Rangemoor

In the late 19th century, John William Huggins Grout, initially a stockbroker in Brisbane, later became a prominent figure in the Queensland militia before moving to Dalby in 1900. He played a crucial role in forming the Dalby Company of the Queensland Mounted Infantry. Mr Grout returned to Brisbane in 1902, taking up various roles, including Vice-Consul for Spain.

During the early 1900s, Clayfield, along with its neighboring suburbs, emerged as prestigious addresses for the city’s elite families. In 1907, Mr Grout’s wife, Winifred, purchased an acre of land on Adelaide Street, where the renowned architectural firm Hall and Dods created “Rangemoor.”

Photo Credit: BCC

The Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements had an impact on Mr Dods, an architect who improved Queensland’s traditional house design. His works in Clayfield/Ascot area include Lyndhurst and Turrawan, also known as the Clayfield House.

After Mr Grout died in 1918, the property changed hands, eventually being owned by Dr. Charles August Thelander, who chaired the controversial 1935-37 Royal Commission. Mr Thelander lived at Rangemoor until he died in 1959.

Over time, the property underwent alterations, including additions and subdivisions. Despite changes, much of Mr Dods’ original design remains, making Rangemoor a significant part of Adelaide Street East’s historical landscape.

Published Date 27-March-2024

Delve into the Fascinating History of Four Heritage-Listed Mansions in Clayfield

Adelaide Street East, home to many historical properties owned by some of Brisbane’s wealthiest families, is one of Clayfield’s most desirable addresses. Here are four heritage-listed mansions on Adelaide St East that reflect Clayfield’s storied past.

Oliver Jonker

138 Adelaide St East: Casa Mara 

Casa Mara was constructed in 1930 for Mrs Martha Greenfield, who married Brisbane doctor Vivian Hector Leigh-Barlow. She purchased the land on Adelaide St East in 1923. As with many homes in the Clayfield, Ascot, and Hamilton area, Casa Mara was a beautiful structure often featured in society pages, home magazines and architectural journals. 

This house was designed as a Spanish Mission bungalow, with a stucco finish and a Spanish tiled roof. Outside, Casa Mara’s gardens had plenty of succulents and Cypress pines. Inside, the house featured an ornate dome ceiling, tessellated porch, twisted columns, and unique details “planned and finished in the Spanish period,” per its auction advertisement when it was put up for sale in 1933. 

Heritage-listed Casa Mara in 2020
Photo Credit: Google Maps

Casa Mara attracted large crowds and packs of sightseers when it went on the auction but the sale was not completed until the death of Mr Leigh-Barlow in 1936. Mr and Mrs Stanley Curnow acquired the property until it was sold to Mr Harold Paton in 1941, and then again in the 1950s to its current owners.

Casa Mara first auction
Photo Credit: National Library of Queensland
Casa Mara first auction
Photo Credit: National Library of Queensland

140 Adelaide St East: Heritage-listed Tresco 

Evelyn Mary Bernays bought the land on 140 Adelaide St East in 1898 after her marriage to architect and engineer Charles Edwin Bernays. Mr Bernays may have likely designed the house that completed construction in 1900. 

As an engineer, Mr Bernays investigated the cause of the 1887 floods and proposed a canal system and flood prevention scheme with the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce.  

Death notice Charles Edwin Bernays Clayfield
Photo Credit: National Library of Australia

Tresco was then originally named Moorlane until Caroline Woodley acquired the property in 1911. Three years later, Ms Woodle sold the property to Frank and Louisa Coxon, who then sold the house to Albert P Greenfield, an optician. It is believed that the Greenfields named the property Tresco. Their family remains the homeowner, passing Tresco from one generation to the next.

Albert P Greenfield  Clayfield
Dr Albert P Greenfield 
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

Tresco is a Federation-era home that was entered into Brisbane’s heritage listing for its links to Mr Bernays and Mr Greenfield, two very important people in Clayfield. The property has not been on the market since 1998 when it sold for $1.45 million.

Tresco Adelaide St East current
Photo Credit: BCC

143 Adelaide St East: Heritage-listed Mardan 

John Spence Irvine had Mardan constructed from 1908, upon his marriage to Clara. He was a religious Baptist who managed the Foy and Gibson drapery firm in Fortitude Valley. In 1912, James Peter Peterson bought Mardan from the Irvines when he retired from Longreach Shire Council to Brisbane. He was also known as one of the best-known pastoralists in Queensland. 

Mr Peterson was married to Sarah Fagg, a well-known philanthropist who received an MBE from the British monarch for her philanthropy.

The couple had a son named Roy. Following Mr Peterson’s death in 1936, Sarah and then Roy stayed at Mardan until it was sold in 1953 to Carl Wallace Bishop. 

Mardan, another Federation-era home, is featured with wide verandahs with some ornate timberwork, a steeply pitched corrugated iron roof, and a landscaped garden with palm trees. It has been heritage-listed for its links to the Petersons and as an example of a subdivision of larger urban allotments within Clayfield.

In October 2021, Mardan was sold for $4.4 million. It was worth $775,000 when its previous owners bought the property in 1997.

heritage-listed mansions in Clayfield
Photo Credit: BCC

165 Adelaide St East: Heritage-listed Rangemoor 

The grand timber home was designed by prominent Queensland architect, Robin S. Dods, for former soldier turned merchant John W.H. Grout and his wife Winnifred. 

Rangemoor encapsulated the signature characteristics of Mr Dods’ designs such as the dominant roof form, side entrance porch, generous verandahs, and restrained timber detailing. He embellished the house with Spanish and Moorish features as a nod to Mr Grout’s role as the Vice-Consul for Spain.

Robert Smith Dods aka Robin Dods
Robert Smith Dods aka Robin Dods
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

After Mr Grout’s death in 1921, Dr Charles August Thelander and his wife Helene bought Rangemoor. Dr Thelander was a prominent obstetrician and paediatrician.

He was also a controversial figure in Brisbane as the Royal Commission Chairman who made a negative assessment of Sister Elizabeth Kenny’s treatment of poliomyelitis. Sister Elizabeth was another popular figure in Brisbane, whose approach to polio was actually adopted worldwide.

Charles August Thelander  Clayfield
Dr Charles August Thelander  
Photo Credit: State Library of Queensland

The Thelanders owned Rangemoor for at least three decades after the doctor’s death in 1959. The family did some renovations and upgrades to the house in all those years but many of Mr Dods’ original designs remained. The acres of land were also subdivided and sold whilst the Thelanders retained the old home.

In 1988, the Thelanders sold Rangemoor for $650,000. It was last on the market in 2010 and was then valued at $5.8 million.