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

Looking Back to When People Came to See the Good Doctor at Clayfield House

Did you know that the heritage-listed Clayfield House along London Rd first belonged to Dr. Arthur CF Halford, an esteemed obstetrician who wanted a house with a combined surgery facility to serve his patients? 

In the early 1900s, it was common for doctors to manage a private hospital or clinic with surgery services from their homes, particularly for maternity cases. In keeping with the times, Dr Halford enlisted the help of Robin Dods, a prominent Brisbane architect, to design the residence/surgery building

Mr Dods was quite familiar with Dr Halford’s requirements. His stepfather and brother were also doctors who managed a residence/surgery facility from their homes. The architect designed a similar concept for his brother’s place on Wickham Terrace.

Who was Dr Arthur CF Halford?

From 1906 to 1920, Dr Arthur Charles Frederick Halford conducted his medical practice from Turrawan, the other name he had for Clayfield House. He also had a clinic at 157 Wickham Terrace. 

Dr Halford, the son of a professor, was born in Melbourne in 1869. Thirty years later, he was arranged to be married to Miss Nora Fitzgerald, whose family came from Cork, Ireland. The couple then settled in Rockhampton, Queensland after their wedding in 1899.

Photo Credit: National Library of Australia

By 1905, Dr Halford had bought an acre of land at the corner of Sandgate and London Rd to establish Clayfield House/Turrawan. The building’s original entrance faced Sandgate Rd for the residence whilst the surgery area was accessed via London Rd. Turrawan also had a tennis court at the back of the house.

In 1908, he was named the Honorary Assistant Physician at the Brisbane Hospital, where he pioneered a new method of treating burns and scalds by puncturing the blisters and cutting much of the affected skin. His method was adopted until the 1960s. 

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

What makes Clayfield House unique?

Clayfield House was built in a burgeoning prestigious residential area in North Brisbane. The design was efficiently thought out to separate the house from the surgery, with separate entrances and distinct room layouts. It became a shining example of the city’s medical practice development. 

The size and quality of the doctor’s residence and surgery were uncommon during this period, especially since it has survived over decades. Some alternations were made to the house yet a lot of its original layout, details and characteristics remain today. 

Photo Credit: Federationdetails.blogspot.com
Clayfield House
Photo Credit: Federationdetails.blogspot.com

Turrawan demonstrated the history and development of the Queensland house, associated with the well-designed ideas of a prominent and influential architect. 

Clayfield House in the Present

After 1920, Clayfield House was let to Alexander Murray for five years then Dr Neville Sutton used London Rd as his professional address. Mr Dods is known for integrating British architectural concepts into traditional Queensland designs and materials.

Photo Credit: Federationdetails.blogspot.com

When Dr Halford’s wife died in 1932, parts of Clayfield House were sold, including a portion of the tennis court. After Dr Halford’s death in 1945, Savoy Pictures Pty Limited, which has built a theatre next to the property, bought the site. 

Around 1960, Clayfield House was resurveyed and then subdivided into two blocks. BP Australia bought the first block on the corner and built a service station that operated for two decades. 

On the other hand, the second lot became the property of Rodney and Colleen Abbott, who built a boarding house. Today, the facility is still known as Clayfield House, providing assisted living and supported accommodation. 

Demolition Stalls for Clayfield Historical House Designed by Robin Dods

The planned partial demolition of a Clayfield historical house has been stalled following an initial assessment from the Brisbane City Council.

Corella Property Investment Trust applied for the development and demolition of a pre-1911 dwelling place to turn this site into a child care centre. Residents, however, opposed the plan (Application Details for A005538000) because the property was designed by renowned Brisbane architect Robin Dods, along with two other houses next to it. 

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

“This house is one of three in a row of significant historical and architectural significance to the neighbourhood and should have been heritage listed,” one resident said. 

“The preservation of this house and its historical significance is important to our community and to Brisbane as a whole. The importance of this preservation is tripled by the fact that there are three Robin Dods houses side by side here, of which all should be protected and preserved accordingly.”

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

The Council addressed in its initial review that the proposed partial demolitions won’t comply with the Brisbane City Plan 2014: 

  • The rear kitchen wing and associated walls and roof forms are considered to be integral to the traditional building character.
  • The wrap around verandah, as a distinct element raised above ground, and the verandah flooring as the material artefact of that form, are considered to be integral components.
  • The chimney was present prior to 1911 and is readily recognised from the street and is considered to be reflective of traditional building character.
  • It is also noted that the internal floor and many of the internal walls are shown as demolished to facilitate the new basement below. There is concern about the impact of demolition of these components without impacting the integrity of the remainder of the dwelling.

Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council

Subsequently, the Council submitted the property for heritage protection as it has not been registered in the heritage listing.

Apart from ruining the traditional building, residents also expressed that there are enough childcare and kindergarten centres within the half-kilometre vicinity. The dwelling is also next to the Eagle Junction State School and the Clayfield College, which has increasing drop off and pick up points traffic. 

As of 1 Oct 2020, the development applicant of the Clayfield historical house made a “stop the current period” request in accordance with the applicable rules. No final decision has been made as of press time.