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Gallery of Federation Filigree style

Filigree Style

Filigree refers to the ornamental screening on verandahs and balconies.

The Queenslander is an example of a tropical version of the Filigree style.

Jump to:
  1. Federation Filigree style

  2. The Two-storey verandahed 'pub'

  3. Childers Qld, examples of Federation Filigree

  4. Queenslander Style

  5. Cremorne, Hamilton

  6. Miegunyah House

  7. Millers Point Sydney NSW

  8. Fairy Knoll, Ipswitch Qld Heritage

  9. Keep Reading

Federation Filigree style












A Queenslander style house in New Farm. Photo taken by User:Adz on 8 October 2005.

Below: Derry (former home of May Gibbs) Neutral Bay













These houses are instantly recognised as Federation for the following features:

  1. Dominant hipped roofs, often broken by false gables

  2. Turned timber verandah columns supplemented by elaborate timber decoration

  3. Leadlight or coloured glass windows

  4. Late 19th or early 20th Century period of construction


Above: 83 Darley Road, Filigree Federation style
Below: Two story Melbourne terrace houses homes with iron filigree











Federation Filigree was designed to create shade while allowing for the free flow of air. They have:

  • balconies screened with decorative balustrading

  • cast-iron (later: timber) balustrades and brackets

  • (used) common verandah posts, panels, friezes and brackets, which were manufactured products made in Australia,

Above: Kianga - Vaucluse Federation House

Below: Conflcting styles of filigree lattice















Before 1901 each verandah and balcony is screened with decorative cast-iron balustrading, comprising common cast-iron panels, friezes and brackets .

The cast-iron treatment gives the terrace a light filigree character. The design is representative of a style of building, in which the Victorian fashion of cast-iron balustrades and brackets were the norm.

The start of the Federation period marked a decline in the use of cast iron for structural and ornamental components of verandas (see Victorian Filigree) and a marked growth in the use of wood for these components. Cast iron did in fact survive into the early twentieth century, by which time it had come to be regarded as rather old-fashioned.

Below; Boronia house is a grand NSW Victorian Filigree mansion which was built in Mosman, Sydney in 1885













Timber posts, balustrades, brackets and valances had a chunkier quality than their counterparts in cast iron, but the ‘filigree screen’ effect could still be obtained, especially when lattice made of light wooden laths was used together with the more substantial turned or sawn components. - Sydney

Below: Federation style apartments in Mosman

Federation Filigree style
The Two-storey verandahed 'pub'
Queenslander Style

The Two-storey verandahed 'pub'

A building type that maintained the popularity it had enjoyed in the Victorian period was the two-storey verandahed pub (public bar), often strategically located on a street corner in a suburb or country town.

















Many such pubs display sufficient iron or timber screening on their verandas to qualify them for the Federation Filigree style.

It is not by chance that the finest examples of Federation Filigree domestic architecture are to be found in the hot, humid, coastal areas of Queensland.

The valances, balustrades and latticework which screen the verandas of so many houses are not only highly decorative but also eminently functional, providing shade while allowing for the flow of air which is so essential for comfort in this climate.















Childers Qld, examples of Federation Filigree

Above:  Childers RSLA Club, Designer Name Cowlishaw, James Percy Owen

Right: Childers RSLA Club QLD built 1900 - 1909, formerly CBC Bank with Manager Home above










Above: Childers Palace Hotel for Backpackers (destroyed by fire. 2000; since re-built)

Childers Palace Hotel for Backpackers
Childers RSL Qld c1920
Hotel Fremantle WA
Childers RSLA Club QLD built 1900 - 1909, formerly CBC Bank with Manager Home above

Queenslander Style

Queenslander buildings are primarily of timber construction and can be low or high-set, one to two storeys.


Above: Broadhurst, 138 Flinders Parade, Sandgate, now Qld State Heritage & owned by Qld Dept Housing


  • They are typically "tripartite" in sectional composition;

    1. underfloor (stumps),

    2. primary rooms (can be two levels),

    3. and roof.

  • All have one or more verandah spaces, a sheltered edge of the building that is typically only part-enclosed and used as another living zone.

  • The underfloor area was sometimes decoratively screened at the perimeter with timber battens.

  • This consideration for climate is the defining characteristic of the Queenslander type.

  • The Queenslander is popularly thought of as an "old" house - Wikipedia


Cremorne, Hamilton

From Your Brisbane: Past and Present















This is one of the most spectacular timber houses in Brisbane.

  • It is perched on the side of Hamilton hill with views across the Brisbane River and beyond.

  • The house was built circa 1905 for JD O'Connor of the eminent publican family.

  • The design was from Sydney-trained but Queensland-owned firm Eaton & Bates, who favoured pavilions and deep verandahs, both extremely suitable for our sub-tropical climate, and both are used extensively in Cremorne.



"The house is almost L-shaped in plan, and has a corrugated iron roof which is a complex of hips, gables, ridges and pavilions, with decorative gablets and finials, and three brick chimneys.

The open verandahs all have simple timber balustrading and timber frieze."

  • ....Apparently the interior is just as grand as the outside.

  • Pressed metal ceilings and stained glass windows are present, fireplaces with marble surrounds in some rooms, as well as timber arches in many entrances.

  • Three generation of the O'Connor family lived here until the property was sold in the 1990s.

  • JD O'Connor and his brother Denis owned or had interests in hotels throughout Brisbane, among them the Wickham, the Treasury and the Prince Consort

Above: Photo: Cremorne, Hamilton Hill QLD, State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #80451

This photograph was taken in around 1906 and gives an idea of the extensive views - the Brisbane River is in the background. 

Miegunyah House

Above: Miegunyah House 35 Jordan Terrace, Bowen Hills QLD
Miegunyah House Museum. home of The Queensland Women's Historical Association.

Millers Point Sydney NSW

Cremorne, Hamilton
Miegunyah House
Millers Point Sydney NSW
Broadhurst, 138 Flinders Parade, Sandgate,
Cremorne, 34 Mullens Street Hamilton QLD
Cremorne, Hamilton Hill QLD
Fairy Knoll

Fairy Knoll, Ipswich Qld


MAGNIFICENT HERITAGE MANSION: Fairy Knoll, finished in 1901, is a heritage landmark.

"Fairy Knoll", Ipswitch (now the Jefferis Turner Centre)
Fairy Knoll, 2 Robertson Road, Eastern Heights, Ipswich, 2005-2006


Above: Photo held at the National Library of Australia


The building was designed in about 1897 by George Brockwell Gill.

  • It was built by Worley and Whitehead for ₤2000.

  • Fiary Knoll was built for Thomas Hancock junior and second wife, Louise. The prominent Hancock family were timber merchants.

  • Thomas junior died in 1897 prior to Fairy Knoll's completion, but his widow lived there until her death in 1947.

  • During the second World War, the home's lantern was used as a 'spotter's tower' or look-out.

  • In1952 the house was bought by the State for a Maternal and Child Welfare Home. Its name, the Jefferis Turner Centre, recognises the first Queensland Director of Infant Welfare.

  • In 1986, it became a respite care centre for the Intellectual Handicap Service.
    (Information from: Ipswich Heritage Study, 1991,


  • "Fairy Knoll" possesses strong aesthetic value due to its prominence as a landmark in Ipswich which has dominant visual impact on the surrounding area and for its fine detailing and composition.

  • The residence is characteristic of the 'Federation Filigree' style of architecture which is demonstrated by its intricate timber screen, its slender columns of timber dividing the facade into bays, a timber frieze and brackets and timber railings.

  • Its decorative external brickwork also contributes to its aesthetic value. Its setting on a large piece of land with gardens and mature trees is also of important aesthetic significance.


Update: Fairy Knoll for sale

28th August 2010 2:00 AM

Below: Fairy Knoll SW View












Fairy Knoll – a grand, two-storey, brick, federation-era mansion on a hill in Eastern Heights – is a heritage landmark.

  • Known in recent years as the Jefferis Turner Centre, Fairy Knoll has served the citizens of Ipswich well, as a home for a wealthy family, a maternal and child welfare centre and a respite centre for children with intellectual disabilities.

  • Now the property is for sale, inquiries have come in from investors wanting to convert the building into a guesthouse or restaurant, as well as a splendid residence.

  • Mr Costello said the home had stood unused for about four years.

  • Fairy Knoll is a good example of the work of prominent Ipswich architect George Brockwell Gill.

  • It was built by timber merchant Thomas Hancock, who never lived to see it completed, at a cost of 2000 pounds.

  • The newly finished house was described inThe Queensland Timesin March 1901.

  • Fairy Knoll sits on 5313sq m of land at 2 Robertson Road. Watch video tour.

Fairy Knoll (house and garden)

  • Designer Name Gill, George Brockwell

  • Design Period Late 19th century (1870s - 1890s)

  • Builder Name Worley & Whitehead

  • Construction Period 1897c - 1952

  • Construction Method Load-bearing brick

  • Frame - timber

  • Fabric (Exterior Structure) Brick

  • Timber - boards

  • Fabric (Roof) Metal sheeting

  • Roof Form Gabled and Hipped Pyramid

From Queensland Heritage Register for Fairy Knoll:

Fairy Knoll is a grand and imposing, two-storey, easterly-facing residence, on an elevated area bounded by Chermside, Robertson and Whitehill roads.

It has expansive views from its surrounding verandahs, and it overlooks the south-eastern area of Queens Park. It has a brick core which is wrapped by decorative timber verandahs, the detailing of which creates patterns of light and dark, and is typical of Queensland Federation era architecture.

The structure has a corrugated iron, pyramid roof, with a lantern at its apex. The lantern lights the home's central stairwell. The upper level verandah has separate corrugated iron roofing. At this level, a gable and pediment, with finial, define the main entry.

The polychromatic brickwork was described in The Queensland Times in 1901 as 'dark-coloured buff facing brick, relieved at the angle quoins and quoins of window and door openings with light-coloured bricks. The arches are finished with a dark brick, tuck-pointed, and the strings with bricks similar to the quoins." There is a ground floor extension to the rear of the house.

Related pages:

Ipswich Houses: Fairy Knoll | By the Bremer: Memories of Ipswich​

Sep 24, 2014 - The historic home known as “Fairy Knoll” is located on the corner of Whitehill and Robertson Road and is a masterpiece to behold. Built in 1901 ...

Fairy Knoll - Wikipedia

​Fairy Knoll is a heritage-listed villa at 2A Robertson Road, Eastern Heights, City of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by George Brockwell Gill and ...

History · ‎Description · ‎Heritage listing · ‎References


Fairy Knoll for sale | Queensland Times

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