Works start on Bankfoot House interpretive centre
  • Friday 17 October 2014
Bankfoot House sod turning

Using a shovel steeped in history, Mayor Mark Jamieson today turned the first sod for the new archival, visitor and interpretive centre at the Sunshine Coast Council-owned heritage property - Bankfoot House.

Mayor Jamieson said the Bankfoot House archival and interpretive centre was made possible thanks to the Cultural Heritage Levy.

“Council recognises the significant role the State heritage-listed Bankfoot House plays in the local community and is committed to preserving and enhancing the site and its many historical treasures,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“This museum house and the interpretive centre will, once completed, add to the region’s cultural tourism.”

Division 1 Councillor Rick Baberowski said Bankfoot House is the oldest known surviving building in the Glass House Mountains area and documents the history of three generations occupying the same house for more than 130 years.

“Established in 1868 as a roadside accommodation house on the new road from Brisbane to the Gympie gold rush, Bankfoot House is aniconic State heritage-listed place housing a significant collection,” he said.

“The house currently provides the opportunity for the community to take a look back in time with the house’s history conserved and interpreted by the Friends Group in partnership with Council.

“The new facility will provide an enhanced visitor experience highlighting the value of our heritage, so that years from now, the region will still have an asset that tells future generations how far we have come, socially, economically and culturally.

“The Friends of Bankfoot House who currently undertake the significant work of preserving and making the collection accessible to the public will certainly enjoy working from the new interpretive centre scheduled to be complete by February/March 2015.”

Community Programs Portfolio Councillor Jenny McKay said it was important to conserve our region’s history and ensuring the character of our community is protected.

“The contract for the proposed works at Bankfoot House has been awarded to local company, Infraco Pty Ltd, and will provide archival storage for the rare collection, work space for the volunteers, multimedia educational interpretive centre, public amenities, a bus drop-off area and wheelchair access to the new purpose-built facility,” she said.

Bankfoot House fast facts

  • Bankfoot House is located at 1998 Old Gympie Road, Glass House Mountains
  • Three generations of one family occupied this heritage residence over 130 years - the Grigor, Burgess and Ferris families respectively. Members of these families have made a significant contribution to developing industry, community life and local government.
  • William and Mary Grigor purchased Portion 1, 160 acres (64.75 hectares) of land amidst the Glass House Mountains on 16 October 1868 to set up a staging post with accommodation for Cobb & Co coaches on the new road to Gympie. Coaches pulled in for lunch on both legs of the journey while Cobb’s Camp at Woombye further north provided the overnight stop. Named after a village where Mary lived in Scotland, Bankfoot House also acted as a post office. In 2008 Bankfoot House’s significance was recognised with listing on the Queensland State Heritage Register.
  • The Friends of Bankfoot House currently undertake the significant work of preserving and making the collection accessible to the public.
  • Visit www.bankfoothouse.org for more information.

The Bankfoot House collection can now also be viewed online at Council’s library website.