Brisbane Historic Houses: Kinellan, New Farm

Queenslander (Brisbane, Qld. : 1866 - 1939), Thursday 3 April 1930, page 50


1946 Aerial Photo of The Turner Estate

Brisbane Historic Homes - XII - Kinellan, New Farm

Quite a volume of history could be written on the names of those associated with this old house, of which now only the brick and stone foundations and the cellars filled with rubbish at the time of writing remain. The first house, which was of one story, was built by Sir R. R. Mackenzie, who was Premier when the Duke of Edinburgh visited Queensland in 1868. On the return of this baronet to Scotland and his baronetcy, Kinellan was rented by Sir Arthur Palmer for a time; then the property was purchased by the Hon. J. S. Turner, who, in 1885 or 1886, erected the two storied house seen in the accompanying photograph. It was of stone and brick, and was erected by Mr. Blair Cunningham. A portion of the first Kinellan was retained - the maids' quarters, I understand — and the foundation of the drawing-room belonged to the older building. The roof was of slate. The land surrounding this home then was very extensive. It took in two bends of the river and what is known as Amity Point - also called "Humbug Point" on account of the uncertain behaviour of the tide or current there — and ran from the water's edge on the eastern side to Sydney street on the west, and from that part of the river opposite Norman Creek in front to Brunswick street at the back. Mr. Turner died in 1900, and since then all the Kinellan land has been sold, with the exception of the site of the old house (through which a new road running off Mountford Road has been cut within recent months) and some allotments near the river. The house was demolished within the last 12 months.

The Turner Estate Map

1901 The Turner Estate - New Farm, Brisbane

So houses and gardens and streets have now taken the place of what was within comparatively recent years bushland, which is seen to advantage in a large black and white drawing in the possession of Mr. Chapman, who has been in the employ of the Turner family for 54 years, principally as care-taker of the estate, which office he still holds. It is to him I am in-debted for the loan of the photograph and for most of the details in connection with Kinellan and those who lived there. His pleasant home, Farley Mount, is situated in Mountford road, and within a few yards of the site of the old home that he had cared for so long. He is an Englishman of the old type, has all his faculties, but uses a stick to help him in getting about, and by the carpentering sounds that issued from beneath his dwelling when I arrived there he does not spend his days in idleness.

The late Hon. J. S. Turner, I understand, was the first manager of the Union Bank in Brisbane, and his wife was Miss Ball, a member of a squatting family. Kent and Harcourt streets, New Farm, take their names from married sisters of Mr. Turner. Mr. Turner's family consisted of two sons, the younger of whom, Mr. Leslie Turner, lives in Sydney now, but his brother Leonard died a little time ago. The widow and son of the latter are living in Brisbane. Mr. Leslie Turner has called his home in Sydney Kinellan.

The name was given to the first old New Farm home by Sir R. R. Mackenzie, after one of the family residences. The history of this big clan dates back to the fourteenth cen-tury, when (says a history of the Scottish Clans) they were given a grant of the lands of Kintail and others." There are six other baronetcies held by members of this clan. Like most, if not all, of the Highland clans, the Mackenzies were noted for their deeds of valour as soldiers or sailors, and for their allegiance to the cause they had espoused, for —

"Nowhere beats the heart so truly
As beneath the tartan plaid."

Sir R. R. Mackenzie's name - Robert, was his first Christian name - is mentioned several times in Mr. Nehemiah Bartleny's "Opales and Agates." Quoting from his diary, about the year 1857, and speaking of a return to Brisbane after one of his numerous trips to the country, he says: "I met Patrick Leslie walking with R. R. Mackenzie, and something political was 'up,' no doubt."

The town Aramac ("R.R. Mac") is said to have been named after Sir R. R. Mackenzie. His daughter, I have heard, married Mr. James L. G. Archer, of the well known squatting family of Gracemere. This son, the present baronet, succeeded him in the title when Sir Robert died in 1873.

Other important names besides those already mentioned in connection with the old home, Kinellan, are those of Mr. Alexander Corrie, Sir Pope Cooper (a former Chief Justice of Queensland), Mr. Justice Chubb, the Hon. E. D. Miles and Captain Richard (manager of Mount Morgan). These were all tenants between the time of the death of Mr. Turner and the demolition of Kinellan, and I have taken them in the order of their tenancy as well as I can remember from Mr. Chapman's telling. So, although it no longer stands, Kinellan is well worthy to be mentioned among "Brisbane's Historic Homes."

More New Farm information available

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