The name of this suburb may derive from a number of sources. The word is said to be a Scottish term meaning a new place or a new house. It is also recorded that the name is based on Newstead Abbey located in Nottinghamshire in England.

The southern section of Newstead comprises the locality of Teneriffe. Another locality within Newstead is Booroodabin, with the named said to be based on an Aboriginal word meaning a place of oaks.

View of Newstead, ca. 1890. View of Newstead, ca. 1890. Image No: 67710

Some early settlers and businesses in the Newstead area include:

  • James Gibbon, a property speculator, apparently known as “Street Corner Jimmy”, purchased a large tract of land on Teneriffe Hill (1850). He named his property Teneriffe after one of the Canary Islands and the mountain located on this island.
  • Captain John Wickham, the first police magistrate and government resident for the Moreton Bay District. Wickham was the commander of the Beagle upon which Charles Darwin had sailed.
  • George Harris, shipping, stock and station agent and storekeepers. The Harris family later resided in Newstead House.
  • wool was a major export through the network of wharves that were developed in the Newstead area. The first wool store to be established was Dalgety’s, which opened in 1911 and was destroyed by fire in 1984.
  • by the 1880s most of the early landholders were starting to sub-divide their properties.
  • river based industries were developed from an early period, including boat building, boat maintenance and wharfage. The on-going dredging of the Brisbane river maintained navigability for larger vessels.
  • boat building sheds.
  • ice works and cold stores.
  • petrol/gas storage.
  • William Perry was a prominent member of the Queensland Legislative Council. The Perry family residence was called Folkstone which is commemorated in the name of Folkstone Street.

Folkstone, 1885. Folkstone, 1885. Image No: 41586

The housing estates which developed in the early period of the suburb’s history included:

  • Green Meadows Estate (1870s) comprising 16 perch allotments located near the Brisbane River.
  • Newstead Estate (1870s) comprising the area surrounding Newstead House.
  • Teneriffe Estate (1870s).
  • Breakfast Creek Estate (1884).
  • 1912 – Perry Estate (1912) comprising housing allotments sub-divided from the Perry Family’s estate.
  • Some significant buildings and locations in the Newstead area include:

  • Newstead House which dates from 1846. Newstead House is acknowledged as
    Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence. The house was built by Patrick Leslie who had settled on the Darling Downs in 1840 and who named the original cottage Newstead after Newstead Abbey in England. The house has evolved from the original cottage into the grand residence we see today. The Leslie family only lived in the house for a year before it was sold to Captain John Wickham, the first police magistrate and government resident for the Moreton Bay District. He was also Patrick Leslie’s brother-in-law. In 1939, the Queensland Government enacted the Newstead House Trust which was the first legislation in Queensland to preserve an historic structure.
  • Booroodabin Bowls Club, Queensland’s oldest bowls club. It was originally called the Breakfast Creek Bowls Club.
  • Booroodabin Bowling Club, 1899 Booroodabin Bowling Club, 1899. Image No: 12027

  • Roseville, dating from the 1880 and located in Chester Street. The house was constructed for James Colishaw. A later owner, James Mortimer gave the house the name Roseville.
  • Albion Park, previously known as the Breakfast Creek Sports Ground. The park comprised a cycle track, cricket oval, football fields and a lake for swimming and boating.
  • Perry Park, developed in 1913 on land acquired from the estate of William Perry.
  • Cameron Rocks. The Cameron family lived in Toorak Road. Mr Cameron was a prominent financier, naturalist, yachtsman and fisherman.
  • wool and general stores.
  • William Houghton & Co.
  • Wilcox Mofflin Ltd.
  • Fenwick & Co.
  • Queensland Primary Producers Cooperative.
  • New Zealand and Mercantile Agency Limited.
  • Winchcombe Carson Limited.
  • Dalgety’s Wool and Grain Stores (1906).

Winchcombe Carson Woolstores, 1913 Winchcombe Carson Woolstores, 1913. Image No: 53112

Some important dates in Newstead’s history and development include:

  • 1836 – the first bridge across Breakfast Creek was constructed.
  • 1848 – the first road bridge was built across Breakfast Creek. This structure collapsed 1856 and was replaced by a punt for 2 years, whilst a replacement bridge was constructed.
  • 1857 – Holy Trinity Anglican Church established.
  • 1867 – the Fortitude Valley State School established.
  • 1885 – the first trams run to Breakfast Creek.
  • 1885 – the Breakfast Creek Rowing Club was established.
  • 1888 – a replacement road bridge was built across Breakfast Creek.
  • 1890 – the Breakfast Creek State School was opened.
  • 1913 – Edward Eager launched his American Motor Business at Newstead.
  • 1914 – Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church was established. This church was built on a site acquired from the estate of William Perry and became the church for the newly established Bowen Hills Parish.
  • 1956 – the present Breakfast Creek Bridge was constructed. This bridge has been subsequently widened and renovated.

Find more photographs of Newstead in the State Library’s collection.

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  2. dr judith o'malley-ford

    i am making inquiries regarding the fires in the wool stores in new farm/ teneriffe/newstead area in the years somewhere 1950 – 1970. I know that there was a fire in one of them in 1984, but i am inquiring about those which occurred before that time. also if you have any old photos of the wool stores when they were in use, and pic of the wharfs, maybe with ships docked at the wharfs in the said time. even ships dockes at the sugar refinery in new farm too, and pic of the train that used to service these facilities, would be good too.

    Dr Judith O’Malley-Ford

    • Raymond Thurlow

      Congratulations on making this information available publicly. I have a special interest in the history of Fortitude Valley and especially enjoyed reading about Beirne’s, McWhirter’s and Overells et al. In regard to the “Newstead” segment you make reference to the Fortitude Valley State School being established in 1867. This needs correcting as this school was actually established on 4 March 1861 in rented premises, cnr Ann and Brunswick streets, Fortitude Valley. The year 1867 signals the opening of a “purpose-built” school building in Brookes Street. I commend to your reading “Back to the valley (State school) : turning the pages of history”, a copy of which has been lodged with JOL. Keep up the excellent work.


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