The small former residence located on the corner of Ginn Street and Meredith Lane, Ipswich, and now known to us as Ginn Cottage, is one of the city’s earliest surviving former residences, dating from around 1859/60, although the precise date of its construction is not known. It is named for William Ginn, a tutor by profession, who arrived in the area in 1858, initially finding work with the produce merchant, G.H. Wilson. At around this time, Ginn met and married Eliza Costly, purchased land from the government and built the residence we now know as Ginn Cottage.
It is a simple brick building which, in terms of its design and construction, closely followed the style of other Victorian era residences. The building has undergone various changes and alterations since it was first built, including the replacement of the original shingle roof and the rendering of the external walls to lessen the effects of water seepage. As well, a separate kitchen structure and stables were removed at some time during the building’s life.
The photograph above shows Ginn Cottage around the late 1870s, when the house was still largely in its original state. The shingle roof is still in place and the front verandah is open, allowing the residents to pose for the camera. Although those shown in the photograph are unidentified, we can speculate that they are members or friends of the Ginn family and even perhaps that William and Eliza are amongst them.
Ginn Cottage, in acknowledgement of its historic importance, is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register, surviving as an important reminder of Ipswich’s past.
Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland