The prominent Ipswich landmark, Gooloowan, was built for the well known Ipswich storekeeper and businessman Benjamin Cribb and his second wife, Clarissa, who was a member of the Foote family. Benjamin had previously formed a business partnership with John Foote, with the resulting business trading as Cribb and Foote for many years. Benjamin Cribb married Clarissa Foote in 1853, following the death of his first wife, Elizabeth.
Gooloowan is a large and imposing two-storey mansion, designed by the architect, Charles Balding with construction commencing during 1864 and upon completion it would have dominated the surrounding area. The building, as it now exists, appears to have remained largely the same as when it was first constructed, with the exception of the brickwork being rendered, the slate roof being replaced, as well as a separate stables building being demolished. The original circular drive, rock terracing and large camphor laurel trees also survive within the grounds, which comprised around eleven acres at the time the property was first established.
This photograph shows the house with its original, exposed brickwork. Benjamin Cribb had passed away in 1874, long before this image was taken. The woman standing at the front entrance is believed to be Clarissa, wearing a widow’s cap. She was to live until 1899.
The building is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in acknowledgement of its importance as a rare Queensland example of a substantial and largely intact grand residence of the 1860s.
Brian Randall – Queensland Places Coordinator, State Library of Queensland