One of Brisbane’s oldest shires, Windsor has unfortunately suffered the ravages of progress more than most, with quarrying, major road and tunnel works slicing through its hills and fragmenting it into little islands of preserved heritage.
Yet a walk around its still charming hilly streets reveals a fascinating history of gorgeous villas, stunning vistas, tragedies, medical firsts and quirks.
Start at Windsor Station (circa 1899) on the Prospect Rd side and park anywhere here. Between Cox Rd and Oakwal Tce is the cul de sac Bush St, where Windsor’s oldest house Oakwal still stands in dress circle position at no 54, preserved in its original state.
The road, on what was once part of the estate has been quaintly designed to encircle it. Designed by James Cowlishaw and built by John Petrie in 1864 for Justice James Cockle, it was occupied by the judge and his wife during the years he spent walking to the city chambers (a dapper figure in his signature white suit) and consolidating Queensland’s statutes. Sir Arthur Palmer, one time Premier of Queensland was its next tenant followed by the architect himself.
From oldest house to smallest – head back to Prospect Tce and turn right taking it to the junction of Rosemount Tce. On the corner at no 54 Rosemount Tce is Windsor’s smallest house, which was originally a single room width with verandahs front and back and which sits on a73.3 m block of land, thought to be the smallest block in Brisbane. No 30 Rosemount Tce. ‘Valhalla’, was the home of Danish surveyor Thor Jensen, who distinguished himself by buying the first land on The Gold Coast, including the estate of Surfers Paradise and owning one of the first five cars in Brisbane, a T-Model Ford.