Grandchester, Queensland

Grandchester is a rural town and locality in the City of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia.[2][3] In the 2016 census, the locality of Grandchester had a population of 444 people.[1]

Grandchester railway station
Coordinates27.6594°S 152.4672°E / -27.6594; 152.4672 (Grandchester (town centre))
Population444 (2016 census)[1]
 • Density7.735/km2 (20.03/sq mi)
Area57.4 km2 (22.2 sq mi)
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10:00)
LGA(s)City of Ipswich
State electorate(s)
  • Scenic Rim
  • Ipswich West
Federal division(s)Blair
Localities around Grandchester:
Laidley Summerholm Woolshed
Laidley South Grandchester Calvert
Mulgowie Mount Mort Lower Mount Walker


Grandchester is located 76 kilometres (47 mi) west of the Brisbane CBD.

The district historically known as Hidden Vale (or Hiddenvale) is within the locality, approx 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of the town of Grandchester where Hiddenvale Road has its junction with the Grandchester Mount Mort Road (27.715°S 152.470°E / -27.715; 152.470 (Hidden Vale)).[4] Although unofficial, the name persists in the road name,[4] St Anne's Hidden Vale (Anglican church),[5] Spicers Hidden Vale (a rural resort),[6] and the Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre (jointly operated by the resort and the University of Queensland).[7]


Grandchester was the initial terminus of the first narrow gauge mainline railway in the world. The first track opened to traffic on 31 July 1865 from Ipswich, as the Queensland Government was keen to prove the viability of its controversial 'pony railway'. The choice of Ipswich as the starting point for the first rail line in Queensland was a testament to the importance of Ipswich in early Queensland. Coal was needed for steam trains and Ipswich's port was an inland freight centre. In Ipswich, this first line skirted north around the river, running through North Ipswich to enter a two-storey iron station, then on to the Bremer River wharf. This wharf handled rail freight until a railway line joining Ipswich to Brisbane was opened in 1875.[8]

The construction of the Victoria Tunnel through the Little Liverpool Range to the west of Grandchester was behind schedule, and so although it served a very small population, Bigges Camp (as it was initially known) became the terminus for 10 months, until the line was extended to Gatton.[9] The original Grandchester railway station, including the former station master's residence, still exists.[10]

The name Grandchester derives from the old English name for bigge (Grand) and camp (Chester), which was the initial name of the locality, and suggested by the wife of the Governor of the day when the railway opened.[11]

Grandchester Post Office opened on 1 January 1866 after the arrival of the railway and closed in 1978.[12]

Grandchester Provisional School opened in November 1870 in a tent borrowed from the Queensland Government. which closed after one month in December 1870.[13] Granchester State School opened on 29 January 1878.[13]

Hidden Vale Provisional School opened on 10 July 1916. On 1 September 1919, it became Hidden Vale State School. It closed on 15 February 1943.[13] It was at 779-799 Hiddenvale Road (27.7138°S 152.4707°E / -27.7138; 152.4707 (Hidden Vale State School (former))).[14][15]

On Sunday 18 July 1937, St Anne's Anglican Church was officially dedicated by Archdeacon H.W.H. Stevenson.[16]

Grandchester Sawmills is one of the last known surviving steam-powered flat-belt sawmills in Australia. The engine powering it was manufactured in 1908, and the mill has been in operation from 1945. It was destroyed by a fire, sometime in the early hours of 6 May 2007.[17] Work on the long process of restoring the mill to its former glory started almost immediately in the days following the fire. The mill is operating once again with work still continuing on the restoration. This will ensure that this important piece of history is preserved for the generations that follow.[18]

In the 2011 census, the locality Grandchester had a population of 504 people.[19]

In the 2016 census, the locality of Grandchester had a population of 444 people.[1]

Heritage listings

Grandchester Sawmills, 2015

Grandchester has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

  • Franklin Vale Road: Franklyn Vale Homestead[20]
  • Ipswich Road: Grandchester railway station[10]
  • Symes Street: Grandchester Sawmills[21]


Grandchester State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at School Road (27.6655°S 152.4653°E / -27.6655; 152.4653 (Grandchester State School)).[22][23] In 2017, the school had an enrolment of 37 students with 6 teachers (3 full-time equivalent) and 5 non-teaching staff (3 full-time equivalent).[24]


The Ipswich City Council operates a fortnightly mobile library service which visits the Grandchester Hotel.[25]

St Anne's Anglican Church at 798 Hiddenvale Road (27.7155°S 152.4700°E / -27.7155; 152.4700 (29 July 2020)) holds monthly services. It is part of the Rosewood Anglican Parish.[5]

See also


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Grandchester (SSC)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. "Grandchester – town in City of Ipswich (entry 14561)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  3. "Grandchester – locality in City of Ipswich (entry 45095)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  4. Google (28 July 2020). "Hidden Vale" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  5. "St Anne's Hiddenvale". Rosewood Anglican Parish. Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  6. "Spicers Hidden Vale – Luxury Retreat – Grandchester, QLD". Spicers Retreats. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  7. "Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre". University of Queensland. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 28 July 2020.
  8. "Queensland Places – Queensland's First Railway | State Library of Queensland". 31 May 2013. Archived from the original on 17 May 2021. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  9. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, July, 1965 pp121-136
  10. "Grandchester Railway Complex (entry 600729)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  11. "Grandchester". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2004. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  12. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  13. Queensland Family History Society (2010), Queensland schools past and present (Version 1.01 ed.), Queensland Family History Society, ISBN 978-1-921171-26-0
  14. "Parish of Alfred and Ferguson (part)" (Map). Queensland Government. 1943. Archived from the original on 22 May 2022. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  15. "Queensland Globe". State of Queensland. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  16. "NEW CHURCH". Queensland Times. Vol. LXXVIII, no. 15, 810. Queensland, Australia. 23 July 1937. p. 9 (DAILY.). Archived from the original on 14 December 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2020 via National Library of Australia.
  17. Grandchester Sawmill fire Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Ipswich City Council Media Release. 9 May 2007.
  18. History of Heritage Listed Grandchester Sawmill Archived 20 February 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Grandchester sawmill. Retrieved 4 July 2013
  19. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Grandchester (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  20. "Franklyn Vale Homestead (entry 600728)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  21. "Grandchester Sawmills (entry 600730)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 9 July 2013.
  22. "State and non-state school details". Queensland Government. 9 July 2018. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  23. "Grandchester State School". Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  24. "ACARA School Profile 2017". Archived from the original on 22 November 2018. Retrieved 22 November 2018.
  25. "Ipswich Libraries: Mobile library schedule of stops – January to June 2018" (PDF). Ipswich City Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.