Fettlers’ Camp and Railway Gatehouse

Fettlers’ Camp and Railway Gatehouse

Stage Number: MBSH.05.03.09

Group: Western

Local Study Area: Seventeen Mile Rocks-Darra

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: 56 Pannard Street, Darra

Latitude & Longitude: -27.55861111,152.96330556

Time Link: 1876

Map Link: TBA

Image Time Point: TBA

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Navvies built the Ipswich-Brisbane Railway during 1874-76. The men who did maintenance work on the tracks were known as ‘fettlers’, and they had semi-permanent camps established every couple of miles because the men had to walk along the railway line each day to maintain it. Where the new railway crossed public roads, a gate and gatekeeper were provided. Often the gatekeeper was the wife of the head fettler, thus providing housing for the two main Railways employees at a site. Many of the other fettlers lived in tents.

In 1905, Darra was little more than a fettlers camp, with their houses being on the Oxley side of Darra, between the ‘nine-foot bridge’ (at Pannard Street) and Brittain’s Brickworks. In 1905, there was a gatehouse here. This gate was later replaced by ‘the nine-foot bridge’ and the gatekeeper’s house was moved down to Darra Station to become the Station-master’s house. It was a small house with a separate kitchen.


Vicki Mynott, Darra by Decade 1820-2010, Inala Heights: Richlands, Inala & Suburbs History Group Inc., 2010.

Image Citations

A fettlers camp at Ooline, Queensland, 1919. The Queenslander, 22 February 1919. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Record number: 1008094.

Map References

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