Stage Number: MBSH.02.02.50

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: Fairfield-Annerley

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: Redarc Street, Fairfield

Latitude & Longitude: -27.50541667,153.02808333

Time Link: 1892

Map Link: 1892

Image Time Point: 1892

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Irvinebank’ was the home of the Wilkins family and a social centre of Fairfield at the turn of the 20th century. Russell Wilkins was a flamboyant merchant who owned the ‘Red Arcade’ shops in Brisbane. He settled in Fairfield with his family in 1892 and built Irvinebank, a home with extensive grounds that were converted into beautiful gardens featuring a lake with black swans and carp. Peacocks roamed the lawns around caged animals and birds, including kangaroos and monkeys. In keeping with the zoological setting, the hedges were clipped into the shapes of animals. Every year on his birthday, Wilkins would give a garden party for all the district children, followed by a fireworks display. Irvinebank was also the happy scene of the weddings of some of their children. Wilkins died in 1905. The house was recently divided into separate blocks.


Brisbane Courier, 16 December 1896; Chris Dawson, ‘Brisbane Beginnings: Fairfield’, Brisbane: BRGHS, 2008, p. 13-14.

Image Citations

Lake in the grounds of Irvinebank, ca. 1911. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Record number: 47391.

Map References

MLMS. 40 chain AG2 series 1887–1932—Moreton district. 40 chains to 1 inch. Moreton 40 Chain map AG2 series sheet 3 north. AG2