Irvine's 'Commonwealth' Store

Irvine's 'Commonwealth' Store

Stage Number: MBSH.04.02.35

Group: Eastern & Bay

Local Study Area: Wynnum-Wynnum West-Manly-Lota-Manly West

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: Bay Terrace, Wynnum

Latitude & Longitude: -27.44338889,153.17336111

Time Link: 1897

Map Link: 1904

Image Time Point: 1904

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Hugh Irvine originally ran a grocery store in New Farm, but after his premises there were destroyed by the floods of 1893 his family moved to higher ground at Wynnum. They set up the ‘Commonwealth’ store on Bay Terrace in 1897. Apart from being the first shop on that street, it soon became the largest in Wynnum, in part thanks to the home delivery service. The shop stocked stationery, clothing, hardware, groceries, footwear and drapery, providing a crucial service in what was still a commercially remote part of Brisbane. The Irvine family lived on the top floor, and were so successful that they bought the whole block between Bride and Charlotte streets. They ran the store through the generations for 70 years, but business started to drop off in the 1950s, and the store was sold in 1966, and then subdivided in the early 1970s. Unfortunately, the building fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1984 to make way for government department offices.


H.W. Armstrong, The History and Development of the Wynnum District, Brisbane, 1971; Brisbane Courier, 18 December 1901.

Image Citations

Irvine’s Commonwealth Store, Wynnum, 1910. Brisbane City Council. Brisbane Images. BCC-WYN-31.

Map References

QSA. QSA Series ID 2043 City of Brisbane and Suburbs Maps – A1A Series. 4 chains to the inch. Brisbane and suburbs. Sheet 1. 4 chains to the inch. Brisbane, Survey Office.. 634532