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Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station

  • 602195
  • 230 Lancaster Road, Ascot

General

Also known as
Racecourse Railway Station; Brisbane Racecourse; Ascot Racecourse
Classification
State Heritage
Register status
Entered
Date entered
25 June 2004
Types
Recreation and entertainment: Racecourse
Transport - Rail: Railway platform
Transport - Rail: Railway track
Transport—rail: Railway
Transport—rail: Railway station
Themes
5.3 Moving goods, people and information: Using rail
8.5 Creating social and cultural institutions: Sport and recreation
Architects
Addison, George Henry Male
Atkinson & Conrad
Atkinson & McLay
Atkinson, Henry Wallace
Buckeridge, John Hingeston
Chambers & Powell
Conrad, Martin
Hall & Dods
Hall & Prentice
Hall and Cook
Hall, Francis Richard
Hunter & Corrie, Buckeridge, JH
Builders
Gillespie, A
Lindsay, W
Malskrey, James
Morris, KD & Sons Pty Ltd
Construction periods
1863–1969, Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station (1882 - 1960s)
1863–2018, Racetrack (c1863-2018)
1863–2018, Gardens, specimen trees, avenues of trees, flower beds, mature trees, lawns and formal plantings (c1863-2018)
1882–1914, Timber Station Building (1882, extended c1883 and c1911; re-roofed 1914)
1882–1914, Platforms (c1882 and c1914)
1890–1922, Paddock Stand (1890, extended 1921-22)
1904–1925, Members' Stand (1904, extended 1925)
1910–1920, Toilet blocks (c1910-20), refreshment stands and turnstile buildings
1911–1914, Timber Footbridges (1911 and c1914)
1913–1914, Racecourse Forecourt (c1913-14)
1913–1938, St Leger Stand (1913, extended 1938)
1913–1959, Totalisator (Tote) Building (1913, extended 1917, 1923 and c1950s)
1913, Entrance Gates (1913)
1913, St Leger Entrance (c1913)
1914, Concrete Station Building (1914)
1914, Mechanically Interlocked Signalling System (1914)
1914, Members' Entrance (c1914)
1914, Paddock Entrance (c1914)
1919, Parade Ring Monument (by 1919)
1928, Stable (former, c1928)
1934, Toilet Block (by 1934)
1936–1945, Turnstiles (c1936-45)
1936, Toilet Block (east) (by 1936)
1948, Camera Tower (c1948)
1951–1958, Race Day Stalls (c1951-58)
1957–1958, John Power Stand (1957-58)
1963, Judge's Box (1963)
1965, Sydney Tote Building (former, by 1965)
Historical period
1870s–1890s Late 19th century
Style
Art Nouveau
Arts & Crafts
Modernism
Romanesque

Location

Address
230 Lancaster Road, Ascot
LGA
Brisbane City Council
Coordinates
-27.42821116, 153.06730394

Map

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Significance

Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

One of Queensland’s earliest racing venues, Eagle Farm Racecourse (1863), with the associated Ascot Railway Station (1882), is important in demonstrating the development of horse racing into a major sport and industry in Queensland. The place has state-wide importance through its evolution and development into Queensland’s premier racing venue.

The provision of a suburban branch railway line and station to serve the racecourse from 1882 demonstrates the importance of horse racing from early in Queensland's history.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

The Ascot Railway Station is the last station in metropolitan Brisbane and one of only seven in Queensland that retains a once-common, now uncommon, mechanically interlocked signalling system, which is highly intact.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station is important as an excellent early and intact example of a large operating racecourse; demonstrating the principal characteristics including: a track; stables; race day stalls; mounting yard; starting gates; fencing; grandstands with extensive views of the racetrack; betting facilities; ticket offices; structures associated with the calling and broadcasting of races; amenities; sheds and garages for grounds equipment; entertainment facilities; open spaces for the gathering of crowds; and landscaped grounds. The layout of and interrelationships between these features demonstrate how the racecourse operated and evolved over time in response to changing needs, crowd numbers and technology.

The collection of late 19th and early 20th century structures and buildings at Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station are good, intact examples of Queensland architecture from the Federation period. This collection of buildings demonstrate the principal characteristics of this type including: the use of relaxed, romantic and picturesque composition, scale, and forms; terracotta tiled, hipped and gabled roofs with timbered gables; decorative brick and / or roughcast stucco walls; elaborate timberwork; leadlight windows; and high quality materials and workmanship. The buildings forming this group comprise: Entrance Gates (1913); St Leger Stand (1913, extended 1938); Members’ Stand (1904, extended 1925); Paddock Stand (1890, extended 1921-22); Totalisator Building (1913, extended 1917, 1923 and c1950s); railway station buildings (1882 and 1914); ticket offices (c1913-14); and toilet blocks (c1910-20). The collection also includes later buildings designed with similar architectural features, including: Stable (former, c1928); Toilet Block (by 1936); and Turnstiles (c1936-45).

As the prestige of Queensland’s premier racecourse attracted a variety of architects to design for the Queensland Turf Club (QTC, Brisbane Racing Club since 2009), Eagle Farm Racecourse is an important representation of the intact, unique and exceptional work of a number of prominent architects who made an important contribution to Queensland’s built environment. These works include:

  • St Leger Stand (1913, Hall and Dods; extended 1938, Hall and Cook)
  • Paddock Stand (1890, JH Buckeridge with Hunter and Corrie; extended 1921-22, H W Atkinson & A H Conrad, and Francis R Hall)
  • Totalisator Building (1913, GHM Addison; extended 1917;  1923, Hall and Prentice; and c1950s)
  • Entrance Gates (1913, Chambers and Powell)
  • Members’ Stand (1904, Hall and Dods; extended 1925, Hall and Prentice)
  • John Power Stand (1958, Martin Conrad)

The St Leger Stand, Paddock Stand, Members Stand and John Power Stand are important as intact examples of sporting grandstands of a representative range of eras, demonstrating the principal characteristics of their type including: their location on the edge of and overlooking a sporting ground; substantial and open forms, with large roofs to shelter spectators; elevated and tiered seating for optimal and expansive views of the grounds; a base below the seating, with associated facilities, services and amenities; and durable materials to facilitate large crowds.

As the third of its type in the world, the Totalisator is an early example of a totalisator building with automatic totalisator, demonstrating the principal characteristics of its type, with later improvements, including: its substantial size; location within a racecourse; large tote boards with numeric and alphanumeric characters displaying race odds and / or dividends; large room housing the totalisator apparatus; and betting windows accessed by punters on one side and bookmakers on the other.

Ascot Railway Station is an excellent, intact example of a Queensland railway station complex from the late 19th and early 20th century; demonstrating the principal characteristics of its type, including: station buildings, platforms, railway tracks, mechanical signalling systems with signal control room, footbridges and amenities.

The Timber Station Building (1882) is an intact, excellent and early example of a timber railway passenger building, demonstrating the principal characteristics of its type including: its timber construction, gable roof, platform-facing waiting area, ticket sales office and ladies’ room with amenities. It is the earliest known surviving example of a timber passenger station in metropolitan Brisbane.

The Concrete Station Building (1914) is an intact, excellent and early example of a concrete railway passenger station building, demonstrating the principal characteristics of its type including: its precast concrete construction with ornamental timber detailing, gable roof, platform-facing waiting area, ladies waiting room, lavatories and offices. It the earliest known surviving example of its type in the Queensland Rail (QR) network and in Australia.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station is of exceptional aesthetic significance to the State for its intact expressive architectural attributes, evocative qualities, and streetscape and visual merit that are complemented by its built and landscaped setting.

As Queensland’s premier racecourse, the place expresses its prestige and notable standing through its high quality architectural design and elegantly composed and scaled buildings, finely crafted interiors, excellent craftsmanship, detailed ornamentation, and character of its established landscape setting.

The place is also important for its beautiful attributes, embodied in the balanced architectural uniformity of scale and materiality, and the established landscaped setting. As a cohesive set of structures utilising common materials such as brick, terracotta, cast iron and timber detailing, the beauty of the complex is reinforced and harmonised by its setting of mature trees, formal gardens and open space. The grandstands offer extensive views of the racetrack, with view corridors from each facilitating spectators’ views of races.

The elegant and well-composed Entrance Gates contribute to the streetscapes of Lancaster and Racecourse roads as the prominent and distinctive public face of the Eagle Farm Racecourse.

Approached via the little-altered Doomben railway line, with its remnant mechanical signalling system, the early station buildings and timber footbridge of Ascot Railway Station, framed by a park-like setting, evoke a sense of nostalgia for the past when race-goers arrived at Eagle Farm Racecourse in this manner, ready for the excitement of a day at the races.

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station has a special association with QTC members, officials, owners, trainers, jockeys and with generations of race-goers from all strata of Queensland society, who have attended the Eagle Farm Racecourse for social interaction, recreation and the enjoyment of this popular sport. Since 1863, the Eagle Farm Racecourse has been the setting for popular customary experiences, as demonstrated by photographic and documentary records.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station has a special association with the Queensland Turf Club (QTC; Brisbane Racing Club from 1 July 2009). Since 1863, this organisation has made an important contribution to the development of horse racing in Queensland, a major sport and industry. From early in the club's history the QTC undertook a leadership role in the industry and in operating the Eagle Farm Racecourse as Queensland's premier racecourse.

History

The Eagle Farm Racecourse, located in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot approximately 6km northeast of Brisbane CBD, was established in 1863 and continues to operate as Queensland's premier racecourse. It includes Ascot station and railway line (1882); the Paddock Stand (1889); the Members' Stand (1904, extended 1925); the St Leger Stand (1913, extended 1938); the Totalisator Building (1913, extended 1917, 1923 and c1950s); the entrance gates (1913); ticket boxes (1914); the John Power Stand (1958); and timber and brick buildings and timber stabling areas.

Horse racing was one of the first sports conducted in Queensland following the opening of the Moreton Bay district to free settlement in 1842. Organised by the Moreton Bay Racing Club, the first recorded horse races in Brisbane were held at Coopers Plains on 17 July 1843. A racecourse at New Farm was established by May 1846 and operated until the early 1860s.[1]

Eagle Farm Racecourse was established in 1863 when a grant of 320 acres (129.5ha) was approved and the site named the ‘Brisbane Racecourse'. The Deed of Grant for the racecourse land, signed by Governor Bowen on 12 October 1863, stipulated that ‘the appropriation thereof [was] as a racecourse and for no other purpose whatsoever'. The land was placed under the trusteeship of the Hon Maurice C O'Connell MLC (president of the Queensland Legislative Assembly 1860-79), the Hon John F McDougall MLC, and the Hon George Harris MLC, who were members of the Queensland Turf Club (QTC).[2] A grandstand capable of seating 350 people and a saddling paddock were constructed before the first three-day meeting took place on 14-16 August 1865. Attended by about 3000-5000 people each day, the races took place in a thickly forested area, and race-goers saw only occasional glimpses of the horses.[3]

Before horse racing gained widespread popularity in Queensland in the 1880s, the QTC employed a number of fundraising strategies to improve its cash flow to overcome economic downturns and to repay the cost of improvements. The QTC organised the Brisbane Hunt Club in the late 1860s, which hunted in the district with a hound pack; and charged each rider 1 shilling per event. Starting in 1870 and continuing into the 1880s, the Club divested itself of land to the north of the present day race track, to pay off the considerable mortgage its earlier borrowing had necessitated.[4] The racecourse was also used for diverse purposes to generate income, such as polo matches from 1877-c1900, cricket matches, ladies croquet, night athletics, shooting competitions run by the Brisbane Gun Club (1879), and the Queensland Volunteer Force’s encampment in 1879.[5]

By the end of the 1880s, the QTC had assumed a leadership role in the state's racing industry. A new code of rules modelled on those of the English Jockey Club was adopted in 1885 and a system of registration of all racing clubs under the QTC rules was instituted. The QTC thereby constituted itself the supreme racing authority in the colony and the ultimate court of appeal. Another significant step undertaken during the 1880s was the publication of the first edition of The Queensland Racing Calendar in 1886.[6]

A boom in horse racing at the end of the 1880s led to more clubs and meetings. The QTC staged four, two to three day meetings per year at Eagle Farm, coinciding with the main public holidays of: Christmas-New Year, the Queen's Birthday, the Royal National Association’s Exhibition and the Prince of Wales' birthday. With several clubs and courses in operation in Brisbane, meetings often clashed; consequently, in May 1890 the leading racing clubs agreed to empower the QTC to allot dates for meetings, thereby confirming it as the premier club. The second major metropolitan club was the Tattersall's Club, which did not have its own track and preferred to hire the Eagle Farm course for its meetings. The Tattersall's Club held its first meeting at Eagle Farm Racecourse on 10 December 1884.[7]

In the early years, race-goers drove their buggies or rode their horses to the track. Others arrived by a small steamer known as the ‘shuttlecock boat'.[8] A major achievement for the QTC was the opening of the Brisbane and South East Railway Line extension from Eagle Junction to Ascot on 3 September 1882. Although the population of Brisbane was too small to justify building railways just for commuting between the city and its suburbs, some rail lines, such as the seaside line to Sandgate and the branch line to Eagle Farm Racecourse, were built solely to benefit Brisbane residents.[9]

The railway enabled access to the racecourse by a larger racing public. By 1885, a fork siding for turning engines had been laid adjacent to the grounds, in what is now the members' car park at the corner of Lancaster and Kitchener roads. The timber station was built on the racecourse side of the single rail line in 1882, to a floorplan designed in 1881. [10] A ladies waiting room was added in c1883 to the north west of the station building.[11] The building is the earliest surviving example of a timber passenger station in metropolitan Brisbane.[12]

While horse racing was controlled and patronised by Queensland’s colonial elite, large numbers of people from all strata regularly attended race meetings. The spatial organisation of the Eagle Farm Racecourse reflected class hierarchies. All non-members paid to enter the racecourse and once inside, patrons, if they wished to pay more, were separated according to the additional price for certain areas. Entrance to the St Leger Stand cost less than the entrance to the Paddock Stand and saddling area, while members were located in their own stand. The area around the totalisator (introduced in 1879) was one space that was less defined, where punters of all classes placed bets. [13] Working class people tended to gather in the ‘outer', an area in the middle of the racetrack. This space was especially popular during major race programmes, with all manner of entertainment including boxing tents, sideshows and drinking booths, competing with the bookies’ stands.[14]

In September 1889, tenders were called by joint architects, Hunter and Corrie, and J H Buckeridge, for the construction of a brick and iron grandstand.[15] Constructed in the Paddock area, the grandstand became known as the Paddock Stand after it was completed in 1890.[16] A photo dated c1914 shows the Paddock Stand as having a vaulted roof with a vented and gabled ridge ventilator, timber-clad gable ends, and large supporting columns. The stand featured a tiered base for seating that faced the racetrack, and decorative cast iron balustrades. A large open area in front of the stand facilitated the viewing of races and socialising.[17]

The economic depression of the 1890s severely affected racing, with all the main clubs experiencing financial difficulties. Attendances dropped considerably and prize monies fell. At Eagle Farm, all proposed capital works were suspended.[18]

In 1897 the Racecourse Railway Station was renamed Ascot Railway Station (after the famous racecourse in England), and in the same year the line was extended to Pinkenba. From December 1899, the advent of the electric tram along Racecourse Road provided an alternative means of transport for patrons.[19]

From the late 1880s, conferences between the major racing clubs of Australia had been held to formulate uniform rules of racing. On 14 October 1912, Queensland accepted the final draft of the Australian Rules of Racing, and from that time, the Club progressed with new building works.[20]

The early 20th century brought further improvements to the Eagle Farm Racecourse grounds and facilities. The three-storey Members’ Stand was designed by Hall & Dods, architects and tenders invited by 1 August 1904. The committee of the QTC later accepted a tender for £1200 for the erection of the new stand by a Mr Carrick.[21]

Hall and Dods, architects were also the designers of a new grandstand at Ascot Racecourse, the tender for which was advertised in January 1913.[22] This St Leger Stand was in use from November 1913.[23]  A 1919 photograph of the St Leger Stand shows it as having a gabled roof, supported by bracketed columns, with dentil details at gable ends and a rounded north-facing gablet. The grandstand had sheltered tiered seating which faced the racecourse, and ornamental balustrades.[24]

Tenders for the construction of entrance gates to the Eagle Farm Racecourse were called on 11 January 1913. Designed by architects Chambers and Powell, the gates were built by A Gillespie at a cost of £1120.[25] Photographs from the 1940s depict the entrance gates as constructed of metal and featuring the QTC logo. The gates stood between masonry piers that had a face brick base and were topped with ornamental urns. To either side of the piers were brick ticket offices that featured stucco accent bands, ticket windows facing the street, and tiled roofs with tall ventilation fleches.[26]

Also in January 1913, tenders were called for the construction of a new totalisator building (Tote Building) designed by architect, GHM Addison, after the previous one burnt down.[27] The new single-storey building was of brick and served both the Paddock and St Leger reserves.[28] It had a tiled Dutch-gable roof with a central ventilation fleche and verandahs to the long sides (east and west).[29] In 1917, improvements were made to the Totalisator building to include a Julius Premier totalisator machine. The building was extended to the north, with the two-storey extension comprising a face brick base and numbered board facing the track. The roof was raised in height and altered to include a transverse Dutch-gable and more impressive roof fleche.[30]

In 1914, Addison supervised two further building projects for Eagle Farm Racecourse. In January 1914, he called for tenders for the construction of latrines at the racecourse, which were constructed by Hornibrook at a cost of £1335. Addison also designed the ticket boxes at Eagle Farm Racecourse, for which tenders were called in April 1914, with the successful builder being James Malskrey with his quote of £915.[31]

On 17 March 1916, W Lindsay's tender of £151.5s for the construction of a bandstand (demolished between November and December 2014)[32] at Eagle Farm Racecourse, designed by Atkinson and McLay, was accepted.[33]

During this period of development at the Eagle Farm Racecourse, railway facilities were also improved. An overbridge adjacent to the Ascot Railway Station was completed in October 1911, and in 1912 a new siding was constructed at the Hendra (north) end of the platform, to store trains on race days. At this time, the 1880s fork siding was removed. Between August 1911 and January 1914, the timber station building was extended a third time, providing additional office space and a verandah extension to its southeast end.[34]

Following lobbying from the Hamilton Town Council, a second railway station building was constructed on the western side of the line in 1913-14, opening on 20 February 1914.[35] This was a pre-cast concrete building, with ticket office, passenger waiting room, toilet, and a signal cabin spanned by a terracotta tile roof. The signal cabin housed the lever frame of an interlocking signal system and with extensive window openings overlooking the rail line. This station was constructed using a technique of pre-cast concrete panels stacked vertically within a concrete frame to form a wall. Queensland was the first state to experiment with this method, making the Ascot Station one of the earliest pre-cast station buildings built in Australia. It is now the oldest surviving pre-cast concrete railway station still in operation on the Queensland Rail network. Earlier (now demolished) examples were Northgate (1911-12) and Chelmer (1913), while Kuranda (opened September 1914) is the next oldest surviving.[36] Precast concrete structures became the new standard for Queensland Rail buildings, often replacing earlier timber structures on the site. The prefabricated concrete system was later adopted and used extensively on NSW railway structures.[37] The roof of Ascot’s timber station building was changed to Marseilles tiles, to match the new station building, after plans for this alteration were drawn on 24 January 1914.[38]

Congestion on race days at the racecourse station resulted in further improvements during the first decades of the 20th century. The QTC had found that the level crossing gates, inserted when the rail line was extended to Pinkenba, obstructed access to the course. In 1914 the Club agreed to pay the cost of building a subway underneath the railway embankment. Wartime delays hindered its completion until April 1916. In 1920, plans were devised to duplicate the railway line to cater for the ever-increasing number of patrons, but did not come to fruition.

After World War I, further development of the racecourse took place. A major addition to the Paddock Stand was constructed in 1922. Designed by H W Atkinson & A H Conrad, and Francis R Hall, the grandstand extension was constructed by J G Hobbs for £23,000.[39] Architects Atkinson & Conrad were in partnership in Brisbane from 1918 to 1927. Between 1916 and 1924 Francis Richard Hall worked in association as Hennessy and Hennessy and F R Hall, Architects.[40]

In November 1924, a tender was advertised for extensive additions to the Members' Stand, designed by Hall and Prentice. The architectural firm of Hall and Prentice was established in 1919 when Thomas Ramsay Hall entered into partnership with George Gray Prentice. Hall was one of Brisbane's most successful architects of the early 20th century and the firm designed many prestigious buildings in Brisbane, including Brisbane City Hall (QHR 600065), Sandgate Town Hall (QHR 601566) and the Tattersall's Club (QHR 600093). He was involved in racing through the Tattersall's Club and the QTC, and his name is commemorated in the T R Hall Handicap.[41]  In December 1924, the Daily Standard newspaper described the planned alterations to the Members’ Stand as having a terracotta tiled, gable roof, white exterior stucco walls with cherry-red face brick window and void trims, and dark brown timberwork. The interior included a spacious lounge 85ft (25.91m) in length, with polished Queensland hardwood timber floors, heavy mock oak beams, and plastered walls and ceilings. The fittings, counters and wall details were finished in dark polished oak.  The lounge featured a main wall of glass and an observatory window, ‘which will assure a perfect, unobstructed vista of the lawns and horse quarters’.[42] The base of the stand comprised general offices, a weighing room, inquiry room, committee’s dining room and bar, official’s dining room, kitchen, stores, lavatories and members’ cloak rooms. The building work for the Members’ Stand was let to SS Carrick.[43]

Other additions by Hall and Prentice included alterations to the main and ‘flat' totalisators, as well as a new lavatory block in April 1923. Alterations to the Totalisator building recorded in May 1923 included an increase in payout windows from 26 to 43, and the provision of additional space in the main enclosure by making a bay window on the northern side of the building. By May 1924, however, the Telegraph newspaper reported the intention to lower the roof of the building to enable uninterrupted views for patrons from the adjacent areas and grandstands.[44]

In May 1938, Hall and Cook, architects, called tenders for extensions to the St Leger Stand.[45] Harold Morton Cook (1901-68), employed by F R Hall in Brisbane between c1924 and 1930, later formed a partnership with Hall as F R Hall and Cook Architects, Brisbane, which operated from 1930 to 1939.[46] The extensions to the St Leger Stand were contracted to Blair Cunningham and Sons, builders, and were reported as adding 80ft (24.38m) to the length of the stand. The extension increased the accommodation of the stand to 3000 people, and included the addition of a ladies’ rest room. It cost approximately £9000. Simultaneously, new turnstile buildings were constructed by G Day and Son, builders, for approximately £1500.[47]

The QTC’s regular race meetings continued until December 1941 when Australia faced the threat of invasion by Japan. Military authorities took over the racecourse on 19 December. From then until 1946, Eagle Farm Racecourse was known as Camp Ascot and accommodated thousands of Americans. The first contingents of American servicemen from the Pensacola convoy marched from Bretts Wharves down Racecourse Road and through what has since been termed ‘The Gateway to Victory', in December 1941.[48] In the early 1940s, eight ‘igloo' stores were erected at Eagle Farm Racecourse for the Australian and United States Armies. Throughout World War II, the QTC conducted races at Albion Park, with the Victory Cup Meeting in May 1946 marking the return of racing to the Eagle Farm Racecourse.[49]

In the 1950s two major building works were undertaken. The Totalisator building, which straddled the Paddock/St Leger boundary, was extended and the John Power Stand was built in 1958 by KD Morris & Sons, Pty Ltd, at a cost of £450,000. Designed by architect Martin Conrad, the grandstand was named after Dr John Power, President of the QTC from 1947 to 1965.[50] This stand originally featured two levels of tiered seating stacked one above the other, however, the upper level of seating was later replaced with roof sheeting due to issues with concrete deterioration.[51] Conrad designed a number of other buildings at the racecourse in following years, including the Judge's Box (1963) and a ladies toilet (1966).[52]

The QTC celebrated its centenary year in 1963 with social events, exhibitions of memorabilia and with a carnival held from 8-15 June 1963. However, the previous year marked the establishment of the off-course TAB, which ‘cost race clubs a lot of patrons with punters electing to have their bets legally at a local agency’.[53]

Racecourse improvements since 1963 have taken several forms. In 1969 a new kikuyu grass training track, aluminium running rails, a horses' swimming pool, a state-of-the-art testing facilities for the Laboratory, and a covered betting ring were added.[54] In 1990 there was major track extension between the 1600 metres and the 1200 metres and the QTC acquired several properties bordering the 1600 metres up to the 1400 metres starts. The new 1600 metres start was used for the first time in February 1991. In 2005 refurbishment of the St Leger Stand was undertaken. Restoration of the old Totalisater building occurred in 2006, followed by relocation of the Racing Museum into its upper floor. Prolonged drought led to expansion of the existing infield dam, excavation of a new dam, and the installation of underground water tanks in 2008.[55]

Changes to the management of the Eagle Farm Racecourse have also taken place. At the QTC's Annual General Meeting on 9 September 1997, the membership unanimously voted for incorporation from 31 March 1998, to allow the Club to hold freehold title of Eagle Farm Racecourse in its own name. Circa 2002 there was an in-principle agreement by the QTC Board to merge the QTC and the Brisbane Turf Club (which managed Doomben Racecourse) to form one entity.[56] The merger to form the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) subsequently took place on 8 August 2008 and became operational on 1 July 2009.[57] At this time, a history of the QTC was published and a conservation management plan for the complex was created.[58]

One of the first objectives of the Board of the BRC was the creation of a Master Plan to develop Eagle Farm and Doomben Racecourses, which was announced in April 2009. [59] It proposed a ‘world class racing facilities in a precinct … [with] a variety of lifestyle, residential, retail and commercial developments…. infield stabling and a dedicated veterinary clinic…extensive landscaping ... and 16.5ha of open leisure space and parklands … for use by the community'.[60] As part of this initiative, another Conservation Management Plan was prepared in 2011 to inform development plans.[61]

In 2012 the mounting yard and the race-day tie-up stalls, previously sited at the western end of the John Power (Members) Stand, were returned to their pre-1946 location behind the public grandstand.[62]

Redevelopment of Eagle Farm and Doomben Racecourses into a range of residential, commercial and recreational land uses, in accordance with an approved Master Plan commenced in 2013.[63] The development included: upgrading both racetracks and associated facilities; introduction of non-racing (residential, commercial and retail) and the continued operation of the racing facilities; bikeways and pedestrian paths as well as private open space areas; parking and stabling areas in the centre of the racecourse; and enhancement of existing buildings and structures on site.[64] To enable development, the large land parcel that predominantly comprised the Eagle Farm Racecourse was reconfigured in October 2015 to create five separate allotments.[65]

In 2017, the stables complex (a series of early horse stables, sand rolls and other buildings associated with horse stabling); workshops and sheds associated with the maintenance and operation of the racecourse, located to the north and west of the stables complex; and a house accessible from Nudgee Road, located north of the stables complex were demolished.

In their place, a new access road and a residential tower were completed in 2018, and site preparation for a second tower commenced.[66] A supermarket with related retail and commercial facilities in the northeast corner of the racecourse site, on Lot 804 SP292903, is under construction in 2018 and scheduled to be officially opened on 31 July 2018.[67]

In 2018, Ascot Railway Station retains most of its mechanically interlocked signal system, however, the semaphore signalling posts have been disconnected with some rods, links and cables removed.

Before railway ‘safeworking’ systems were computerised and centralised in Queensland, mechanical signals were controlled from signal cabins, which dealt with the traffic on a particular block of railway line. Signal cabins coordinated signals that indicated whether or not a section of track was clear of other traffic. Early signals were mechanical, while later signals were operated electrically.[68]The interlocking control system comprised: points: (movable sections of railway line that enable trains to move from one line to an adjacent line); semaphores or signal arms (red and white or black and white levers on posts, which indicate which sections of line are open and which are closed); a lever frame (a number of levers that operate the points and semaphores); a signal cabin (a room where the lever frame is located); and the interlocking mechanical system that prevents points and signals from being in conflicting positions, which could lead to derailments or worse. Ninety percent of the interlocking is done by a complex mechanism under the levers in the signal cabin. Some interlocking is done at the points themselves and on the semaphore arms. Every interlocking installation is individual and unique to the location controlled. At Ascot Railway Station, the signal cabin adjoins the main concrete passenger station on the northern end of the western platform.[69]

Ascot Railway Station is the last station in metropolitan Brisbane to retain semaphore signalling and a mechanically interlocked cabin.[70] It is one of only seven such systems intact in Queensland, with Kuranda Station using the only operational mechanically interlocked signal system.[71] This is a reduction since 2008 when there were seven mechanically interlocked signal cabins still commissioned in Queensland: Ascot (not used), Charters Towers, Ingham, Innisfail, Kuranda, Laidley (rarely used) and Mackay. At this time, there were about 19 surviving decommissioned interlocked signal cabins complete with their frames in Queensland (six had been relocated), along with 36 signal cabins minus their signal frames, and 10 known signal frames in various states of intactness. Approximately 100 mechanically interlocked signal cabins had been demolished at stations around Queensland.[72]

Since 1863, Eagle Farm Racecourse has been a centre for horse racing, attracting a wide cross-section of the community to its events. During its stewardship of the site, the QTC commissioned an array of facilities designed by noted Queensland architects and set them within landscaped grounds with mature trees and gardens, to create a popular gathering place for the valued customary experience of horse racing. Many of its patrons were delivered to the racecourse via the purpose-built branch railway line to the adjacent Ascot station, provided by the Queensland Government.

Description

Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station occupies an almost 50ha flat site in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot, approximately 6km northeast of Brisbane CBD. The site is bounded by Lancaster Road (south); McGill Avenue (southwest); Kitchener Road (west); Mein Street, Gordon Street and residential properties (north); Nudgee Road (east); and mixed-use development (east and southeast). The public entrance to the racetrack is at the south end of the site via Lancaster Road, at Racecourse Road’s north termination, and a secondary entrance is from the northeast.

The place encompasses two sections: a Racecourse Complex, and a Railway Station Complex to the southwest.  

Racecourse Complex

The Racecourse Complex comprises a turf racetrack, with a range of grandstands, betting facilities, ticket offices, turnstiles, toilets and associated structures. Most of these buildings are located at the southwest edge of the track, adjacent to the main straight and the public entrance.

The grandstands and associated structures retain a strong visual connection to and expansive views of the racetrack. From east to west, these buildings comprise: St Leger Stand, Totalisator Building, Paddock Stand, Members’ Grandstand and John Power Stand. To the south of the grandstands is a public concourse, a Stable (former) and a Sydney Tote Office (former). Race Day Stalls are at the far west end of the track.

Racetrack

The oval-shaped, turf racetrack has a circumference of 2,027m and a main straight of 434m. The configuration of the northeast chute has been altered to wrap closer to the track, various training tracks have been added on the inner side of the track, and the track has been re-turfed. 

Entrance Gates (1913)

The Entrance Gates fronting Lancaster Road comprise two sets of paired, wrought iron gates, hung between three masonry piers that are bookended by two ticket offices. The offices have gable roofs with large eaves and are accessed by operators from the north, with openings to the south for ticket sales.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Queensland Turf Club (QTC) logo featured within the wrought iron gates.
  • Terracotta tile roof cladding.
  • Ventilation fleches.
  • Decorative corbels.
  • Walls with a face brick base and stucco bands above sill height.
  • Circular vents to the gable-end walls.
  • The masonry piers with stucco mouldings and cornice details.
  • Ornamental concrete urns on masonry piers.
  • Timber gates and low stone retaining walls, extending approximately 70m to the east and west of the Entrance Gates.

Extending north of the Entrance Gates is a bitumen access road, bridged over by the railway and lined with established gardens. The road leads to the grandstand entrances, public concourse and Race Day Stalls.

Members’ Entrance (c1914), Paddock Entrance (c1914) & St Leger Entrance (c1913)

Entered from the access road are three ticket offices, which formerly provided separated access to racecourse grandstands and viewing areas (depending on the ticket purchased): the Members’ Entrance (west), Paddock Entrance (centre), and St Leger Entrance (east). 

The ticket offices are single-storey brick buildings. The Members’ Entrance and Paddock Entrance have gable roofs with transverse gables at each end, and the St Leger Entrance has a Dutch gable roof. Access to the public concourse is from the south (Members’ Entrance and Paddock Entrance) and southeast (St Leger Entrance). The Members’ Entrance has central turnstiles, south-facing arched ticket windows (west end) and an entrance gate (east end). The Paddock Entrance has turnstiles (eastern end) and south-facing ticket windows. The St Leger Entrance has turnstiles and ticket windows alternating along the length of the southwestern elevation.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Terracotta tiled roofs.
  • Face brick walls.
  • Early timber detailing, including eaves brackets and gable infills.
  • Stucco string courses, window sills and heads, and cornices. 
  • Original timber counter joinery to the St Leger Entrance.
  • A wrought iron gate connecting the Members’ Entrance and Paddock Entrance, supported by octagonal, face brick piers with stucco string courses.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Metal crowd-control rails on the southwestern side of the St Leger Entrance. 
  • A later hip-roofed addition at the eastern end of the Paddock Entrance with face brick walls of a lighter colour.
  • Recent advertising in the gables of the Paddock Entrance.

Racecourse Forecourt

An open forecourt lawn at the southwestern edge of the racetrack allows unimpeded views of all areas of the racetrack from all of the grandstands.

St Leger Stand (1913, extended 1938)

The St Leger Stand is a brick grandstand, with north-facing tiered seating overlooking the racetrack. The original section (1913) stands to the west and the four easternmost seating bays are an early extension (1938) – both sections are of a similar form and detailing. The building has a Dutch gable roof, with transverse gables over entry bays to the south, and rounded transverse gablets to the north.

The tiered seating area is accessed from the Racecourse Forecourt and via rear concrete stairs (located in the entry bays). The base of the grandstand houses toilets, refreshment rooms, a cafe, a commercial kitchen and other facilities.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Corrugated metal-clad roof.
  • Face brick walls with contrasting pilasters and arches of a darker face brick.
  • Stucco detailing including window surrounds, courses along the southern elevation; and entrances to the south and west.
  • Cast iron columns and decorative brackets.
  • Cast iron balustrades.
  • Arched openings.
  • Unlined ceilings to the tiered seating area, with exposed timber trusses.
  • An opening in the centre of the seating area leading down to the base of the grandstand with a timber balustrade lined in timber boards.
  • Early timber joinery including panelled doors, fixed arch windows and decorative eaves brackets.
  • The QTC logo, upside-down horse shoe motif, and words ‘ST. LEGER STAND’, ‘1913’, ‘1938’, and ‘BAR’ in raised lettering above entryways on the southern and western elevations. 
  • QTC logo within gables.
  • Timber infills and dentil detailing to gable-ends and gablets.
  • Sheltered section of tiered seating with concrete stairs.
  • Lower series of narrow and wide concrete stairs leading from the Racecourse Forecourt to the tiered seating. The narrow stairs within the 1913 section of the stand are earlier, with the wide stairs added by 1930.[73]  

Totalisator (Tote) Building (1913, extended 1917, 1923 and c1950s)

The Totalisator Building is a timber and brick structure with a hip roof. The building has a long and narrow plan, with long sides facing north and south (1913), and an L-shaped extension with a Dutch-gable roof at the southern end (1928). The ground floor has had partitions removed to create a single open space.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Terracotta tiled roof cladding.
  • Stucco finish to ground floor exterior walls which is scored to imitate ashlar coursing below window-sill-height, and rough finished above window-sill-height.
  • Flat sheet exterior wall cladding with cover strips to the first floor.
  • V-jointed (VJ) timber and brick interior walls.
  • Narrow betting windows to the ground floor.
  • East- and west-facing odds-indicator boards to the first floor.
  • Totalisator apparatus (1950s, for the Hodsdon’s Totalisator system) housed on the first floor.
  • Timber floors.
  • Timber stairs with a three-rail timber balustrade.

Paddock Stand (1890, extended 1921-22)

The Paddock Stand is a brick grandstand with tiered seating facing north to the racetrack. It is comprised of two sections – the original section (1890) to the east and the early extension (1921-22) to the west – which are discernible in form and fabric. The original section has a vaulted roof with a gabled ridge ventilator, and the early extension has a gable roof. A sunken walkway connects the two sections, extending under the Racecourse Forecourt. 

The base of the stand accommodates bars, jockey change rooms, weighing rooms and stewards’ rooms to the ground floor, and offices to the first floor.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Corrugated metal roof cladding.
  • Decorative timber battening the eastern gable-end.
  • Cast-iron posts with decorative to the 1890s section.
  • Metal I-profiled posts to the 1921-22 section.
  • Brick and concrete stairs leading from the Racecourse Forecourt up to the tiered seating area.
  • Concrete stairs to the tiered seating area.
  • Exterior wall finishes of brick and stucco, scored to imitate ashlar coursing.
  • Original joinery including early timber-framed casement windows, fixed multi-light windows, leadlight windows, fanlights (some arched), French doors and multi-light dual doors. Window and door openings to the south are generally regularly spaced. 
  • Large arch entryways to the ground floor.
  • Ornate cast-iron balustrades.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Modern infills within arched openings.
  • Aluminium-framed windows and doors.
  • Modern lightweight partitions.
  • The bridging extension (1984) between the Paddock Stand and public concourse.
  • Recent bar enclosures to the second floor.

Members’ Stand (1904, extended 1925)

The Members' Stand is a three storey brick grandstand, with gable and hip roofs. The stucco walls are rough-cast to the first floor. The base of the stand comprises a Committee Bar, Members’ Bar and toilets on the ground floor; a Members’ Dining Room, kitchen and toilets on the first floor; and private boxes, press boxes and a kitchen on the second floor.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Corrugated metal roof cladding.
  • Gable-end timber detailing.
  • Stone quoining.
  • Concrete stairs and timber board ceilings linings to the tiered seating area.
  • Early timber joinery. This is important to the understanding of the grandeur and opulence of the building and is mostly of clear-finished dark hardwood (painted in some places). It includes:
    • Dado panelling, some feature a cross-motif.
    • Exposed ceiling battens and beams.  
    • Panelled doors.
    • Decorative architraves.
    • Coat hook racks.
    • Balustrade posts featuring an x-motif.
    • Panelled timber bar in the Committee Bar.
    • Lead-light, fixed and double-hung windows, and fanlights.
    • Screens to the first floor.
    • Timber floor boards.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Recent Members’ Bar fitout.
  • Carpet floor linings.

John Power Stand (1957-1958)

The John Power Stand is a concrete and brick grandstand, with two levels of tiered seating facing northeast and overlooking the racetrack (the second level is no longer in use and has been replaced with roof sheeting at the original seating pitch).  The base of the stand accommodates ticketing booths, bars, restaurants, toilets, public seating and open space for bookmakers.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Large, curved concrete ramp linking the ground and upper two floors on the southwestern side of the grandstand.
  • Concrete posts supporting roof.
  • Concrete stairs to the tiered seating area.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • A recent bar to the second floor (that has removed some of the upper tiers of seating).
  • A two-storey concrete extension (1982) to the south of the stand.
  • A structure (1984) connecting the grandstand to the adjacent Members’ Stand.
  • Recent escalators.
  • A recent suspended metal screen to the ceiling of the tiered seating area.   

Turnstiles (c1936-1945)

The Turnstiles building stands to the east of the St Leger Stand. It is a single-storey building with a terracotta-tiled Dutch-gable roof. It features timber cladding to the gablets, and face brick walls with a stucco-finished base.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Infills to original openings and ticket windows of bricks, recent windows or recent doorways.   

Toilet Block (by 1936)

The Toilet Block stands to the south of the Totalisator Building and St Leger Stand. It is a single-storey amenities building with a terracotta-tiled, Dutch-gable roof and timbering to the gablets. The walls are stucco – scored to mimic ashlar jointing below sill-height and rough-cast above sill height.  Some toilet partitions are of VJ timber.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Recent toilet and vanity fitouts.
  • Floor tiles.

Stable (former, c1928)

The Stable (former) forms part of the southwest boundary of the public concourse. It is a long, masonry horse-stabling building with a gable roof and face brick walls. The west end is partially open and divided into individual stalls. The east end is enclosed for offices and store rooms.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Terracotta roof cladding and finials.
  • Timber gable infills.
  • Early timber-framed casement windows and timber doors.
  • Decorative metal grills to some window openings in the stall area.
  • Half-height timber walls and timber posts to stalls.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

A replica race day stall building (2012) to the north of the c1928 structure.

Race Day Stalls (c1951-58)

The Race Day Stalls comprise five stall buildings to house horses on race days. The entrance to this area of the site is via Gordon Street and is marked by stucco-finished masonry pillars. The buildings are partially open, timber structures with gable roofs clad in corrugated cement sheets.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Timber weatherboard cladding to gable-end walls.
  • Half-height, timber-framed and -lined walls dividing stalls, with some featuring a central, upper screen of widely-spaced timber battens.
  • Concrete slab floor.

Parade Ring Monument (by 1919)

A concrete monument stands in the centre of the parade ring / mounting yard, to the south of the Paddock Stand (it has been moved from its original location). It is of an Art-Deco style, with a large circular plinth (shaped to hold water) and a central stepped pillar that features a clock and two painted plaster motifs of a leaf centred within a wreath. The upper section of the monument has been removed.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • A modern plaque (2012).
  • Specific location within racecourse site.

Sydney Tote Office (former, by 1965)

The Sydney Tote Office is a timber betting office with hip roofs, which has been moved from its original location and orientation. It currently stands to the south of the Totalisator Building. The office is mostly single-storey, with a small section protruding from the centre of the building and forming a second storey. The interior was not inspected.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Corrugated metal roof cladding.
  • Narrow timber chamferboard wall cladding.
  • Narrow betting windows are along the north side of the building to the ground floor.
  • Fixed windows and louvres to the first floor.

Features not of state-level heritage significance include:

  • Modern doors at the short ends of the building.
  • Specific location within racecourse site.

Camera Tower (c1948)

A metal Camera Tower, supported by metal cross-braced framing, is attached to the northwest side of the Members’ Stand.

Judge’s Box (1963)

The Judge’s Box is located between the Members’ Stand and John Power Stand. It is a skillion roofed tower standing on a tall concrete pier. A small room at the top of the tower has stucco walls, and is accessed from the ground via a metal stair that spirals around the pier.  A window runs the length of the racetrack-facing (northern) elevation and its view aligns with the racetrack winning post (finish line).

Other Features

To the south of the grandstands and along the southwest boundary of the public concourse are a collection of single-storey buildings with face brick walls and terracotta tile roofs. These include: toilet blocks (c1910-20), refreshment stands and turnstile buildings.

The ground surface surrounding these structures is of concrete, paved and lawn, and features mature shade trees.

Landscape Features

The grounds of the racecourse create a parkland setting and include well-maintained gardens, specimen trees, avenues of trees, flower beds (including seasonal bedding out schemes) and expanses of lawn.

The south public concourse between the grandstands and ticket offices is shaded by mature trees, including: figs (Ficus sp.), Camphor laurels (Cinnamomum camphora), and Poincianas (Delonix regia). Other rows of trees located around the racetrack and public concourse are indicative of formal planting schemes undertaken at the site.

Railway Station Complex

The Ascot Railway Station on the Doomben Line is the eighth rail station northeast of Brisbane Central Station. It comprises: two station buildings and platforms on opposite sides of the rail tracks (an 1882 timber-framed building is to the northeast, and a 1914 precast concrete building is to the southwest); a timber footbridge (c1911; southeast of the station buildings); a concrete toilet block (southwest of the 1914 station building and adjacent McGill Road); a concrete platform and mechanical interlocking signal system. A second timber footbridge (c1914) is located at the northwestern end of the heritage boundary (over the rail tracks between Ascot and Hendra railway stations), providing access between Kitchener Road and a laneway to Gordon Street.

Timber Station Building (1882, extended c1883 and c1911; re-roofed 1914)

The Timber Station Building is a single-storey, timber-framed building with a gable roof and short timber and concrete stumps. The roof extends over the southwest platform. A northeast verandah (c1911) runs half the length of this elevation and is accessed via timber stairs at each end.

The building has a central waiting area opening onto the platform and flanked by a booking office to the southeast (extended toward the southeast c1911), and a ladies’ room and toilet to the northwest (c1883). The ladies’ room is entered from the platform and provides access to the toilet, which is recessed toward the north.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Terracotta tiled roof cladding.
  • Weatherboard exterior wall cladding.
  • Curved iron roof brackets.
  • Early timber joinery: panelled doors to the platform; timber louvres to the waiting area and toilet; casement and double-hung windows to the office and ladies’ room; and ticket windows with decorative timber ledges between the booking office and the waiting area and northern verandah.
  • A corrugated metal-clad, southeast window hood.
  • Stop-chamfered timber posts.
  • Timber two- and three-rail balustrades.
  • Timber rail to the northeast verandah.
  • Timber floors.  
  • Timber ‘ASCOT’ signs on each gable-end wall.
  • Unlined interior walls with exposed timber framing (except for the southeast wall of the ladies waiting room, which is is lined in timber weatherboards – indicating the extent of the building prior to the 1883 addition).
  • Unlined and VJ-lined ceilings.
  • Timber seating along the walled sides of the waiting area.

Concrete Station Building (1914)

The Concrete Station Building is a single-storey, concrete building with a gable roof, and standing on concrete dwarf walls. The building has a central waiting area, a southeast ‘ladies’ room’ and toilet, and a northwest booking office. The waiting area is open to the northeast platform. A semi-enclosed waiting area along the southwest side of the building is accessed via a small stair.

Features of state-level heritage significance also include:

  • Terracotta tile roof cladding and terracotta finials.
  • Timber gable-end infills with ‘ASCOT’ painted in the centre and a tiled backing.
  • Precast reinforced concrete wall and floor panels, slotted horizontally into a concrete frame. The wall panels are painted and have a rough finish.
  • Decorative metal eaves brackets along the platform-facing (northeast) elevation.
  • Timber joinery, including: double-hung, casement and ticket windows and hatches; and panelled French and slat doors.
  • Timber lattice screens at either end of the semi-enclosed waiting area.
  • Decorative timber valances along the northeast and southwest elevations.

Platforms (c1882 and c1914)

The raised platforms are adjacent to each station building and are of brick and concrete. Both platforms have been resurfaced with bitumen. The passenger platform adjacent to the Concrete Station Building and extending inbound to the northwest is currently in use.

Mechanically Interlocked Signalling System (1914)

The Mechanically Interlocked Signalling System comprises:

  • A Signal Control Room. The Signal Control Room is a small, single storey concrete building, attached to the northwest end of the Concrete Station Building with a covered and screened area. This precast concrete building has a terracotta tile-clad gable roof continuous from the Concrete Station Building. The building is accessed from the screened area via a small stair. Internally, the building comprises a single space, with a ceiling lined in VJ timber boards and a timber floor raised to accommodate signal mechanisms below. Several floor hatches open into the sub-floor area to facilitate maintenance.  Timber joinery within the building includes large banks of early sliding windows facing the platform, a French door, and a small ledge along the southwest wall.
  • Control levers set in a signal frame and housed in the Signal Control Room. Each lever is labelled with a number (1 through 30); and link to the mechanical interlocking system, points and semaphore signal posts (all are now disconnected).
  • 12 Semaphore Signal Posts in various locations along and adjacent to the rail tracks. Each has a steel truss post topped with a gas lantern and a painted pivoting arm attached to coloured lenses. 
  • A mechanical interlocking system of metal points, rods, links, cables and brackets running alongside the rail tracks and connecting the Signal Control Room with the Semaphore Signal Posts (now disconnected).

Timber Footbridges (1911 and c1914)

The Timber Footbridges are built to a standard Queensland Railways design, with timber-framed painted trusses that span over the railway line. One footbridge is to the south of the station buildings and links the two platforms. The other footbridge is located inbound from the station buildings and provides access between Kitchener Road and a laneway to Gordon Street. 

Toilet Block (by 1934)             

The toilet block is a single storey, precast concrete structure with a corrugated metal-clad, hip roof. The concrete structure is exposed and has a painted, rough finish. The building is accessed from an entrance on the southwest elevation via a VJ-lined timber door.

The interior was not inspected.

Features Not of State-level Heritage Significance

Features not of state-level heritage significance within the Racecourse Complex include:

  • Recent structures, fittings and fitouts.
  • Recent signs and advertising material.
  • Development in the centre of the racetrack (2016-17).
  • Recent timber ramps and platforms surrounding the Judges’ Box.  
  • Plastic seating.
  • Recent kitchenette, bathroom and change-room fitouts.

Features not of state-level heritage significance within the Railway Complex include:

  • A concrete block shed.
  • Electrical box.
  • Fence adjacent to the Timber Station Building.
  • Recent electronic signalling systems.
  • Perforated metal screens to the upper walkway of both Timber Footbridges.

References

[1] Helen Coughlan, Queensland Turf Club (QTC): A Place in History, Boolarong: Brisbane, 2009, p. 2; ‘Do you know your Brisbane?’, Sunday Mail, 4 Nov 1928, p. 27.

[2] Coughlan, QTC, p. 6.

[3] Coughlan, QTC, pp. 7-8.

[4] Coughlan QTC, pp. 275 & 11. Much of this land, to the north of the present day track, was bought up by racing professionals who established stables and training facilities there. The area became part of the suburb of Hendra, which continued to include a high number of horse trainers and jockeys among its residents after World War II.

[5] Coughlan, QTC, pp. 9-11; ‘Volunteer Encampments’, Toowoomba Chronicle and Darling Downs General Advertiser, 8 Apr 1879, p. 2; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 26 May 1879, p. 1; ‘The Brisbane Courier’, The Brisbane Courier, 31 Jul 1879, p. 4,‘Cricket’, The Brisbane Courier, 2 Feb 1883, p. 1; ‘The Saturday Newsletter’, Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay & Burnett Advertiser, 1 Mar 1884, p.3; ‘Polo’, Darling Downs Gazette, 30 Sep 1896, p. 5; ‘Tomorrow’, The Telegraph, 29 Jun 1900, p. 4.

[6] Coughlan, QTC, p. 14.

[7] ‘Tattersall’s Club Meeting’, The Queenslander, 22 Nov 1884, p. 829; ‘Racing Notes’, The Brisbane Courier, 15 Feb 1889, p. 6; Coughlan, QTC, p. 14.

[8] ‘Classified Advertising’, The Courier, 10 June 1863, p.1; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 30 Dec 1864, p.1; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 14 Aug 1865, p.1; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 12 Dec 1865, p.1; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 31 May 1867, p. 1; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 22 May 1869, p. 1; ‘Qld Turf Club New Years Meeting’, The Brisbane Courier, 3 Jan 1871, p.2; ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 23 May 1871, p.1.

[9] Coughlan, QTC, p. 13.

[10] Andrew Ward and Peter Milner, Queensland Railway Heritage Places Study: Stage 2, vol. 4, Dept Environment and Queensland Rail, Brisbane 1997, p. 121-2; Railway Dept. Chief Engineers Branch, ‘Sandgate Railway: Shelter sheds, booking offices, etc’ QSA Item ID 121072.

[11] Railway Dept. Chief Engineers Branch, ‘Sandgate Railway: Additions to shelter shed and booking office - Racecourse Station’ QSA Item ID 121099.

[12] See Helen Bennet & Lloyd Jones, ‘Queensland’s Timber Railway Passenger Stations: Report for Queensland Rail’, 2018, pp. xiv-xvii.

[13] In May 1879 a Mr Thomas began operating his Totalisator, a machine capable of calculating betting odds mechanically, at Eagle Farm Racecourse. This machine widened betting options for all race-goers and its introduction enabled the QTC to eradicate its debts and to raise prizemoney. In 1900 the Hodsdon Totalisator, invented by Henry Hodsdon, was introduced. It operated on this and other Brisbane racecourses for at least 40 years as well as in southern States and overseas. [Source: Coughlan, QTC, p. 12; The Age, 10 Aug 1939; ‘Totalisator history', http://members.ozemail.com.au/~bconlon/; Bob Doran, ‘The First Automatic Totaliser', The Rutherford Journal, @www.rutherfordjournal.org/article020109.html. all accessed 30 May 2012.

[14] Bryan Jamison, ‘Racecourse Riot, 1887 ‘ in Raymond Evans, Carole Ferrier and Jeff Rickertt, eds, Radical Brisbane: an unruly history, The Vulgar Press, North Carlton, Vic, 2004, p. 62.

[15] Hunter and Corrie, architects, commenced in Brisbane on 1 April 1888 when Henry Hunter and his former pupil, Leslie Gordon Corrie, joined forces. Corrie continued designing houses for the Queensland Deposit Bank and Building Society, while Hunter’s association with the Roman Catholic Church brought the firm major projects. Their work included the Queensland Deposit Bank and Building Society, Brisbane (demolished), and extensions and alterations to the All Hallows’ Convent (QHR 600200). Their partnership dissolved on 1 March 1892. [see: Watson & McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th century, p. 102.] J H Buckeridge (1857-1934) trained under noted architect John L Pearson, of London, and studied at the Royal Academy and Architectural Association, London. He practised as an architect in London for six years before arriving in Brisbane in 1886, where he practised (1886-92), before moving to Sydney. He served as the Church of England’s Brisbane Diocesan Architect from 1887 to 1902, and was responsible for many Anglican churches, mainly in southern Queensland, such as Christ Church, Milton (QHR 600252), as well the Lady Bowen Hospital, Spring Hill (QHR 601798), and the well-appointed Gresham Hotel (demolished) in Brisbane [see: Pugh’s Almanac, 1894; Watson, 20th Century Architects of Queensland, p. 42; Watson & McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th century, p. 25.]

[16] ‘Classified Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 21 Sep 1889, p. 7; Coughlan, QTC, p. 15. Stables and sheds were also constructed as part of this project – see Don Watson & Judith McKay, Queensland Architects of the 19th Century: A Biographical Dictionary, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, 1994, pp. 26, 102; ‘Queensland Turf Club Races’, The Week, 31 May 1890, p. 24.

[17] ‘Grandstand at Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane’, Negative number 65201, c1914, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

[18] Coughlan, QTC, pp. 15-16.

[19] ‘Racing Notes’, The Queenslander, 23 Dec 1899, p. 1233.

[20] ‘The Turf’, Morning Bulletin, 18 Oct 1912, p. 8.

[21] ‘Horseracing’, The Telegraph, 22 Jul 1904, p. 3; ‘Queensland Notes’, Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, 10 Aug 1904, p.375.  

[22] Hall & Dods, the partnership between architects Francis Richard Hall (1862-1939) and Robin Dods (1868-1920), lasted from 1896 until 1912. Dods trained as an architect in Scotland and England under a number of esteemed architects designing in the Arts and Crafts idiom. In 1886, he was articled with architects Hay & Henderson, in Edinburgh; attended evening classes at the Edinburgh Architectural Association until 1890; and formed a lasting friendship with (Sir) Robert Lorimer (1864-1929), eminent Scottish architect and fellow proponent of Arts and Crafts. In 1890 Dods moved to London, where he worked with the Fortifications Branch of the War Office and in the office of notable architect (Sir) Aston Webb. In 1891 he was admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects and travelled in Italy. In 1894 Dods won a competition for the design of a nurses' home at the Brisbane General Hospital (QHR 600223).[1] Dods has been acknowledged as a rare practitioner of the Arts and Crafts style in Queensland and ‘one of the most significant early 20th century Australian architects'. [see: Robert Riddel, RS (Robin) Dods 1868-1920: the life and work of a significant Australian architect, UQ PhD thesis, 2008, p. viii.]

[23] ‘Advertising’, The Telegraph, 25 Jan 1913, p. 11; ‘Eagle Farm Racecourse’, The Telegraph, 29 May 1914, p. 3.

[24] ‘Grandstand at Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane’, Negative number 65201, c1914, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland; ‘The new Totalisator at Ascot Racecourse’, Queenslander Pictorial (supplement to the Queenslander), 24 March 1917, p.27.

[25] Chambers and Powell, Architects and Consulting Engineers, practised in Brisbane from 1911-20. Lange Leopold Powell, (1886-1938) completed his articled training with Brisbane architectural firm Addison and Corrie and gained some experience, before travelling to England in 1908, where he joined the London architectural firm of Belcher & Co. After returning to Australia in 1910, he formed a partnership with Claude W Chambers in 1911. During 1915 Chambers moved to Sydney, leaving Powell working in Brisbane. From 1920 until his death on 29 October 1938, Powell conducted a sole practice when not in the following partnerships: with George Hutton, Government Architect (1922-24); as Atkinson, Powell and Conrad (1927-30); and with his senior draftsman, George Rae (1931-33). [see: Don Watson and Judith McKay, A Directory of Queensland Architects to 1940, University of Queensland Library, St Lucia, Q, 1984, p. 50; Kurrowah, QHR 602827.]

[26] ‘American servicemen at the gates of Eagle Farm Racecourse’, Negative number 73649, c1942, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland; ‘Entrance to Eagle Farm race track at Ascot, Brisbane’, c1940s, https://www.flickr.com/photos/hwmobs/16169285601/in/photostream/.

[27] The totalisator building burnt down on 30 December 1912. See: Coughlan, QTC, p. 19. George Henry Male Addison (1857–1922) had moved from Melbourne to Brisbane in 1886 to establish a branch of Terry, Oakden and Addison (later Oakden, Addison and Kemp). Addison was an accomplished designer, his buildings stylistically eclectic and more ornately and highly finished than any previously seen in the city. The distinctive use of face brick, relieved with stone or rendered detailing, and steep, dominant roof forms, are characteristics of his work. Other notable Addison-designed buildings include the former National Agricultural and Industrial Association exhibition hall on Gregory Terrace (Old Museum Building, Brisbane, QHR 600289), for which he won a design competition in 1888; The Mansions, Brisbane (QHR 600119); the Albert Street Methodist Church (QHR 600066); and The Strand Theatre, Toowoomba (QHR 600849). Addison’s skills and distinctive style of domestic architecture were recognised and attracted business from Queensland’s leading professionals. [see: Allom Lovell Marquis-Kyle, ‘Old Museum Building Conservation Study’, 1989, p. 50; The Queenslander, 16 July 1898, p. 118.]

[28] ‘Q.T.C Races’, The Telegraph, 2 June 1913, p.8; ‘Queensland Turf Club’, The Telegraph, 30 July 1913, p.3.

[29] ‘Grandstand at Eagle Farm Racecourse, Brisbane’, Negative number 65201, c1914, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

[30] ‘The new Totalisator at Ascot Racecourse’, Queenslander Pictorial (supplement to the Queenslander), 24 March 1917, p.27.

[31] Tender for brick buildings at Eagle Farm Racecourse, closing 30 Jan 1914: ‘Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 12 Jan 1914, p. 1; ‘Advertising’, The Brisbane Courier, 14 Jan 1914, p. 10.

[32] Google Earth aerials, 24 Nov 2014 and 30 Dec 2014.

[33] Henry Wallace Atkinson (1866-1938) studied at Brisbane Central Technical College and worked for the Queensland Department of Public Works from 1882-90. He conducted a sole practice in Brisbane from 1890-1906. He was in partnership as H W Atkinson and Chas. McLay, Architects, from 1907-18, then as Atkinson and Conrad, Architects, Brisbane (1918-27) and Atkinson Powell and Conrad, Architects, Brisbane (1927-31). Charles H McLay was born and trained as an architect in Scotland. He arrived in Brisbane in 1885 and was employed by the Queensland Department of Public Works 1885-90. Atkinson & McLay’s work included the McWhirter’s Building (QHR 600214); The Empire Theatre, Albert Street, Brisbane; and the Watson Ferguson Building, Stanley St, South Brisbane. [see: Watson, A Directory of Queensland Architects to 1940, pp. 23, 135; ‘Brisbane Theatre History – Empire Theatre (Brisbane)’ <https://resource.acu.edu.au/siryan/Academy/theatres/Bris_Empire.htm>, accessed 27 Mar 2018; Brisbane Courier, 2 Jan 1911, p. 6; Brisbane Courier, 14 Jan 1911, p. 5; Brisbane Courier, 7 Jan 1911, p. 13; Brisbane Courier, 13 Jan 1911, p.2; Sunday Mail, 22 Aug 1943; Australian Variety, 8 Nov 1916, n.p.; Sunday Mail Colour Magazine, 17 Jun 1979; Dan Kelly, ‘Watson Ferguson & Company: Our History’ <http://www.wfco.com.au/our-history.html>, accessed 27 Mar 2018.

[34] Helen Bennet & Lloyd Jones, ‘Queensland’s Timber Railway Passenger Stations: Report for Queensland Rail’, 2018, p. xiv; QR, ‘Addition to Office Ascot’, 15 August 1911, drawing number 17969787; QR, ‘Ascot Alterations etc to roof of waiting shed’, 24 January 1914, drawing number 17720901.

[35] Brisbane Courier, 21 Feb 1914, p. 4.

[36] ‘Improvements at Ascot Railway Station', Brisbane Courier, 21 Feb 1914, p. 4; Cairns Railway, Section from Redlynch to Crooked Creek Bridge, QHR 600755.

[37] Andrea Humphreys, 2005, The significance of concrete railway buildings, pp. 20-1. Surveying concrete railway stations in Australia: NSW Government Railways (NSWGR) (NSW): 17 surviving in 2005 of 142 constructed. First station to use precast system was in 1917 at Lake Cargelligo. West Rail (WA): did not use precast system for station buildings or platforms (but did for bridges, viaducts and smaller components). VicRail (VIC): did not use precast system at any time. Great Southern Railways (SA): constructed one station at Katherine in NT. Used concrete for workers’ cottages, but not station buildings. Other Queensland Railway Station Buildings include: Rosewood, Ascot, Barcaldine, Windsor, Wilston, Cunnamulla, Sarina, Roma, Dalby, Fairfield, Burpengary, Alderley, Miles and Chinchilla train crew quarters.

[38] QR, ‘Ascot Alterations etc. to roof of waiting shed’, 24 January 1914, drawing number 17720901.

[39] ‘Advertising’, The Daily Mail, 29 Oct 1921, p. 16; ‘Eagle Farm Racecourse’, The Telegraph, 14 Dec 1921, p. 2.

[40] Watson and McKay, A Directory of Queensland Architects to 1940, pp. 25, 95.

[41] Musket Villa, QHR 601741.

[42] ‘Members’ new stand, extensive alterations’, Daily Standard, 10 December 1924, p.8.

[43] ‘Members’ new stand, extensive alterations’, Daily Standard, 10 December 1924, p.8.

[44] ‘Totalisator facilities, extensions at Eagle Farm’, Telegraph, 16 May 1923, p.2; ‘Eagle Farm Racecourse, the latest improvements’, Telegraph, 2 May 1924, p.2.

[45] A&B Journal of Queensland, May 1938, p. 22; A&B Journal of Queensland, Jun 1938, p. 20.

[46] Watson and McKay, A Directory of Queensland Architects to 1940, p. 57.

[47] ‘£9000 on Ascot extensions’, Courier-Mail, 28 June 1938, p.1; ‘Additions to Ascot stand’, Telegraph, 11 October 1938, p.3.

[48] A United States military shipping convey diverted from The Philippines.

[49] Coughlan, QTC, pp. 23-6.

[50] Brannock & Associates, Eagle Farm Racecourse Conservation Management Plan. Brisbane: Prepared for Watpac BRC Pty Ltd, January 2011, Building 14. The building was added to in 1971 and 1984.

[51] Brannock & Associates, 2011, p. 42.

[52] Brannock & Associates 2011, Building 17.

[53] Coughlan, QTC, p. 31.

[54] Coughlan, QTC, p. 32; BRC website <http://www.brc.com.au/whats-happening/venues/ accessed>, 18 May 2012.

[55] Coughlan, QTC, pp. 38, 43, 46.

[56] Coughlan, QTC, pp. 41, 43.

[57] Coughlan, QTC, Foreword by Bill Sexton, Chairman, QTC.

[58] Helen Coughlan, QTC: A Place in History, Boolarong: Brisbane, 2009; Coughlan, QTC, p. 43. The Conservation Management Plan was completed by Riddel Architecture in 2008.

[59] Coughlan, QTC, p. 43.

[60] Coughlan, QTC, p. 273.

[61] The Conservation Management Plan was completed by Brannock & Associates.

[62] The Courier Mail, ‘2012 Brisbane Racing Club Carnival' supplement, p. 14.

[63] Mirvac Qld Pty Ltd c/ Urbis Pty Ltd, Application for Removal of a place from the Queensland Heritage Register, pp. 18, 21; Urbis, Eagle Farm Racecourse Archival Recording, July 2016, p. 2; Court Ref: 3634/2015/Council Ref: A003048197 cited by Urbis Pty Ltd, Eagle Farm Racecourse Application for Removal of a place from the Queensland Heritage Register, p. 18.

[64] Urbis Pty Ltd, Eagle Farm Racecourse Application for Removal of a place from the Queensland Heritage Register, p. 19.

[65] Urbis Pty Ltd, Eagle Farm Racecourse Application for Removal of a place from the Queensland Heritage Register, p. 20; Lot 6 RP866929 was reconfigured into Lots 801 & 802 on SP292903, and Lots 804, 806 and 807 on SP283433.

[66] Urbis, Eagle Farm Racecourse Archival Recording, July 2016, p. 11; Urbis Pty Ltd, Application for Removal of a place from the Queensland Heritage Register, p. 5.

[67] Urbis Pty Ltd, , Eagle Farm Racecourse Application for Removal of a place from the Queensland Heritage Register, p. 25; Jeff Kahler, General Manager-Property & Asset Management, BRC, Pers. Comm, 20 Mar 2018.

[68] Signals, Crane and Subway, Charters Towers Railway Station, QHR 602627.

[69] Signals, Crane and Subway, Charters Towers Railway Station, QHR 602627.

[70] Signals, Crane and Subway, Charters Towers Railway Station, QHR 602627.

[71] Peter Osborne, QR Heritage Strategist, Pers. Comm. 12 Apr 2018.

[72] Department of Environment and Science, LHIS database, site file for Signals, Crane and Subway, Charters Towers Railway Station, QHR 602627.

[73] Oblique aerial, The Telegraph, 31 December 1932, p.5.

Image gallery

Location

Location of Eagle Farm Racecourse and Ascot Railway Station within Queensland
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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last updated
20 January 2016
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