Digging deep to protect our heritage
  • Tuesday 17 July 2018

After months of planning, a 3D photogrammetry study and archaeological investigation, work has begun to restore the state heritage-listed shed at Bankfoot House.

Constructed by William Burgess in 1935, the condition of the shed had deteriorated significantly in recent times due to the building materials used, timber decay, termite infestation and ground water damage.

The $250,000 Cultural Heritage Levy funded conservation project involves the careful replacement of building fabric that is beyond repair, repair and re-use of fabric that can be saved and the sensitive incorporation of new material.

Mayor Mark Jamieson said the shed restoration was an important part of council’s ongoing work to protect and promote our region’s heritage.

“This year, we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of Bankfoot House with a range of events throughout the year and a major celebration planned for October 14,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“To commemorate this historical milestone, our Cultural Heritage team is developing a revised, contemporary, interpretation plan for the site, which will include new displays in the shed, Bankfoot House and the Mary Grigor Centre.

“Preserving and maintaining this piece of our region’s history and restoring the shed is an important legacy for current and future generations as it helps to ensure the story of this site is retained.”

Heritage Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said detailed investigative work was undertaken to plan the restoration project.

“When planning for the shed restoration, archaeological research was conducted in and around the shed to determine whether there was any significant material beneath the ground,” Cr Baberowski said.

“Amongst the many artefacts you would expect to find in a shed, such as nails, screws and metal fragments, the archaeologists also made an exciting and unexpected discovery, uncovering a cobblestone floor and fragments of nineteenth century ceramics.

“The cobblestone floor pre-dates the shed construction and we believe it may have been from a pig shed and butchery located on this part of the site.

“We are now going to incorporate a viewing window as a part of the new interpretation plan so visitors can see a section of the cobblestones uncovered during the archaeological exploration.”

Restoration work is due to be complete in time for the Bankfoot House sesquicentenary celebration event on October 14, 2018.

For more information visit heritage.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au  


Bankfoot House was established in 1868 by pioneers William and Mary Grigor and was used as a lunch stop and staging post for Cobb & Co coaches, travelling between Brisbane and the Gympie goldfields. 

The property remained with the same family across three generations with the Grigor, Burgess and Ferris families occupying the house for more than 130 years. 

William Burgess constructed the recycled timber shed in 1935 to house horses and motor vehicles, as well as chickens in part of the stable area.

Over the years, the shed evolved to securely accommodate a car and caravan.

In the 1980s, metal doors were attached to the front of the shed. The doors were aluminium sheets recycled from the printing press of the Sunday Sun newspaper in Brisbane, where Jack Ferris was Chief Engineer.

The doors will be preserved and reinstated on the shed during the restoration project.

Archaeological digs were conducted by archaeologist Associate Professor Jonathan Prangnell from the University of Queensland School of Social Sciences.

Methods included photography, sediment analysis, pH, stratigraphic recording and hand-sieving through nested sieves.

A detailed 3D photogrammetry study was undertaken to carefully document the existing building.