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History of Brisbane's Kenmore

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Suburb of Kenmore
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Kenmore's history has been compiled by local historian, Lesley Jenkins, as part of the BRISbites community history project.

Aboriginal history

The Jagera and Turrbal groups occupied land in the Brisbane and Ipswich areas. The exact boundaries are not known, however the Turrbal generally occupied the area north of the Brisbane River. Both groups had closely related languages, which are classified as belonging to the larger Yaggera language group.

The Brisbane River and Moggill Creek provided a home rich in resources. Evidence of Indigenous occupation includes bora grounds near the Moggill Pony Club and O'Brien Road. The name of the creek and the locality is derived from 'Magil', an Aboriginal word meaning water dragon.

Urban development

In 1849 Moggill Road was built through Kenmore. In the 1860s the area was logged. With clearing came closer settlement, the cultivation of crops and the introduction of dairying.

In the 1880s Andrew Todd bought 100 acres of land in the centre of present day Kenmore. He named his property 'Kenmore Park' after his hometown in Scotland. In 1900 Kenmore School opened, remaining as a one-teacher school until 1959.

In 1925 the Moggill Shire was disbanded when the suburbs of Chapel Hill, Upper Brookfield, Gold Creek, Pullenvale, Moggill, Fig Tree Pocket, Kenmore and Brookfield became part of the Greater Brisbane Council.

Notable residents

Samuel Heathwood came from Portadown in Northern Ireland. In the 1870s he offered his barn for use as a schoolroom, which was run privately by Mr Story.

Keen to see religious services introduced into the area, Heathwood also made his barn available as a meeting place for the local Presbyterian congregation.

The Presbyterian congregation built a church in Kenmore in 1885. To celebrate the commencement of services and meetings in Kenmore, they constructed a cairn of stones from Moggill Creek on the former site of Samuel Heathwood's barn. The stones were removed when the Heathwood's paddock was subdivided for housing.


The Kenmore Repatriation Hospital was a World War II hospital. It was converted into a repatriation hospital for ex-service men and women after the war. The hospital was closed and demolished in the 1990s. The Fairview War Veterans' Home, which opened in 1998, is built on the site.

Kenmore State High School services many of the newer, rural residential western suburbs. It was established in 1972 and it is located on 10 hectares on Moggill Creek, Kenmore.

Reference: Lesley Jenkins, BRISbites, 2000

BRISbites suburban sites

More Kenmore information

REIQ Profile

Take a look at REIQ's real estate profile. You can find suburb statistics, get a feel for its "character" and check out the median house prices and rents.

Pocket Neighbourhood Guide

Your neighbourhood at a glance. Discover the secrets of the local area... as well as what makes it special.
Community links

Here's where to find important community services in this part of Brisbane.

Real Estate values for Kenmore
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Median house price for September 2008 supplied by The Real Estate Institute of Qld
Rental price for September 2008 supplied by Residential Tenancies Authority
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