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The History of the Tennyson Reach Site

Tennyson has roots that are steeped in history. Its tranquil and fertile open space on a picturesque reach of the Brisbane River has attracted and enthused people for more than a century. 

  • In 1823 three lost timber cutters - Pamphlet, Finnegan and Parsons - passed through Tennyson to Oxley Creek, befriended the local Aboriginals and used their canoes to traverse the river. Parsons will be the name of one of the buildings at Tennyson Reach.
  • Softstone was the name of a house built by one of the first land owners, James Strong, who purchased 40 acres at the junction of Oxley Creek and the Brisbane River. It was also extended to be the original name of the suburb. Softstone is the name of the first building within Tennyson Reach.
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson is one of the most famous of modern poets. Local streets of Tennyson take their names from characters within his famous 'Idylls of the King' poems including Merlin Street, Camelot Street and of course, King Arthur Terrace, which has been extended to connect with Fairfield Road to become the new address for Tennyson Reach and the Queensland Tennis Centre.
  • The names of four Tennyson Reach buildings tip their hat to the great poet; Lushington his brother-in-law and closest life long friend; Somersby his place of birth; Aldworth his summer residence in Blackdown, Sussex; and of course Farringford, his grand Isle of Wight mansion where he resided for some 40 years.
  • Hayslope was the name of a beautiful two story mansion built by Thomas Martin in 1889 which proudly sat, until 1939, on the land to one day be occupied by the Tennyson Power Station. It has been nominated that the 1.87 hectares of public parkland on the riverfront be named after this gracious and stately home.
  • The old Hayslope site was acquired by the Brisbane City Council in 1947 where it built the Tennyson Power Station, which operated from 1953 to 1986. Located directly on the riverfront with easy access to Ipswich coal via rail, the site was identified as an ideal place to produce energy for the growing city of Brisbane.
  • Mirvac was announced as the preferred developer for the 12 hectare site in 2005 by the Queensland State Government. This partnership saw Mirvac design, in conjunction with HOK Sport and Venues, and build the Queensland Tennis Centre whilst opening up 5 hectares of riverfront land to provide premium residential apartments and 1.87 hectares of public waterfront parkland to a previously inaccessible sector of the Brisbane River.