Morayfields Heritage Precinct
A sponsor and partner of the Abbey Museum and Abbey Medieval Festival, there is a lot happening at North Harbour – from registered and ready to build on land, to our new display villages, parks, events, construction on our heritage precinct and much more!
First a recap. North Harbour is a unique residential development in the northern corridor between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast in the booming suburb of Burpengary East. Located along 9km of direct river frontage we are just 10 minutes from beautiful Moreton Bay and surrounding islands.
We differ from similarly sized Southeast Queensland developments in that we only plan to develop 48% of the site so on completion we will offer a huge 1000 acres of open space and parklands (even larger than Central Park in New York) including environmental corridors, river access and a unique $3m heritage precinct for which we have partnered with The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. The proposed 1000 acres of open space and parklands include walking and bike tracks, lots of trees (almost 60,000 have already been planted) and plenty of play equipment for young and older kids, BBQs, artworks and picnic areas as well as exercise equipment. North Harbour has two parks open already and we also offer weekly free events which are open to everyone in the community including parkrun and Sunrise Yoga.
North Harbour Heritage Precinct and Museum partner
Thee heritage precinct is a very exciting and unique part of our masterplan. This community attraction, which will take two years to develop, will cost over $3m with $1,535,062 of funds coming from the Federal Government through a funding agreement with the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology. Funding is through the Community Development Grants programme, provided through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
The $1,535,062 Grant will be matched by North Harbour. The Abbey Museum and North Harbour will also be working as partners and providing significant “in-kind” support through project planning, project management, post-construction operation and maintenance.
The first stage of construction has been completed including roads and other infrastructure. The construction of picnic areas will begin shortly including shelters, BBQs, tables and benches and toilet facilities. We’re also working to ensure the heritage remains are preserved and available to view and enjoy by the general public.
Steve said: “We are looking to carefully record the exposed areas of the old house and its outbuildings and yards so that we can later interpret that to the public and in advance of a tree management program aiming to preserve the State Listed archaeological remains.”
“It’s a slow and steady process, so in this first stage of work we found out what is there by dividing the site into squares, each 5 x 5m, and then we systematically took on one square at a time.”
“We found areas of cement flooring, some of it had been lifted by trees, some of which have grown really tall after 50 years of little maintenance. We found worked stone blocks and stone foundations and areas of floor made by lying down bricks in a closely packed fashion.”
12 Quick Facts about North Harbour heritage:
1 – The North Harbour site was first named Moray Fields in 1861
2 – Since then it has gone through many incarnations: Cotton Farm, Sugar Plantation, Dairy Farm and Pine Plantation
3 – George Raff purchased and settled the plantation in 1861 and named this Sugar development ‘Moray Fields’, to complement his Moray Bank house in Brisbane City
4 – Mr Raff was closely involved in the early development of Queensland and was a member of the second Queensland Parliament and a prominent Brisbane local businessman, operating in and out of Raff’s Wharf on the Brisbane River
5 – Sugar cane was grown here to produce sugar and both rum and molasses
6 – The plantation was a substantial undertaking in what was then a remote area, being approximately 40 kilometres north of Brisbane. Access by land was difficult and links to the outside world were better via boats and small steamers. So, a ‘commodious wharf’ was built on the river for landing and embarking goods or produce in the small vessels required for maintaining communication with the capital
7 – The plantation had to have many of the elements of a self-sufficient village with stockyards, stables, sheds, carpenters shops, blacksmith’s shop, butcher’s shop, baker’s shop, stores, saw mill, and lots of other buildings
9 – At this time, Moray Fields was a local communication node. Local properties nearby, such as Durundur Station which was located close to modern day Woodford, had a shed for storing supplies delivered by steamer for later collection. Cattle from Durundur provided meat for the people living at Moray Fields
10 – George Raff was a prominent supporter of the use of Islander peoples as labour on plantations. It remains unclear how many Islander labourers worked on the plantation, but in the late 1860s newspaper reports of the time suggest up to 70 at a time. These workers came from several islands in the South Pacific, but particularly from modern day Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
11 – As the 1900s rolled around, former plantation lands were divided into paddocks for grazing dairy cows, though some portions continued to be cultivated. Successive owners erected new buildings and structures, such as dips, sheds and fences. Some plantation-era buildings were re-used, including the ‘mansion’ and possibly some sheds by the Caboolture River
12 – A Queenslander-style house was also built close to the lagoon for share-farmers and their families. In the 1950s, a new farm house complex was built, and the former plantation owner’s house abandoned and demolished.
To find out more about the rich history of the North Harbour site visit http://www.northharbourheritagepark.org/. This dedicated heritage website also includes photos, audio clips and accounts from local oral historians.
In other areas of the masterplan we’re planning a new park called Riparian Park, scheduled to open in 2019, which will be another park for our residents and join the already open Village and Reflections Parks. Our second Display Village, opened mid 2018, includes 33 homes from 17 of Australia’s best builders. And, we have several house and land packages on our ‘ready to build’ land – which means this is already registered and ready to go!
Our current 35 Home Display Village and the North Harbour Sales & Information Centre is open seven days a week, 10am-5pm. We are proud to partner with the Abbey Musuem and for more information on the North Harbour community and our available house and land packages please contact us. To keep up to date with the latest news and info, sign up for email and SMS updates and find North Harbour on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/northharbour/