Houses of Ip­swich

Dis­cover one of Ip­swich's homes: Gains­bor­ough


MIX­ING his­tory with mod­ern amenity is not al­ways an easy task, es­pe­cially when you’re deal­ing with a home that is more than 100 years old. Gains­bor­ough is lo­cated min­utes from the CBD, built in 1880 on land then owned by Henry Martin Reeve. While Gains­bor­ough has un­der­gone some mod­ern ren­o­va­tions, the house has re­tained its 19th Cen­tury charm, along with many of its orig­i­nal fea­tures, in­clud­ing the orig­i­nal wall­pa­per. Owner An­drew Spark used to live a cou­ple of doors up from Gains­bor­ough and had long ap­pre­ci­ated the house. When it came on the mar­ket in 2009, he jumped at the op­por­tu­nity and made an of­fer within 24 hours. “For me, this house rep­re­sents a real sense of com­mu­nity,” An­drew said. “I knew the pre­vi­ous own­ers and the peo­ple next door, and it is not only some­thing that is uniquely Ip­swich, but a priv­i­lege to be a small part of this his­tor­i­cal foot­note. “I’d heard an ur­ban myth about the house and that was it still had the orig­i­nal English print wall­pa­per from the 1880s. To my to­tal de­light it was true and was at waist height along the hall­way en­trance. “I dis­cov­ered hes­sian was at­tached to the honey-coloured, hand-sawn tim­ber boards and the wall­pa­per placed over the top. I’ve in­stalled glass over the top to pro­tect it and re­tain that part of his­tory, and it’s a fan­tas­tic con­ver­sa­tion piece. “It’s a very rare thing to be able to ex­pe­ri­ence the bones of his­tory each day but it pro­vides a touch-point that re­minds me each day of how this home has served many gen­er­a­tions and is a cel­e­bra­tion of the work­man­ship of those orig­i­nal crafts­men.” Born and bred in Ip­swich, An­drew has added some mod­ern touches to the house; mov­ing the orig­i­nal bath­room from the back of the house into what was a ser­vant’s room/bed­room and up­dat­ing the kitchen while re­tain­ing the his­tory and char­ac­ter. The be­spoke sink and drain­ing area is a solid piece of con­crete and took six work­men to lift into place. Land­scap­ing, con­vert­ing the old bath­room to a laun­dry and re-stump­ing have all con­trib­uted to the

My fa­ther was a coal miner and self-taught wood-worker, as a re­sult I have a keen ap­pre­ci­a­tion for those crafts­men.

home’s look and vi­a­bil­ity for an­other 100 years. “I was lucky when I got it that it was mostly in its orig­i­nal con­di­tion,” An­drew said. “Good de­sign doesn’t re­ally age. “The house has an east-west as­pect and with so many doors and win­dows it re­ally is a won­der­ful de­sign to cap­i­talise on the Queens­land weather. An­drew, who works from a stu­dio at home, said the ren­o­va­tion process had been well worth it. “This home re­flects me and I think it is a mod­ern home now,” he said. “It took two years to do and has been opened to the pub­lic a cou­ple of times. “I’ve al­ways had in­ter­est in ar­chi­tec­ture and I’m re­ally pleased that ev­ery­thing was sourced lo­cally, that’s im­por­tant to me.” The house won an Ip­swich Her­itage Award in 2011, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of the home as a part of Ip­swich’s his­tory. our “I city grew is up the in pro­tec­tionIp­swich andof our one her­itage,”of the great An­drew things said. about “I can play a small part in the story of this house. “Homes of­fer safety and se­cu­rity yes, but past that, one of my he­roes, Andy Warhol, once said a home is a ‘ma­chine for liv­ing in’ and I be­lieve that a house has to be a par­tic­i­pant in your life, plus it’s true that home is where the heart is. “I also love the area, there are lots of peo­ple around me who have been here for many years and are in­vested in their homes. “I’ll stay here as long as I can.”


Gains­bor­ough was con­structed in 1880 and much of the orig­i­nal wood­work re­mains in place.


His­toric Ip­swich home, Gains­bor­ough fea­tures a large open liv­ing area, a stu­dio, orig­i­nal fire­places, Ip­swich bricks and pro­tected wall­pa­per (bot­tom left).

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