Historic Sugars Cottage In Anstead To Be Moved To Sunshine Coast

A historic cottage in Anstead, also known as the “Sugars Cottage” has been sold and will be relocated to the Sunshine Coast by its new owners.

Read: Plan Hatched for a Community Hub at Historic Hawbryn House Site

One of Brisbane’s pioneer cottages, Sugars Cottage was allegedly quietly sold by the Brisbane City Council even before its public consultation had ended in June 2021, leaving some Moggill heritage experts enraged.

The 1930s house was so resilient that it was the only structure that survived a devastating fire on the 506 Hawkesbury Rd in October 2020. 

The Council acquired the site in 2017 via the Bushland Acquisition Program with plans to connect two adjoining bushland blocks. However, Councillor Greg Adermann announced last year that they will come up with a masterplan for the site.

The Hawbryn House, which used to be located right next to the Sugars Cottage, was damaged by fire last year. Council already announced plans to turn it to something useful, such a community hub. Cr Adermann said they did not want Sugars Cottage to become a regular target for vandals, just like what happened to the Hawbryn House.

Photo credit: Moggill Historical Society/Facebook

Moggill Historical Society is asking BCC to reconsider its current plan to remove the cottage and sell it to a private owner elsewhere in Queensland. 

“By keeping the cottage in Anstead, Brisbane City Council will secure the legacy of preserving and modernising this building ensuring a better outcome for the local community,” MHS wrote in a petition via Change.org.

Cr Adermann said Moggill Historical Society’s plans to relocate and retain the cottage as a working building was not financially viable. He’s hoping  society and locals would participate in discussions on how to recognise the contribution of the Sugars family to the area.

The Sugars Family

The Sugars Cottage during the early days (Photo credit: Moggill Historical Society/Facebook)

The Sugars family are among the earliest pioneer families in Anstead. In 1860, Thomas Sugars came from Ampthill in Bedfordshire and opened a big basalt quarry in Moggill. His grandson, Harold Gordon Sugars, built the cottage in the 1930s.

When Harold died in 1978, it became part of the Hawbryn property, which was owned by the Burton-Jones family. It was sold to new owners in 2013 before Council brought it back four years ago.

Plan Hatched for a Community Hub at Historic Hawbryn House Site

Brisbane City Council could turn the former site of the historic Hawbryn House into a community hub if plans come together and once investigations are complete.

Hawbryn House was gutted by a suspicious fire on 17 Oct 2020.

Since none of the house’s magnificent structure could be saved, Council is considering drawing up a new masterplan that will turn the site into a useful community space.

Councillor Greg Adermann confirmed the plans in a message to his constituents.

“Council is developing a concept plan for the site and will soon be undertaking consultation with key stakeholders and the general public,” he wrote.  

The Hawbryn House, a classic Federation house with bells in each room, was originally built in Kangaroo Point for Sir John Pidgeon. It was a prominent site in Brisbane’s social scene for many years and was also once the home of Brisbane’s first solicitors, Maldwyn Montgomery Edwards.

In 1981, the Burton-Jones family bought the house from Mr Pidgeon. According to Joan Burton-Jones, Mr Pidgeon agreed to the sale since Council would not allow him to make further developments on his riverside property.

The Burton-Jones family moved Hawbryn House in set pieces to Anstead on 506 Hawkesbury Road. It was next to the cottage of Harold Gordon Sugars. 

Mr Sugars lived in Sugars Cottage since the 1920s. After his death, the cottage became part of the Hawbryn site. 

Photo Credit: Domain.Com.Au

The Hawbryn House was integral to the Australian Open Garden Scheme to help the Australian Koala Foundation that protects the bushlands in the western part of Queensland.

In 2013, Stefan and Lisa Dopkin bought and refurbished the property. The ownership would once again change hands in 2017 after the Council acquired the property as part of its Bushland Acquisition Programme. 

The Council deemed the site of ecological importance, connecting two bushland blocks.

However, over the years, the house became a regular target for vandals, according to the preliminary police reports after the fire. Ms Burton-Jones, who now resides in England, was devastated to see the house crumble in the fire as she watched the news. Investigations are still on-going.

“The one good thing to come from the fire is that the original Sugars Cottage appears to have survived and I know the Moggill Historical Society is keen to provide their input about the future of the cottage as part of that consultation,” Mr Adermann said.