Monday, March 8, 2010

The Grand View Hotel - Bigge's Folly!

After my faux-pas with the Wickham Hotel last week, I'll try again. This is the Grand View Hotel which occupies a choice spot along the finger of Cleveland Point, overlooking Raby Bay on one side and Toondah Harbour on the other. Judging by its current popularity it could hardly be called a folly today as it was by Dr. Lang in 1853. To understand the nickname it is necessary to dip back into the past and examine the overall scene.

After Governor Gipps? slimy departure in 1842, many lesser men than Bigge would have given up the tussle to have Cleveland established as the major port. But Francis Bigge was the leader of the pastoralists of Ipswich and they were determined men indeed. They ignored Brisbane ? a mere convict settlement in their view ? by way of building a road direct from Limestone (as Ipswich was then known), to the wood stores and industrial activities of Cleveland Point.

Therefore Bigge, who had many heavy investments in the area, could hardly be blamed for his continued enthusiasm on the Cleveland Point issue. For one thing, the Brisbane River had proved unsuitable for the loading of large vessels because of the prohibitive native of the sand bar at its mouth. Smaller boats had to be used to transport the wood bales out to the large ships anchored in the bay, a costly and time-consuming process. It appears even ships of six hundred tons could not exit without peril across the bar. The squatters reckoned on ships being loaded more quickly and economically at Cleveland Point.

When the Grandview Hotel was first built in 1851, one sceptic named it Bigges Folly and another was of the opinion it had been built by "an enterprising landowner during the crisis of a commercial dream". Today it is not a commercial dream but a commercial success. It has withstood the test of time.

Read the whole story HERE


  1. Excellent BB.
    I have been told that this hotel backs onto the ocean (?), serves great meals and has a splendid outside back deck. Did you go inside?
    Certainly would have different clientele than "The Wickham" ( that was really funny!).
    Lets hope this beautiful Autumn weather, about time it started, remains for the next week of activities.
    See ya'all on Thursday.
    Colin (HB)

  2. I love old hotels like this and the Grand View is no exception. Interesting reading about Mr. Bigge - it was Bigge of him to try.☺
    Melbourne Daily Photo

  3. This area looks like an ideal spot to spend a holiday.

  4. Looks very inviting to me. Working seven days a week, you might imagine how much I would like to spend a couple of days there, yet probably impossible, as the young son of mine would not agree.
    Please have a wonderful Tuesday.
    p.s.: on a different note, was able to make the "essay click-able".

  5. Lovely old hotel and a beautiful picture. Similar in style to some in colonial times of South Africa, and the palm trees are familiar too. I'd love to visit - have been to East, West, South and central Australia but the nearest I've been to Brisbane is Port MacQuarie.