Couple’s labour of love restores historic property
HISTORY works in funny ways and Dorothy and Peter Haig are testament to that. The owners of Kirkliston, south of Allora, have restored the century old home which is the centrepiece of their 113ha property - land which Peter farmed as a young boy before his family sold up in 1974.
After a stint out in western Queensland, the couple returned to purchase part of Peter's original family property in 1995, which by then was adorned with the huge heritage Queenslander which had been transported in five pieces from Brisbane.
This is a comfortable family home and the design elements that made it such an attractive home for Dr Nall's family and his surgery are just as relevant today as they were in another time and place.
That home was formerly known as Rahere House, a building with a long history, designed by world renowned architect Robin Dods.
Today the former doctor's surgery sits atop a hill with spectacular views looking north to Allora.
Built in Clayfield for Dr JF Nall, a medical practitioner, in 1897, at a cost of 749 pounds, the house faced Sandgate Road, Brisbane.
It had an inventive T-shaped plan, which provided two completely separate entrances segregating visiting patients from the private residence.
The house later became part of the Turrawan Hospital after being occupied for many years by Dr Weedon. It was moved to allow for hospital expansion in the 1980s and relocated to its current location.
Rahere House was transported to its current site, on land that was part of Richmond, owned then by David and Patty Guildford. Mrs Guildford was the daughter of the owner of Turrawan Hospital, which was planning an extension, and needed the land on which the house stood.
The home remained unoccupied for some years until bought in 1993 by Mitch Cook and Marie Tindall who owned it for just over one year, when a change in circumstances forced them to resell.
The Haigs bought the home block, and three neighbouring blocks of land from other vendors in 1995.
"This land was significant to Peter because it was part of the property he had left as a young man in 1974, when his family sold their then home property Richmond, and moved to Maxvale Station, Jundah, where they ran sheep for wool," Dorothy said.
"In 1994, we decided to relocate back to Allora where Peter's parents had retired to provide good educational opportunities for our daughters, Alexandra and Arabella.
"This is a comfortable family home and the design elements that made it such an attractive home for Dr Nall's family and his surgery are just as relevant today as they were in another time and place," she said.
Both Dorothy and Peter are self-confessed lovers of all things old, and homes are no exception.
When they bought the property 20 years ago, it was merely an old house sitting on a bald hill.
Restoration work began five years ago and the Haigs carried out much of the work themselves.
"Its new name, Kirkliston, is the name of the town in Scotland, which is the birthplace of my grandfather, James Haig," Peter said.