Baddow House – Maryborough, Queensland

Baddow House, Queensland

Baddow House, Queensland

This came up on the radar earlier this week: “Visit Baddow House in April to celebrate heritage week“. Baddow House in Maryborough is described as an historic neo-Georgian mansion. It is one of the largest homes in Maryborough.

Baddow is a rare name; as far as I can tell there is no Baddow in America, although there is a Baddow Fire Hall in Coboconk, Ontario. However, this report of a Baddow House in Queensland is interesting.

Many people from the region ventured to Australia in the search for better times after the Second World War. They were known as the “ten pound poms” because they travelled on cheap ticketed subsidised by the Australian government. However, the presence of a Georgian Manor house is a surprise and I was compelled to do a little digging.

Baddow House, Queensland

Baddow House in without its original balconies in 1950. State Library of Queensland.

Baddow House in without its original balconies in 1950. State Library of Queensland.

Baddow House was built for some early Australian settlers by the name of Edgar Thomas and Maria Aldridge, who migrated to Australia from England during the 1840s. It cost 6,600 pounds, a large sum at the time, and was paid for by Edgar Thomas who was from a successful family. The house was built by Fritz Kinne and designed by Willoughby Powell.

Address: 366 Queen Street, Maryborough, Queensland. It sits on the Mary River.

Bedroom at Baddow House

Bedroom at Baddow House

During the Second World War its iron balconies were dismantled as the iron was required for the war effort. The house was abandoned and it was almost demolished in 1960. In recent years the balconies have been restored to their former glory. The renovation story has been recorded in full on the Queensland Homes website: Baddow House: A renovation story. There are some amazing photos on that website.

The next photo shows one of the bedrooms. This is from a website called Old Estates For Sale, so I assume that the house was on the market not so long ago. It is certainly a magnificent building today.

Baddow House is on the Queensland State Heritage Register. It is a splendid building, with an excellent name! The open day is Saturday, April 12.

Edgar Thomas Aldridge

A photograph of Edgar and Maria Aldridge taken in the 1800s.

A photograph of Edgar and Maria Aldridge taken in the 1800s.

According to Ancestry.com, Edgar Thomas Aldridge was born on 21st December 1817 in Great Baddow. He died on 18th May 1888 in Baddow House, just five years after it was built, when he was 71 years old. He had a good innings and I assume he was enjoying his retirement when he died.

He married Maria Sarah Steele on 29 June 1849, in in St Phillips Mariners’ Congragational Church, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

The Wikipedia page on Baddow House describes Edgar as a “Maryborough pioneer”. Further research reveals that Edgar moved to Australia in June 1848. According to information on The National Library of Australia website (NLA) Aldridge established the Bush Inn and a general store. It is hard to believe that a pub and a general store earned him such wealth though, but there is little record of a wealth family by that name living in England. As well as Baddow House, he also named the area of the North Bank of Mary River, Baddow.

Another website, the Maryborough Family History Society, says that Baddow House was third home of pioneer settler Edgar Thomas Aldridge.

Aldridge family in Great Baddow

According to Curiousfox.com:

Joseph ALDRIDGE of Great Baddow married Elizabeth LEWINTON, widow, nee GREATOREX of Sharpenhoe in the Parish of Streatly, Beds. They had at least 2 sons:- 1)Joseph ALDRIDGE who had a daughter, Sarah Hunter Cooper ALDRIDGE 2)Edward Bright ALDRIDGE (Edward’s mother Elizabeth was the daughter of the Rev. John GREATOREX and his wife Anne, nee BRIGHT) Joseph signed his will 3 Sept. 1811. It was proved at London 7 April 1814. Elizabeth was left 2100 pounds. I wish to make contact with descendants of Joseph & Elizabeth. They had grandchildren 1)Mary Elizabeth 1807- 2) Henry Greatorex 1808- 3) Edgar 1817– 4) Alexander 1819- 5)Augustus 1821- 6)Julia 1823- …all with surname ALDRIDGE.

This was written by a member with the title “ALDRIDGE GREATOREX” who says on their CuriousFox profile page: “All of our ancestors emigrated to South Australia directly from Great Britain in the period 1837-1880.”

Maria Steel

A portrait of Maria Aldridge

A portrait of Maria Aldridge

Maria was born on 28th December 1820, in Birmingham, England. She died on 17th March, 1886, aged 65 years, and two years before Edgar.

Robyne Cuerel wrote in How romance and tragedy shaped Maryborough, “When English-born servant Maria Steele was convicted of the theft of two tubs and sentenced to seven years servitude in Van Diemen’s Land, it must have been a nightmare for a 17 year old.”

Maria was sent to Australia as a convict to serve seven years. But she met Edgar and they fell in love. They had two children, Maria Rachael and Harry Edgar.

After her death Edgar retired from public life and had St Thomas’s Church of England in Pallas Street built in 1887 to the memory of his Maria. He also had nine bells crafted in England and set in the bell tower of at St Paul’s Church of England, also in his home town. Each bell is inscribed “To the Glory of God and to the Memory of Mrs Aldridge 1886”. In 2012 the bells were returned to England for repair.

For more about Edgar and Maryborough see the Fraser Coast Chronicle; there are many articles about both Edgar and Baddow House.

More information about the house can be found on Heritage-register.ehp.qld.gov.au/placeDetail.html?siteId=15465

  3 comments for “Baddow House – Maryborough, Queensland

  1. Dr Sandra Armstrong
    May 15, 2015 at 4:04 am

    I am writing to alert you to the fact that you have a typo in your blog. Your blog asserts that Edgar Aldridge emigrated to Qld in 1883. As you give details of events earlier in Aus, I am sure this is an inadvertent error . I too have ancestors from Great Baddow and Essex ( Goodson and REynolds) , and I live in Maryborough and am active in local history so I have always followed the fortunes of Edgar, Maria and Baddow House. Maybe one day I will connect the families. 🙂 thanks in advance
    Dr Sandra Armstrong (PhD)

    • Jon
      May 25, 2015 at 11:31 am

      Well spotted! Found this resource today: https://heritage-register.ehp.qld.gov.au/placeDetail.html?siteId=15465
      Lots of good info there.

    • Geri Hadlow
      October 4, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      Edgar Aldridge emigrated to Australia from Gt. Baddow, Essex – and we now live in Baddow House, Gt. Baddow, Essex. Would be interested in more information re Baddow Hs, Maryborough – as we are visiting Brisbane area at the beginning of March. I am on Facebook as I believe you are.

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