Church House

Central RAP & private shelter

Civil defence facility
Brisbane City

425 Ann Street, Brisbane 4000


St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane

MUST REWRITE - Buildings associated with St John’s include Webber House, Church House, The Deanery (formerly Adelaide house) and St Martin’s House. These buildings provide the traditional experience of only getting the full view of the Cathedral when quite close (after having wound one’s way through narrow medieval city streets) thus adding to the impact and feeling of grandeur.

Webber House and Church House were built in 1904 and 1909 respectively. These buildings were designed by Robin Dods (1868–1920) and were designed to conform to Pearson’s concept of St John’s Cathedral and its traditional cathedral setting. (The heart design found in many of Dods' buildings can be seen on the iron gates.

Both are gothic in overall form and design, having details mainly in the style of Art Nouveau. They have been placed to conceal a view of the cathedral from a northerly approach.

The stone used in the Webber house came from the old St John’s Pro-Cathedral in William Street. Webber house was known as school house and housed St John’s Primary school until 1941.

The oldest building in the precinct is the Deanery, formerly called Adelaide house, built in 1853. From the verandah of this house the first governor, Sir George Bowen, read the proclamation which made Queensland a separate colony on 10 December 1859. The house then became Queensland’s first government house.

The other more eclectic building with gothic touches found in the precinct is St Martin’s House, formerly St Martin’s Hospital. It was built as a war memorial after the First World War and is dedicated to St Martin of Tours, as 11 November (Remembrance Day) is his feast day.

Designed by Lang Powell the design was strongly influenced by the Cathedral and adjacent buildings. This is evident through the choice of building materials, roof forms and architectural motifs. St Martin’s is sited to protect St John’s from noise and visual intrusion from the city and forms a quiet courtyard beside the Cathedral. St Martin’s shows similarities to the “Red Brick House” designed by Philip Webb for William Morris.