Welcome to Bridgeman Downs
This northside suburb features palatial homes and brick multi-storey houses, some on large blocks with swimming pools and some acreage lots too. The area was mostly developed in the 1990s and Bridgeman Downs only officially became a suburb of Brisbane in 1975. Many families choose to live in Bridgeman Downs because of the larger homes and generous blocks (plenty big enough for a pool) and promixity to shops such as Pick n Pay Hypermarket at Aspley and various public and private schools.
The suburb has a ribbon of parkland with remnant bushland along Cabbage Tree Creek. Bunyaville State Forest Park is nearby and it's a great spot for a short bushwalk or a weekend picnic. Lots of the streets are named after plants and tree species e.g. Karri Place, Banksia Place and Casuarina Street. The streets west of Beckett Road are named with a space and planetary theme e.g. Saturn Crescent, Galaxy Street and Shuttle Place.
Bridgeman Downs is a prime spot to view Christmas lights, with the proud residents making use of their large front lawns and homes to display winning lights and decorations. There's also the peaceful Pinnaroo Lawn Cemetery but the old Starlight Twin Drive-in is no more, with houses built where movie lovers used to kiss in their cars. Decades ago, Bridgeman Downs was a small farming area, growing pineapples, bananas and lettuce. There was also a piggery and dairy farm.
The closest train station is at Oxford Park and so the great majority of people use a car to drive to work. Once you leave Bridgeman Downs and enter Albany Creek you'll have officially left Brisbane city. Instead you'll be within Moreton Bay Regional Council.
Bridgeman Downs is about 13km from Brisbane’s CBD. Over 62% of households in this area consist of couples with children, 30% are of couples without children and 7% are single parent households. Stand-alone houses make up over 87% of the dwellings in this area, and townhouses account for another 10%. Landscaped gardens, large executive residences and a mix of architectural styles are what you’ll find here. It’s a semi-rural area, and even the residential blocks are large.
There’s local shopping on Becket Road and if you’re after something larger, Aspley Hypermarket isn’t far away and has everything you’d expect to find in a large shopping mall.
Val says: Bike tracks and parks are easily accessible and are linked which means less risk from road traffic when riding with young children.
13 km north of the Brisbane CBD.
Prestige acreage homes, easy access to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast via Bruce Highway
Bridgeman Downs is a relatively new outer northern suburb of Brisbane, nearly 13km from the CBD. In recent years it has raised its profile by transforming areas of open forest country to up-market contemporary housing, especially on large estates. Surrounded by the suburbs of Aspley, McDowall and Albany Creek, Bridgeman Downs contains a wide variety of land uses including suburban allotments, acreage properties, retirement homes and the Albany Creek Memorial Gardens.
With some of the native vegetation still visible from the main roads, visitors to the suburb often remark on the rural atmosphere that Bridgeman Downs has successfully retained from earlier times when the area was used for cattle grazing. The release of new residential land in stages adjoining the Becketts Road precinct has caused a marked population increase.The suburb has good access out of Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast via the Bruce Highway.
It has good bus transport services to the CBD and is a five-minute drive away from Carseldine railway station. The area is well serviced with the Hypermarket Shopping Centre, Chermside Shopping Complex, and various cinema, clubs and restaurants.
Aboriginals sought many reprisals in response to the European intrusion into their traditional lands. These involved attacks on settler's huts, sometimes resulting in murder. Aboriginals murdered a shepherd on Darby McGrath's station at Pine Rivers in 1852 and Cash' s slab hut on the river (Cash's Crossing) was attacked on many occasions.
In November 1860, Henry St John Bridgeman bought land bounded by Albany Creek, Albany Creek Road, Bridgeman Road and Beams Road. In 1877, Bishop James Quinn's Queensland Immigration Society purchased this land, presumably for the migrants he had bought from Ireland. The land became known as the Bishop's Paddock. However ultimately the land was leased out to mostly German immigrants, who initially cleared and fenced the land in lieu of lease payments. Archbishop James Duhig subdivided the land in 1957. At that time the Brisbane City Council resumed part of this land, which Phillip Hulse had farmed, for a cemetery. In 1966 it became the Pinaroo Lawn Cemetery, which incorporated the Commonwealth War Graves Gardens of Remembrance. Bridgeman Downs was gazetted as a suburb in 1975 and suburban development grew after this time.
Henry St John Bridgeman lends his name to the suburb. He bought land to the east of Albany Creek in 1860. He subsequently sold the land to Bishop Quinn in 1877. Important families in the region included the Beckett family, who lived in Beckett Road until 1914. The family was originally involved in mixed farming but from 1912 they raised pigs, which were sold to Huttons in Zillmere Road. Peter Bilsen also lived in Beckett Road and grew pineapples, bananas, and small crops and ran a dairy. Another dairy on that road was the 'Tyghum Dairy' run by Fred Drew. He was the first farmer in the area to install milking machines and he also built a concrete silo to store fodder crops.
I. J. Williams was another successful farmer in the area. The Williams family bought property on Neville Road in 1908. He started out by working at Huttons smallgoods factory but gradually built up the farm using irrigation. He first irrigated by carrying water from the river using kerosene tins, but later installed a pump and pipes. He grew pineapples initially, but later turned to lettuce and became known as the lettuce king of Brisbane. He also introduced celery growing to Queensland.
Old Northern Road follows the tracks that Aboriginal people used on their way to the Bonyi (Bunya) festivals in the Blackall Ranges. Tom Petrie first travelled this route with his Aboriginal friends in 1845 and he later established the road along this route to his land, which was located in the area now known as Petrie.
Reference: Mary Howell, BRISbites, 2000