Houses and mining settlement in North Queensland 1861-1920

Bell, Peter Graham (1982) Houses and mining settlement in North Queensland 1861-1920. PhD thesis, James Cook University of North Queensland.

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The houses of North Queensland are widely recognised as distinctive in their forms and their use of materials. Previous research has established that this distinctiveness cannot be explained by the region's physical environment. This thesis studies the social and economic influences on the construction of houses, paying particular attention to the nature of the mining industry, which dominated settlement in the region from the late 1860's until the first world war.

It concludes that the nature of housing in the region was determined by the origins of the immigrant population and the financial circumstances created by ephemeral settlement, subject to transport difficulties and consequent high living costs. Forms, materials and techniques of house construction were determined by British-based industrial methods, diffused through commercial links of supply to the Australian colonies, with the lowest possible transport and labour costs in mind. Adaptation to the physical environment was a secondary concern, expressed more often in subsequent modification of buildings than in original construction. There was little regional evolution in house construction, simply a process of local selection from the imperial building industry's repertoire.

Item ID: 37358
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: architecture; buildings; construction; design; goldfields; heritage; history; houses; materials; mining settlements; North Queensland; NQ; Rooney & Co.; timber
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2016 22:32
FoR Codes: 12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1201 Architecture > 120102 Architectural Heritage and Conservation @ 33%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1201 Architecture > 120103 Architectural History and Theory @ 33%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1201 Architecture > 120101 Architectural Design @ 34%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 50%
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