Collective Memory and Memorial in an Urban Public Space: Queens Park and Cunningham’s Knoll, Ipswich. A Field Report.
Roger Ford , Ph D candidate, Griffith University 2021

In July 2020 I made the first of these field visits and drove to Queen’s Park and Cunningham’s Knoll in Ipswich. Queen’s Park is a heritage listed recreation area, a few kilometres to the east of the city’s central business district on the main connecting road to Brisbane. The park is a significant area of public shared space with a range of facilities including a children’s playground, visitors centre, and a community theatre housed in a 1930s incinerator designed by the American architect Walter Burley Griffin. At a geographical level the centre of the park is dominated by a sloping ridge of limestone. Under a canopy of fig trees the exposed white mineral outcrops are a striking feature of the park’s landscape.

(Image one: Limestone Hill, Ipswich circa 1912-1914, Picture Ipswich website)

It was this geographical feature that attracted the attention of Logan during the second year of his administration in 1827. The area was named the Limestone Hills and became one of the first out stations established by the convicts of Moreton Bay. The botanist Charles Frazer visited the area in 1828 with Logan and Cunningham and observed,

The limestone is singularly disposed, in large masses… on the surface it presents ridges of detached portions…The summits of the lime ridges are studded with various species of Ficus [Fig Trees]. [3]

(Image two: photograph R. Ford)

As can be seen from recent photographs, Frazer’s description is still applicable to the location some 190 years later.

3. Frazer’s Journal, 11 July 1828, in Steele, J.G. (ed) 1983, The Explorers of the Moreton Bay District 1770 – 1830, University of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, p.234.