Brisbane Open House
109 Lytton Road, East Brisbane
Sunday // 9am to 4pm
General access and guided tours

Hanworth House on Lytton Road at East Brisbane opened its doors to Brisbane for the first time in 2014.

In 1864 prominent architect James Cowlishaw was asked to design a house for Lieutenant George Poynter Heath RN (1830-1921) who was the first Port Master of Brisbane. Heath had purchased the East Brisbane land the year before from Robert Simpson for £241.

The first brick was laid in July 1864 and Hanworth (named after Hanworth in Norfolk England where the Heaths had originated) was to become the home of the Heath family including 9 children for 25 years.

The Hanworth Estate was originally 7.5 acres and subdivided into 57 lots in the early 1900s. Mary Wienholt bought the property in 1913 in memory of her mother and opened a women’s hospice. Wienholt later bequeathed it to the Theosophical Society which continued to operate for 60 years. Hanworth was bought by the Anglican Church in the 1970s, which ran it as a nursing home, then privately rented the premises.

When the property was offered for sale in 2012, the current owner, Marisa Vecchio had just lost her own mother to ovarian cancer. The Mary Wienholt story was coincidentally replayed exactly 100 years later as Hanworth was bought in memory of another remarkable woman Romana Preston (nee Gabrielli).

Restoration of Hanworth commenced in late 2012 but on 19 March 2013, only weeks from its completion, an arson attack damaged over 80 per cent of the building and its contents. The rebuilding project soon recommenced and was completed in time for the sesquicentenary in July 2014.

Hanworth provides boutique style accommodation for professionals with the aim of fostering a philanthropic and community spirited ethos and encouraging community engagement.

Ghost Tour!

Hanworth House will introduce guided tours every hour on the hour plus a special launch of a ghost tour as the last tour for the day from 3pm – 4pm (pre-booked only – email to make a booking). Enjoy coffee and tea in our award-winning gardens and make sure to check out our designer pop-ups and designer rummage sale as all proceeds from the day will benefit Women’s Legal Services Queensland.

Please note that the Yarnbombing has been cancelled.

What's Open

All areas except those that are roped off and bedrooms that are occupied

How to book Sunday

No bookings required for guided tours on the hour // Bookings essential for Hanworth Ghost tour at 3pm - email Hanworth House on

Tour Information

Sunday Guided Tours
Times: Guided tours on the hour // Hanworth Ghost Tour at 3pm
Duration: 20-30min

Additional Activities

Massive corporate clothing and designer pop-up stores, champagne and cheese bar and Devonshire tea


Queensland Heritage Council Gold Award // John Herbert Memorial Award for most outstanding nomination // 2015 Premier’s Sustainability Award


Hanworth House

James Cowlishaw