135 James St, New Farm 4005
Sunday : 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Guided tours

Join us for a guided tour of Miss Midgley’s, hosted by Lisa White – owner, designer, and developer.

This building has lived many lives. Its journey began 159 years ago as a private home under the name of Cairncross House; a scarce example of colonial architecture built out of Brisbane’s heritage tuff. By the late 1860’s, the nuns from Sisters of Mercy had converted it into an orphanage. 20 years later, a former premier of Queensland reclaimed it as his home. By this time, it had a new name; St Clair. The building was described as ‘one of the most substantially-built private residences in Brisbane.’ St Clair was used as a private hospital in the 1890’s before being sold to the Midgley family in 1903.

The Midgley family had a daughter – Annie. Annie Midgley converted her family home into a private school to aid the overcrowding at New Farm State School across the road. She called it ‘Miss Midgley’s Educational Establishment.’

Annie Midgley was an artist and a teacher. She was ambidextrous, could instruct two pupils simultaneously, and write with both hands simultaneously. She painted in oils and watercolors, modeled plaster busts, and took up wood carving. Loved by her students, she was meticulously dressed with collars buttoned up the neck and lace-up boots that went nearly as high.

116 years after Miss Midgley’s Educational Establishment opened, our story begins.

We knew immediately that Miss Midgley would be our inspiration on the building’s next journey.

Tour Information

Frequency of Guided Tours: Tours will run every half hour at 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm and 1.30pm

Tour Tips

Photography restrictions, Not suitable for children

Dress Requirements

No heels

Wheelchair access


Is Heritage listed


Original Architect unknown
Refurbishment by retired architect, Lisa White