New chapter opens in saga of historic Lamb House

The mansion was put on the market to resolve a rates dispute with the previous owner.  Picture:
The mansion was put on the market to resolve a rates dispute with the previous owner. Picture:

Historic Lamb House, perched on the Kangaroo Point cliffs overlooking the Brisbane river and central business district, is set for major restoration works after selling to a well-known local couple.

Steve Wilson and his wife, Jane, bought the 119-year old mansion on Friday, ending a long-running saga between the Brisbane City Council and the property’s former owner.

The price paid for the house has not been disclosed but the extensive renovations required to make it livable are expected to be up to $15 million.

The dilapidated property will need extensive renovations. Picture:

In April, the council put the dilapidated house on the market to settle a $300,000 rates dispute with its previous owner Joy Lamb, the latest generational owner within the Lamb family.

Ms Lamb had moved out of the home in 2015 after a roof collapsed and the statuesque property had become increasingly run down and was being used by squatters who vandalised some of the original interior.

Advertising pictures showed the six-bedroom house was filled with dust, derelict furniture and graffiti and damage to the roof was clearly visible.

Mr Wilson, a stockbroker and the chair of Racing Queensland, has sat on many influential boards and held a prominent role in the shaping of Southbank, just down the river from his new home.

He previously chaired Southbank Corporation and Queensland Rugby Union and was a director of Telstra Corporation, Tourism Queensland and the Council of Queensland University of Technology.

Squatters are thought to be responsible for the graffiti and some of the damage to the property. Picture:

A self-declared “heritage junkie”, he has a history of restoring classic Queensland homes.

Last month, he told The Australian he planned to live in the property once it was restored. “I’ve been interested in the property and its future long before any talk of it being sold,” Mr Wilson said.

“I’m a heritage junkie and I believe the beauty in any city is both its stunning new architecture and its older buildings. I support that buildings of cultural significance should be kept.”

Any renovations to the house would be required to remain true to the property’s heritage.

Any restoration or renovation work must be in keeping with the property’s heritage and the changes made to planning laws to protect it from demolition. Picture:

Brisbane City Council passed changes to planning legislation in May to permanently protect the 3000sqm site from demolition or subdivision.

The changes prevent developers from building apartments or houses on the prime site, valued last year at $6.1 million.

This article first appeared on