Tattersalls Lodge: A Heritage-Listed Ascot Asset With Ties to Queensland Racing

The history of Tattersalls Lodge, a 19th-century, heritage-listed cottage found at the corner of Oriel Road and Yabba Street in Ascot, is closely associated with the development of Queensland’s racing industry. Find out how.

In the late 1800s, bookmaker Charles Burton purchased four allotments of land in Ascot, owned by The Federal Building Land and Investment Society Limited,  to build the Tattersalls Stables. Given its proximity to Eagle Farm Racecourse, Burton seized the opportunity to lease the site to horse trainers. 

Two years later, Burton sold the property to the “Pearl King” James Clark, who was a horse-racing enthusiast and bred training horses. Mr Clark built the Federation-style Tattersalls Lodge on his newly-acquired property as a private training facility with houses for the horse trainers and their families. 

Tattersalls Lodge earned a reputation for its prize-winning horses until Clark’s death.

Pearl King James Clark death notice
Photo Credit: National Library of Australia

From Tattersalls Lodge to Fitzgrafton Lodge

Gilbert Powell Wyndham Heathcote, a hotelkeeper from New South Wales, bought Tattersalls Lodge from Clark. However, following Heathcote’s death in 1901, the property was auctioned off. 

Grazier James McGill, known as the  “Squire of Blacklands”, acquired Tattersalls Lodge and moved in with his family in 1903. Mr McGill was well-respected in the racing community, described as “one of the most honourable, straight-going sportsmen in the history of racing in Queensland.” He changed the name of the house to “Fitzgrafton Lodge,” after his prize-winning horse. McGill Avenue, adjacent to Lancaster Road in Ascot, was named after him. 

Tattersalls Lodge horses
Photo Credit: National Library of Australia
Fitzgrafton Lodge
Photo Credit: National Library of Australia

When McGill died in 1918, his son James Charles McGill, inherited the property and held it until 1925. Countless owners have since acquired the property, turning the stables into private residences. 

Tattersalls Lodge at Present

In January 2004, the property was entered into Brisbane’s local Heritage Listing. 

Photo Credit: realestate.com.au

The present-day Tattersalls Lodge has been refurbished as a country-style home with Colonial French doors and wrap-around latticed verandahs.

It was valued at $300,000 in 1989 and $467,000 in 2001. The property last changed hands in early 2021 when it sold for $1.4 million.