knox grammar school


Ewan House is built in 1896

Originally named ‘Innisfail’, the large Federation Queen Anne-style mansion was designed by Herbert Wardell and built for John Thomas Toohey in 1896. Dr George and Mrs Florence Armstrong purchased the house from the Toohey family, who owned the soft drink and brewing company, in 1918.

In the 1920s, the Armstrong family subdivided the estate. In July 1928, the Knox School Council purchased the property on behalf of the Presbyterian Church. This grand home became the first building of Knox Grammar Preparatory School. Mrs Armstrong graciously reduced the purchase price by £4,000. The School Council acknowledged her generosity by renaming the house ‘Ewan House’ in remembrance of her father, Mr James Ewan, who was a successful businessman and politician.

In 1935, Ewan House was solely used for the Preparatory School boarders and was renovated to provide additional accommodation and facilities. Ewan House remained the site of the Preparatory library and a Junior boarding house. In 2010, Ewan House was renovated and repurposed as classrooms, administration services and offices of the Preparatory School.

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