A Glimpse at the Story of Francis Lookout in Corinda

Photo credit: Vic Bushing/Queensland Heritage Register

Have you ever wondered where Francis Lookout in Corinda got its name?

One of Corinda’s local landmarks, Francis Lookout is a parkland at the corner of Dewar Terrace and Hilda Street. Its prominent hilltop location offers fantastic panoramic views of Brisbane, especially towards Mt Coot-tha.

If you have already visited the heritage site, you might have noticed a few graves within the park. This is because the park was initially a private cemetery.

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History of Francis Lookout

Panoramic view from Francis Lookout, Corinda, across the Brisbane River towards Mt. Coot-tha, 1931. Photo credit: John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Negative number: 59074

The Francis Lookout got its name from the Francis family, one of the first families to settle in the Corinda area. In 1862, the family bought 21 acres of land in the area which extended from the Brisbane River to the present location of the park.

The establishment of the burial ground was similar to the story behind God’s Acre Cemetery in Archerfield. The family also established the private cemetery as a memorial for their youngest son, Clement, who died in 1863.

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The Francis family dedicated one acre for this purpose since there was no municipal cemetery in the district at the time.

Today, the burial grounds contain memorials from 1863 to1966. The last member of the family to be buried on site in 1937 was Mary Francis. She was the wife of the Francis’ eldest son, Dick.

Apart from the Francis family, other graves of early Corinda residents are also in the cemetery. These include the Jones grave, the Dunlop grave, the Clarkson grave, the Walker grave, the Gray grave, and two unlocated burials.

The Lychgate

Francis Lookout lychgate from E (2016). Photo credit: Vic Bushing/Queensland Heritage Register

In 1902, Angela Francis erected the private cemetery’s intricate lychgate for her husband. The ornate barge boards were carved by her friends and a small bronze plaque that reads ‘ERECTED BY ANGELA FRANCIS 1902’ can be seen on the structure.

In 1934, the Brisbane City Council took over the cemetery and carried out several improvements and repairs in the subsequent years.

Francis Lookout Now

The heritage-listed Francis Lookout is currently amongst the significant landmarks in the suburb, currently home to 10 known graves and two unlocated graves.

The five graves of the Francis family are situated together, surrounded by a white painted fence. Meanwhile, the other graves are randomly scattered to the north of the family’s gravesite.

Francis Lookout in Corinda offers a great picnic spot for those who want to have a quiet time under the shade of eucalyptus trees. Visitors can enjoy the scenic views of the city coupled with a piece of the suburb’s history.