Bracken Ridge, a residential suburb between Bald Hills and Deagon/Sandgate, is 17 km north of central Brisbane. It was named after a local property which was apparently set among a profusion of bracken ferns.

The west and centre of the suburb are elevated, in effect a continuation of the landscape in Bald Hills. A service reservoir (1944) for Sandgate and Redcliffe is positioned east of Norris Road. Further away, east of Denham Street, there was considerable Ti Tree swamp.

Bracken Ridge was an outlying district of Bald Hills, and in 1877 the community at Bald Hills chose a site 3 km away for its cemetery. The site, nearly in the middle of Bracken Ridge, adjoins Ferguson Park which has the public hall and library.

Bracken Ridge is a suburb of the late 1960s and 1970s. A primary school opened in 1957, adjoining a few streets laid out in a standard grid. The Housing Commission built the suburb's first houses, beginning in 1966. In the early 1970s curvilinear streets were laid out extending to and beyond the cemetery reserve. A shopping centre was provided along Gawain Street. Two more primary schools were opened, Norris Road (1977) and St Josephs Catholic (1978). Secondary schooling arrived with the St John Fisher Catholic College (1981). State secondary schools were out of Bracken Ridge, at Sandgate (1959), and in Bracken Ridge's extreme north-east corner, more conveniently located for neighbouring Brighton. Opened in 1967 and named Nashville, it has been renamed Bracken Ridge.

The eastern and northern edges of Bracken Ridge have the Gateway Motorway (1986). The southern edge has the Bracken Ridge Plaza shopping centre (1994) with a supermarket and 39 shops, and the western edge has the Bald Hills hospital. More central, there is the North Point Institute of TAFE, next to Norris Road primary school.

After the first Housing Commission estate north of Gawain Road, the private sector estates offered increasingly costly houses. Wilmore and Randell's estate (1969) was an early move in that direction, and the trend culminated in the south-east of Bracken Ridge.

Bracken Ridge's census populations have been:

Census DatePopulation

From solitude to suburbia: a peep into the history Bracken Ridge, A project of the Sandgate & District Historical Society & Museum Inc, Sandgate, The Society, 2001

Brian Randall, Guide to the history of the Brisbane City Council Ward of Bracken Ridge, Brisbane, B. Randall, 1999


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