Selden Society Lecture: Merthyr House—the home of Sir Samuel Griffith

Presented by Richard Kirk

Thursday 11 November
5.15 for 5.30pm

Bookings can be made here –


You can register to attend this free lecture in person (followed by refreshments in the Portrait Gallery) or join a livestream via Zoom.

Banco Court, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law
Level 3, 415 George Street, Brisbane

About the lecture

Named after Griffith’s Welsh birthplace of Merthyr Tydfil, Merthyr House was designed and built in 1880 by architect George Cowlishaw. This grand riverfront estate in Brisbane’s New Farm suburb was lavishly furnished with Chippendale furniture and Italian objets d’art, and included a high-ceilinged ballroom at its centre in which Sir Samuel and Lady Julia Griffith held their official and social engagements.

Architect Richard Kirk will explore Griffith’s life through the lens of his New Farm home, and tell Merthyr House’s story—emblematic of the evolution of Brisbane, from colonial outpost to its emergence today as a future Olympic city.  

About the speaker

Richard Kirk is an architect and masterplanner, born in 1967 in Roma, Queensland. He founded his practice Kirk architects in 1995, which has since grown to multiple studios across Australia and South-East Asia. His practice primarily works within the institutional and community sector, focusing on advancing sustainable design through each project.

Richard is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland and a board member for the South Bank Corporation. Richard has held several leadership roles within the Australian Institute of Architects as National President and Queensland Chapter President, and was recently appointed as one of the International Union of Architects’ (UIA) Region IV Councillors. 

About anzlhswebsite

The Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society was formed in 1993. It is an interdisciplinary group of scholars who share an interest in the connections between law and history. The society grew out of the annual Law in History Conferences, which have been running since 1982. Members of the society include historians, lawyers, academics and others interested in the area. Most of the members live in Australia or New Zealand, but their areas of interest are not confined to the law in those places. The society is an incorporated association in New South Wales. Inc no. 1600224
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