4 km N of Toowoomba
Harlaxton is a suburb located 4 kilometres north of the city centre. At the 2011 Australian Census, the suburb recorded a population of 2,689. The name originates from Harlaxton House, probably named for Harlaxton in Lincolnshire, England, and built in 1869 in what is now Munro Street as the residence of Francis Thomas Gregory. Gregory was an explorer in Western Australia, before moving to Queensland in 1862, serving as Commissioner of Crown Lands and an appointed Member of the Legislative Council from 1874 until his death in 1888. The home was later used as the summer residence for Lord Lamington who served as Governor of Queensland from 1896 until 1901. A railway station was built for his use at the site. The house is in a deteriorating condition, partly due to blasts from the neighbouring quarries.
Harlaxton has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 6 Munro Street: Harlaxton House
Harlaxton is home to Downlands College, a Catholic co-educational boarding school established in 1931, and Harlaxton State School, opened in 1901.
Features and facilities
Harlaxton has a history as an industrial centre. Apart from the quarries, the suburb is home to the Willowburn railway marshalling yard and the original Darling Downs Bacon Company established as a co-operative in 1911 (later KR Castlemaine). Harlaxton is also home to the Toowoomba Cricket Club and the Toowoomba Bears rugby union club, as well as the Willowburn Sports Club (soccer).
Harlaxton is the least socio-economically advantaged suburb in Toowoomba; at the 2006 census, residents had a median individual income of $366, compared with $448 for the Toowoomba statistical district, and a median family income of $881 compared to $1,116. The suburb had a SEIFA score of 903, placing it below all other suburbs in the district.
In the 2004 federal election and again in the 2010 election, the booth at Harlaxton North was the only booth in the Division of Groom to record a Labor two-party preferred majority.