Bardon, a residential suburb of Brisbane of about 9250 people, lies six km west of central Brisbane and adjoins the foothills of the Mount Coot-tha Park. It includes the localities of Jubilee and Rainworth which, when they were tram destinations, were regarded as separate suburbs.
Bardon lies across the Ithaca Creek which rises at Mount Coot-tha and runs generally north-east, forming the north boundary of Jubilee, and joins the Enoggera Creek.
Originally known as Upper Paddington, Bardon was surveyed in 1862 with land sales following in that year. The Mayor of Brisbane, Joshua Jeays, purchased land and built Bardon House there in 1863, in the vicinity of present day Bowman Park. He chose the elevated area as a healthy and less tiring place for his wife who had indifferent health, and named it after Bardon Hills in Leicestershire, the family's home in England. Bardon was reached by horse omnibus in the 1870s, and several other large homes joined Jeays'. Too steep for horse-drawn trams, Bardon later depended on electric trams that ended at Paddington (1899) and at Macgregor Terrace (1909).
In 1915 the Bardon estate was subdivided, prompting a further tramline extension as far as Coopers Camp Road (about half a kilometre), and the final extension to a terminus at Bowman Park was opened in 1937. Between these tram extensions, Upper Paddington was named Bardon in 1926. Residential subdivision and development were also slow, and during the interwar years small local dairy herds were a common sight back from the tram route.
A post office opened in 1889 and the Carmel Presbyterian church was opened in 1904. The Mount Coot-tha backdrop had been reserved in 1865 by the Surveyor-General, Augustus Gregory who, like several well-off residents, held the district in high regard. Gregory built his 'Rainworth' residence to the south in 1862, within walking distance of the Rosalie Village. Named after a cattle run near Springsure which Gregory acquired in 1859 but never occupied, 'Rainworth' later became the name of the locality. The residence is listed on the Australian heritage register.
The Catholic Church opened Stuartholme girls' school in Birdwood Terrace, Rainworth, in 1914, and Rainworth primary school opened in 1928. In contrast, the Bardon State primary school was a post World War II building, opened in 1948. By then population growth and the gradual increase in car ownership had made Bardon a convenient and desirable suburb. Conspicuously middle class, there are Anglican, Catholic and Uniting churches in Bardon and Rainworth, and a Congregational church and a Catholic school (1933) in Bardon.
A tram service reached Rainworth in 1930, seven years before completion of the Bardon line. Running along Rainworth and Boundary Roads, it ended at the Rainworth State primary school. On the northern side of Bardon, Jubilee was a residential subdivision put on sale in 1887, the 50th (jubilee) year of Queen Victoria's reign. Several of its streets have related names: Accession, Sceptre etc. Jubilee depended on the tram service in Musgrave Road, Red Hill (1897) until an extension along Waterworks Road in 1924.
Bardon has several parks and reserves, local shops in Macgregor Terrace and a bowling club in Bardon Park. Bardon House, a Gothic stone pile, is on the Queensland heritage register. In the late 1980s a western bypass route was proposed for Bardon, involving resumptions of several houses. Resident opposition resulted in the proposal's abandonment.
Bardon's census populations have been:
J.H.C. McClurg, Historical sketches of Brisbane, Brisbane, Library Board of Queensland and Royal Historical Society of Queensland, 1975
Barry Shaw, Bardon heritage tour, Kelvin Grove, Brisbane History Group, 2005