Thornlands, a suburb in Redland City, is 25 km south-east of central Brisbane. Situated immediately south of Cleveland, it is thought that it was named after George Thorn (1806-1876) of Ipswich, the purchaser of several land allotments in 1851 soon after the Cleveland township was surveyed. Thorn's son, also George, was Premier of Queensland (1877).
Thornlands' first school was opened in 1910, and the district education inspector's letter recommending the school included a description of the area. All the local families were fruit growers, on farms of 20 to 250 acres which were carefully cultivated. The soil was chocolate coloured, interspersed with patches of sand. The crops included pineapples, strawberries, paw paws, custard apples, tomatoes, passion fruit and a diminishing quantity of oranges and bananas.
Thornlands' public hall, the Dance Palais, was opened in 1938 and, together with the school, comprised the area's social centre. It is near a small shopping centre in Cleveland-Redland Bay Road. In the 1960s urban settlement began in Thornlands and the population grew nearly eight-fold between 1966 and 1986. The residential area adjoins Cleveland, and considerable open space remains in south Thornlands. In addition to the original primary school there are a Catholic college (1993), the Faith Lutheran College (2003) and the Nazarene Theological College. In 2010 a new primary school, Bayview State school, opened in south Thornlands. There are also aged-persons' residential facilities and a large recreation area.
Thornlands' census populations have been:
T.F. Osmond, Thornlands State School 1910-1985, Thornlands, Thornlands State School, 1985