Canning Downs

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Canning Downs was the first residential establishment built by a white person on the Darling Downs in Queensland, Australia. It is located a short drive from the town of Warwick and originally extended south east to Killarney and the McPherson Range. The area was first named after the British statesmen, George Canning and Sir Robert Peel, by Allan Cunningham.

The fertile lands around the upper reaches of the Condamine River provided an excellent site for the home of early settler, Patrick Leslie. The station was first declared in the name of Walter Leslie on 7 July 1840.


The official licensee of Canning Downs was Ernest Elphinstone Dalrymple. In 1844 he died and left the property to the Leslies.

In 1846, Walter and George Leslie built a new cottage on the prosperous head station.

At the request of the New South Wales Governor, Patrick Leslie selected a part of the property to divide into smaller allotments for the town of Warwick.

By 1854, the station was sold to George Leslie's cousin, Gilbert Davidson.

Sixty years later the property was purchased by J. H. S. Barnes, who was a well-known horse-breeder.


  • Historic Homesteads of Australia, Volume 1. Australian Council of National Trusts. 1976. pages 182–187.