Widow blocks are present throughout Brisbane and are considered to be a historical relic of World War I.

They are identifiable as a rectangular allotment which has been subdivided diagonally, resulting in two triangular portions.  As a result the rear allotment does not have a street frontage.

But why would anyone want this?

It is said that WWI soldiers split their blocks diagonally, with the rear allotment in their wives’ names preventing them from selling the house whilst they were away.

The other storey is that the Brisbane Lord Mayor of 1940 – 1952 had an aversion to small lots and amalgamated the lots Council had acquired during the great depression due to rate arrears (Credit to: Paul McClelland)

If you own a widow block, also known as a widow splitter, it may be possible to realign these boundaries to achieve two street fronting allotments, which then can be sold!

Talk to your local Council or private town planner for more site specific advice.

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