Old estates for sale

Celebrating the charming and character-filled historic properties for sale in Australia

Month: August, 2012

An apartment in General MacArthur’s Brisbane headquarters

MacArthur Chambers, Brisbane

MacArthur Chambers was originally the Queensland headquarters for the Australian Mutual Provident Society (or AMP Society) that was converted to luxury apartments just over 10 years ago. During WWII, General Douglas MacArthur set up his headquarters in the building.

The original AMP Society Building

The first AMP Building on this site was completed in 1885 and demolished in 1930 to make way for the current building. The original building was considered one of the most imposing and picturesque in the State, and there was some regret when it was demolished in the name of redevelopment. Read the rest of this entry »


Clancholla on the market for the first time in history

Clancholla, Rockhampton

*Update: The house did not sell at auction, but was reported to be under contract in December 2012 and has since sold.

‘Clancholla’ is a Federation-era residence built in the Queen Anne style. It was constructed in 1922 by fighter pilot and grazier Stuart Roland MacDonald. The MacDonald’s lived next door in a large mansion that is now the offices for the mater Hospital, and were also graziers at Highland Plains in Clermont. Mrs. MacDonald wanted a smaller, more suitable home, so plans were drawn up for Clancholla.

The 4-bedroom home was put up for sale by the MacDonald family earlier this month with an auction scheduled for Saturday, October 6th. Read the rest of this entry »

Babworth House apartment languishing on market

Apartment Three, Babworth House
1 Mt Adelaide Street, Darling Point, Sydney
Price Upon Application

Babworth House was built between 1912 and 1915 for Sir Samuel Hordern, a fourth generation member of the family that founded the Anthony Hordern stores. Sir Samuel was a well-known and influential member of Sydney society.

The grand 2-storey home was built in the Federation Arts and Crafts style and designed by architectural firm Morrow and De Putron. The walls were originally finished in unpainted cement render with Art Nouveau decorations around openings and chimneys. The living areas were paneled in English oak and Queensland maple. Plaster ceiling panels were decorated with Art Nouveau motifs. The home originally had a total of 40 rooms including a grand ballroom, billiard room and 24 bedrooms. The total cost of the project was 30,000 to 40,000 pounds (about $3.2 ~ 4.3 million in today’s terms). Read the rest of this entry »

1830s homestead outside of Hobart listed for $1.7m

Cleburne Estate, Risdon, Tasmania
Offers around $1.7 million

Cleburne is a 1830s heritage-listed homestead located just 15 minutes from Hobart’s CBD. It was built around the 1830s – 1840s for Richard Cleburne and was originally called “Mount Direction” and later referred to as “Cleburne.”

The estate was described by the Australian Heritage Council as:

“An early example of a homestead with outbuildings in a prominent riverside setting. The homestead is in the regency style with the hipped roof carried over the verandah, which has French windows and other characteristics of that style.”

The property is on 4.62 acres and includes the original homestead, the cottage which was thought to have been divided into two separate dwellings and possibly occupied by servants, the barn, bakehouse, stables and outhouse. The barn is considered an exceptional example of early Colonial stone architecture. Read the rest of this entry »

Juniper Hall – Australia’s oldest mansion up for auction

The National Trust are putting Juniper Hall up for auction in September. At just over 187 years old, the Sydney property is believed to be the oldest surviving mansion dating back to the days of Governor Macquarie, and is a reluctant sale by the Trust.

*Update: The house sold at auction for $4.551 million. Read more here.

The 2-storey Georgian house is one of Paddington’s finest early mansions. Robert Cooper, an emancipist (a convict who had been given conditional or absolute pardon) and owner of one of the colony’s first gin distilleries, built the house in 1824 – 1825 for his wife Sarah, promising her the “finest house in Sydney.” Cooper, along with two other partners had received a grant of 100 acres from Governor Brisbane in 1818 and had an agreement to build a distillery and three mansions there. Cooper was the only one to build a mansion and eventually bought out his partners. Its original name was Juniper Hall, but was later renamed Ormond House to distance itself from its gin image. Read the rest of this entry »

Hanworth in East Brisbane

Hanworth in East Brisbane sold in August for $2,025,000.

*Update: The home was severely damaged in a fire overnight on March 18~19, 2013. The fire took 2 1/2 hours to get under control. The new owners had started renovating the property shortly after their purchase in 2012 and renovations were said to still be underway in 2013. Luckily no one was in the home when the fire broke out. – See the full article in the Brisbane Times here.

The owners had submitted an application for a permissible change of use to the Brisbane City Council in December 2012 to convert the house/hospice into a women-only boarding house, which would only involve minimal changes such as painting and installing new floor finishes. No doors, walls or windows would need to be removed or changed under their proposal. However, on March 15 2013, the owners formally withdrew their application.

Built in 1864-1865, it is one of the fine riverine estates that lined the Brisbane River in the mid-19th century and is believed to be one of Brisbane’s oldest homes.

The heritage listed property was designed by James Cowlishaw and was built for Captain George Poynter Heath – the Portmaster of Brisbane in the 1870s and 1880s. Captain Heath had purchased the land in 1863. He named the house “Hanworth” after his hometown in Norfolk.

The low-set home was primarily constructed out of hand-made bricks. There is also an attic at the southern end of the house with gable windows from which Captain Heath was able to keep a lookout for boats. The Captain and his wife held many social gatherings and honored many guests in their home. Read the rest of this entry »

Corio Villa hits the market for first time in 67 years

Image from the National Trust

Corio Villa, Geelong
$5,850,000 SOLD

Corio Villa in Geelong has been listed for sale for the first time in 67 years. What makes this picturesque gothic style house unique is that it is a prefab home that was created in Scotland and shipped to Australia. It is the first pre-fabricated cast iron house in the country.

Prefabricated houses and commercial buildings were often imported from Britain in the 1850s to fulfill housing demand during the era of the gold rush. California, too, was also a large importer of these structures.

Sometime between 1851 and 1854, Geelong’s Commissioner of Crown Lands, William Nairn Gray, ordered the house from the foundry in Edinburgh. It was manufactured by Charles D Young and Co. from designs by Neil and Miller, architects and engineers. Shortly after the flat-pack house was shipped to Australia, the factory burnt down and all moulds were destroyed in the fire, making this home unique in Australia and possibly the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Craigston apartment back on the market

A 2-bedroom apartment (3 if you include the sunroom) in Spring Hill’s ‘Craigston’ was listed for tender earlier this month but is back on the market with an open house on September 1. This 150 sqm apartment originally covered the entire 1st floor but was split into two units some time ago. See below for images of this unit.

Craigston was built in 1928 and at the time was Brisbane’s first high-rise apartment building. The Spanish-Mission style building is located on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane’s Spring Hill, and overlooks King Edward Park and the historic Old Windmill (the oldest surviving building in Queensland). It was designed by architect Arnold Conrad, who was a partner at Conrad Gagett Architecture, and developed by a doctor as a building that would house doctors and their families, while providing clinics on the ground floor. Many clinics still operate from the 1st floor. Read the rest of this entry »