Old estates for sale

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

Month: September, 2012

Site of former Brynhyfryd Mansion for sale

1 High Street, Blackstone
For Sale

This is not a historic home as the house has since been demolished, but is a historic site nonetheless.

‘Brynhyfryd’ was a grand Italianate-style mansion built in 1889-1890 for Welshman Lewis Thomas, a coal mining pioneer. Along with Mr. J. Thompson, Mr. Thomas started his own coal mine in Blackstone in 1886. Its success made Mr. Thomas a very wealthy man, and he was able to construct his mansion at a cost of 13,000 pounds.

The 3-storey home had 49 rooms, a basement and a tower. The ground floor contained servants quarters, kitchen, dairy room, bathrooms (with an inside toilet) and dining rooms. The second floor had a large library, music room and guest quarters, while the third floor contained family bedrooms and private rooms. Read the rest of this entry »


Juniper Hall sells at auction

Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney, sold at auction today for $4.551 million to Peter Moran. The Moran family reside in the sprawling 130-year old Swift mansion in Darling Point, which has 56 rooms and was last valued at $60 million. Peter’s mother is said to have been related to the wife of Mr. Robert Cooper, who built Juniper Hall in 1824. He has plans to turn the ground floor into a public gallery, while the upper level will be used as a private residence.  Read the rest of this entry »

One of Centennial Park’s original homes on the market

$5.5 million-plus

Tongkah is a Federation Queen Anne / Arts and Crafts style home built in 1910 for Mr. and Mrs. Claud Benalla Quinan. Mr. Quinan was a well-known racing identify and stock broker, and member of the Sydney Stock Exchange for 38 years. He lived in the house until his passing in 1946 at the age of 70. Quinan’s daughter Patricia married Mr. James Bancks, creater of the popular ‘Ginger Meggs’ comic strip in 1938.

It is listed on the NSW Government Environment & Heritage site as ‘Fongkah’ (which appears to be a typo) and is described as an example of the Federation Queen Anne style with American Stick & Shingle style influence. The house, along with many other prominent homes in the area was said to have historical significance as part of the development of the Centennial Park Lands subdivision of 1905, as funds was from the sale went towards the landscaping of the park. Read the rest of this entry »

Bruce Manor mortgagee sale

‘Bruce Manor’

‘Bruce Manor’ was originally named ‘Pine Hill’ and was built in 1926 for Viscount Stanley Melbourne Bruce, Australian Prime Minister from 1923 to 1929. Bruce was also the High Commissioner and Australian representative at the League of Nations.

The architects of the manor were Prevost Synnot and Rewald of Sydney, in association with Robert Bell Hamilton. The home was designed in the Spanish Mission style. The house was built at the same time and in a similar style to ‘The Lodge’ in Canberra, which was also first lived in by Bruce during his term as PM.

While much fuss is made about the home being a PM’s former residence, Bruce would have barely spent any time in the residence as he soon left for England after the losing the 1929 election. Read the rest of this entry »

Slight price reduction on Fairhaven

Fairhaven, Kirribilli

‘Fairhaven’ was built in 1905 for banker Hugh Massie. The architect was James Peddle. It was later purchased by Mr. Walket Thomas Way and his wife Hettie in 1915 for £3,700 (approximately $335,000 in today’s terms).

The house is listed on the Register of the National Estate and is described in the Australian Heritage Database as a ‘substantial turn of the century North Shore residence’ demonstrating characteristics of early federation style architecture influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement. Read the rest of this entry »

Islay House

Islay House, Woodend
Sold for $550,000+

Islay House is one of the most recognized properties in Woodend. It sold in excess of its $550,000 reserve at an auction held recently by the mortgagee-in-possessions, the National Australia Bank.

The initial asking price in early 2012 was $694,000, but it failed to sell at auction. The house was owned by journalist advocate Tess Lawrence, but was foreclosed on after Lawrence was reported to owe the National Australia Bank over $3 million in unpaid mortgages across five properties. Lawrence fought the bank’s foreclosure earlier this year and spray-painted the house in protest which delayed the first auction attempt. Read the rest of this entry »

Brent-Knowle on the market for first time in half a century

Brent-Knowle, Neutral Bay
Expressions of Interest

‘Brent-Knowle’ was built in 1914 for financier Major Joseph Henry Booker at a cost of 10,000 pounds (approximately $1 million in today’s terms). The house was designed by architect Bertrand James Waterhouse, and is considered one of his most important early works. Waterhouse designed a number of houses in Shellcove Road, which was one of Neutral Bay’s most select residential addresses.

“Waterhouse could be described as the Sydney equivalent of English architect C.F.A. Voysey, whose Arts and Crafts houses in England were widely admired in the early twentieth century. A typical Waterhouse residence featured asymmetrical, picturesque massing, strongly expressed roofs, usually with dominant gables; porches, balconies and verandahs; and at least one facetted oriel or bay external wall finish, together with areas of timber shingling or tile-hanging. Inside, the main rooms displayed timber wainscoting on the walls and heavy timber beams below the ceilings.” – NSW Government Environment and Heritage. Read the rest of this entry »


Benacre, Adelaide

Benacre is a 2-storey bluestone Italianate Victorian mansion in Adelaide. The house was originally a single storey bluestone home built in 1844 by William Bickford. The house was stood proudly on a 16 acre allotment which was purchased from G.F. Shipster’s original estate of 134 acres.

Thomas Graves, a founder of the Glenelg Railway Company, purchased the property in the 1870s and created the home we see today. He added a second story and ornate features, spending eight years completing his dream home.  Read the rest of this entry »

2 offices in Burns Philp Building for sale

Burns Philp Building, Sydney CBD
$465,000 & $2.1 million

Burns Philp was a shipping, retailing and insurance company that grew into one of Australia’s leading corporations until its delisting in 2006. In the late 1800s, James Burn, on behalf of Burns Philp and Co., Ltd. purchased this site in Bridge Street for 20 pounds from a Mr. McDonald. The older shops and offices on the site were torn down to make way for the Burns Philp head office which was completed in 1901 at a cost of 60,000 pounds (approximately $8 million in today’s terms). It was designed by Arthur Anderson of A.L. & G. McCredie & Anderson, with later additions by John Brogan & Associates. Anderson later went on to found the Australian Institute of Architects in 1930. The architectural style is said to be Federation, Romanesque/Late Victorian, Gothic and Neo-Romanesque with Scottish Baronial gables. The stone facade is made from Pyrmont ‘Purgatory’ Sandstone. Read the rest of this entry »


Lansellstowe, Bendigo

Lansellstowe is a 3-storey mansion built in 1913 for Leonard Vere Lansell, son of mining entrepreneur George Lansell. Leonard originally bought ‘Vahlands’ (58 Barkly Street) and had Lansellstowe built in the extensive gardens. The block was later subdivided into two blocks.

The home was designed in an Italian Renaissance style by architects William Beebe and G.D. Garvin. Beebe had also designed ‘Fortuna Villa’ (also currently for sale) and together with Garvin, designed ‘Dendereh’ for the Lansell family. Read the rest of this entry »