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.
Not long after Graves finished the transformation, the home was sold to Adelaide Mayor Henry Scott and his wife Emily Gooch. The house was named ‘Benacre’ after the home of Emily’s family sect of the Gooch Baronetcy of Benacre Hall in Suffolk. The Scotts hosted many social events with high profile guests.
Upon Henry Scott’s passing, the home was purchased by pastoralist John Lewis in 1906. It was later inherited by John’s son Lance and his family.
During WWII, the servants’ quarters, nursery, billiard room and storerooms were converted into a boarding house. In 1959, a developer bought the property and had plans to demolish the house, but a protected 160 year old Moreton Bay fig tree on the site meant his redevelopment plans would not work, so the home was saved from a dreadful fate.
In 1970, the land was subdivided and Benacre was sold at auction to Mr. and Mrs. Perkins. The coach house and stables were subdivided and sold off.
The current owners purchased the home in 2001 for $1.45 million and began renovating the property and removing the flats to restore the home to its original condition.
The home includes the original servants’ quarters, parquetry floors, hand painted friezes, gilt cornices and the iron and mahogany staircase. The ceiling rose in the entrance foyer is believed to have been case from plants from the original gardens. Ceilings on the first floor are up to 4.5m high.
The current owner purchased the home in 2002 for $1.45 million. The home was listed for sale in early 2012 with an initial asking price of $5.2 million, but has since been reduced to $4.95 million. *Update: The house sold for $4,500,000+ in November 2012.
The median house price in the Glen Osmond suburb is $662,000.
The house is listed on the South Australian Heritage Register.
Listing information and images from Realestate.com.au