Islay House

by AF

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.

The house is situated on a 2,300 sqm block, which unfortunately is prone to flooding. It last sold in 2001 for $360,000 and is in need of a very extensive renovation.

The solid brick Georgian house was built in the 1860s and first traded as a hotel and licensed premises serving alcohol to gold miners. The kitchen, connected via a recent addition, was originally the bakehouse.

An interesting feature was the balustrade at the top of the stairs which was reported to have been part of the original rostrum of the Melbourne Stock Exchange.

The Elder family in the living room in 1954. The Sun-Herald (Sydney).


125 High Street, Woodend, Victoria, Australia

Listing information and images from

“Islay House, the 1860s Woodend relic, sells in Tess Lawrence mortgagee disposal” Property Observer, September 13, 2012.