• Jon Ruwolt

Lady Mary Fairfax's luxury home Fairwater to be Sold!

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

Fairwater.  Seven Shillings Beach Double Bay NSW

Australia's most expensive home has hit the market which has reignited the optimistic obsession about a $100 million sale.

It's the Double Bay offering by the executors of the late Lady (Mary) Fairfax.

The home, Fairwater, has been in the Fairfax media dynasty family since 1901 when Sir James Oswald Fairfax paid £5,350.

Fairwater, Double Bay, said to date from 1920

The two-storey mansion - which was designed by architect J. Horbury Hunt for stockbroker, Francis Joseph in 1881, is set on five subdividable blocks on exclusive Seven Shillings Beach.

NSW Heritage notes that "Fairwater, is a large domestic residence constructed in 1882 with additions made in c.1901 and 1910, with former stable (c.1900s) and garage (1930), situated on a large suburban allotment fronting Port Jackson with mature garden landscaping including notable trees."

Fairwater in 1990

"The residence is a double storey structure of brick construction with a timber-framed roof originally constructed in 1882 with additions c.1901, and in particular from 1910s. The exterior appearance is characterised by the use of a brick, which is pale yellow in colour. The roof is covered in slate tiles. Additions made c.1910/11 often include the use of sandstone (i.e. in the verandah and carriage porch) which is very reddish in colour."

Fairwater, on Seven Shillings Beach, Double Bay

"The window glazing, in addition to the predominant use of clear glazing, also includes diamond patterned leadlight, and stained glass. The roof is a series of timbered gables with battened ends and pebble dash finish. These gables are the work of Manson and Pickering, architects, c.1910/11 and are in the Arts and Craft style embellishing Hunt's simple form by a series of projecting bay windows, and balconies.

The interior of the house is characterised both by the need to provide service and living wings, and the fact that the house is principally a conglomeration of the work of two architects - John Horbury Hunt and Manson and Pickering."