• Jon Ruwolt

Fancy a Queen Anne renovation?

Updated: Aug 12, 2019


In both Victoria and South Australia two desirable double-storey properties have been listed for sale. Four bedrooms on a large block in Malvern, Victoria, and a ten bedroom mansion in Aldgate, South Australia.


Above: Werai, 92 Finch Street Malvern East, Vic 3145

Below: Wairoa, 160 Mount Barker RoadAldgate SA 5154


Hannah Scholte in the Community Leader of 02 NOV 2018 reports that the 1890 Malvern East property Werai was transformed from a near-derelict house to a grand "mansion" (although it has only four bedrooms) and has been languishing in the market this year until a change of sales agents.

The extensively restored circa-1890 house at 92 Finch St is on the market with a price guide of $9.1 million-$10 million although propertyvalue.com.au estimates the range as $6,775,000 - $9,249,999.


Kay & Burton managing director Ross Savas said the “landmark property” known as Werai was previously “borderline derelict, with few original features remaining”.

The property was revived through a five-year restoration and extension to reinstate its period grandeur, which has been awarded by the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV).


This property is in the Gascoigne Estate and has a local heritage overlay. Buyers who have not heard of the Gascoigne Estate, and are in the market for a trophy home, should take note. It’s a pocket of Malvern East that is coveted for its trademark grand real estate, mostly of Federation era.

At Aldgate, in the Adelaide Hills, sits Wairoa. This heritage-listed Aldgate mansion surrounded by historic gardens is on the market for the first time since 1972. Once the Barr Smith family’s “summer home”, the grand property at 160 Mt Barker Road later became the site of the Marbury School. up until 2004.


The property is currently owned by two couples, Richard and Wendy Bray, and Ian and Kirsty Dodd, who live in other adjacent houses – there are seven houses all up, one of which was sold off to the current Montessori school.


This is an un-renovated property.

“Between us we have eight children, two of whom live on site, but no-one wanted to take on the old house so we have decided to sell.


It would be a big project but it’s a beautiful home that is structurally very sound.”With 15-foot ceilings and up to 10 bedrooms, the two-storey home features multiple wings, some that were dedicated to servants and nannies, more than 30 rooms, original William Morris drapes and wallpaper and a guest house.The home is zoned for both residential and commercial purposes. Last sold in May 2007 for $300,000. Best offer received.


Our archives on Adelaide Heritage state that:

“Marbury School, formerly known as Wairoa Estate, is one of the few remaining examples of Victorian style summer retreats in the Adelaide Hills built for the South Australian gentry in the late nineteenth century.

In 1893, Wairoa was purchased by Tom Barr Smith who also owned Beechwood, and Birksgate. Wairoa became a focus of Adelaide Society.”


Interior: Rooms with gracious proportions with original timber skirtings and plaster work. Tiled entry foyer with archway to stairwell.

Polished and painted mahogany staircase with carved and turned painted baluster and polished handrail and carved Chinese newel post. William Morris wallpapers in some rooms. Five polished fire surrounds and mantelpieces to main fireplaces. Two original cast iron fire screens.


Garden: The large Victorian garden is integral to the original building complex. The garden was planned by William Austin Horn and head gardener George Sparrow, laid out around the house , reputedly in the style of Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller.

The gardens remain substantially as laid out, as recorded in a painting by W Tibbets of 1897, however they have become more heavily forested over the years. The garden structure follows the Victorian Romantic style with interconnecting pathways following the contour of the valley beneath the house.

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