• Jon Ruwolt

Heritage-rich Federation mansions - Adelaide Hills, and Pymble, NSW

Updated: Aug 12, 2019


Kincraig in Stirling, in the Adelaide Hills, and Hamilton Park, Pymble, are two Federation mansions with plenty of room.


Stirling's Kincraig,mansion at 17 Sturt Valley Road, has been restored to its former glory

Stirling’s iconic Kincraig hits the market for the first time in more than 30 years.

Kincraig (1915) has been restored by John and Lyn McDonald while Mr McDonald says their association with the property goes back three decades.


“We’ve had an affiliation with the property for more than 30 years because we knew the previous owner, and we actually got married here more than 20 years ago and have had anniversary parties and everything here since then,” Mr McDonald says.


“We always wanted to own it – these houses are quite rare and unique, and they don’t come on the market all that often. It was originally a summer house, we believe, for Priscilla Bickford,” (wife of Mr. Harry Bickford, merchant, manufacturing chemist, and soft drink purveyor). - Wikipedia


The two-storey "gentleman’s residence" has five bedrooms, a gym or sunroom, a billiard room, an office, several balconies, a cellar and a separate coach house with a loft and a range of storage spaces.


Mr McDonald says the couple have renovated the home throughout, remaining true to its original identity, but also bringing it into the modern era. “We’ve totally restored the home to its former glory, sparing no expense but still being sympathetic to the era with which it was built,” Mr McDonald says.

“We did a lot of research when we did it to make sure we didn’t cross styles or anything like that and made sure anything that needed replacing was done in exactly the form in which it was originally done. “It’s got a lot of oak inside and teak floorboards upstairs which had never been polished before, so they’ve come up an absolute treat.


Everything we’ve done is quality – what you see and what you don’t see with the rewiring and the plumbing – it’s important to make sure it’s done the way it should be done.”

Grand Pymble home 'Hamilton Park'

A former children’s home, and still a grand Federation residence will go to market next week for the first time in more than a decade.


The six-bedroom Pymble home, named Hamilton Park, was for 28 years the Bernard Smith Children’s Home, run by the Central Methodist Mission.


The Mission purchased the home for in 1959 after outgrowing their other site where they were turning away 50 children a week.


The home has a pool with grassed entertainment area. The home’s origin traces back to Frederick James Hamilton who purchased the site for £1350 or roughly $200,000 in today’s money after settling in Pymble in the late 1800s.

It was once part of a 79ha property used for grazing and as an orchard. It was later subdivided in 1924, but the grand home remained part of the current 3149 sqm estate.


Luschwitz director Mark Blake has the listing after selling it to the current owners in 2008 for $3.15 million. Mr Blake said while many of today’s residents may not know the history behind the iconic estate, it was well known back in the day.

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