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  • Writer's pictureJon Ruwolt

A Historic House in Point Piper

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

The twin story of a Historic House in Point Piper:

  1. The former 'Ashik' (pre-WW1), at Buckhurst Avenue, Point Piper (in Arts and Crafts Style)

  2. The former 'Carmona', 12(?) Wolseley Road, then Buckhurst Ave. Point Piper (now Apartments)


Right: Streetview of 12 Wolseley Road - see that roof and chimneys of the stately mansion built over a century ago?

1. 'Ashik' ~"traditional folk singer, lovelorn"


With steady, swift fingers Mrs. Louis (Ada) Rich, of Point Piper, makes buttonholes at the Vaucluse 'Red Cross 'meetings, while tumultuous thoughts chase themselves through her brain.

Her two daughters are married to Germans, and are living in Germany.

No answer has been received to any of the cables recently sent them.

The two sons of Mrs. Rich have enlisted, and will fight against the Germans.

A Red Cross' branch at Vaucluse was formed.

(Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), Sunday 30 August 1914, page 7)

(Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Thursday 13 June 1918, page 8)


Mr Louis Rich, a well-known personage in the business community of Sydney, died at his home, Ashik, Buckhurst Avenue, Point Piper, early yesterday morning, at the age of 73. He had been ill for a month.

"The late Mr Rich, coming to New South Wales at an early age, had been a resident of the State for 64 years.

He was one of the pioneers of the Walgett and Moree districts, but, transferring his interests many years ago, he invested largely in city properties. He was of distinctly charitable disposition, and he gave liberal support to all charitable and patriotic funds. He was also prominent in all matters connected with the Jewish community.

Construction and Local Government Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1913 - 1930), Monday 2 April 1917, page 14

The Home of Mrs. Louis Rich

We illustrate above the home of Mrs. Louis Rich, 'Ashik,' Buckhurst Avenue, Point Riper, where the architect was Mr. Tupper, who is at present at the war.

This building was equipped with all the latest and most modern conveniences, and at the time this place was built wall-beds were hardly known.

It is here that we would like to point 'out their manifold advantages.

We will take the front view, showing two bedrooms on the upper floor, on either side of the balcony, the living-room being in the centre.


2. 'Carmona' ~ "a town of southwestern Spain"

Thu 27 Feb 1908 The Illness of Mr. F. B. Freehill, Consul for Spain, has come as a surprise to those who welcomed hlm back to Sydney after his 12 months' tour of Europe.

While staying at the Hotel Australia with his wife he had to send for his medical man. It was then believed that the retired commanding officer of the Irish Rifles was suffering from the effects of a sunstroke at Colombo.

The illness took a serious turn, and at his own request Mr. Freehill was removed to the hospital at Lewlsham, which is under the care of the Nursing Sisters of the Little Company of Mary, of which Institution he been one of the honorary officers since its foundation.

Tue 7 Apr 1908 Colonel Francis Bede Freehill (Consul for Spain), whose death occurred at the Lewisham Hospital on Thursday night at the age of 54, was a well-known resident of Sydney. In addition to his consular position he was a solicitor of repute in the firm of Freehill. Donovan, and Co., one of the founders of the Irish Rifles, a Papal Chamberlain, and a director in various concerns.

The deceased officer was one of the founders of the Citizens' Life Assurance Company, Limited, and a director from Its beginning. He was also prior to his visit to Europe, a director of the "Catholic Press" newspaper.

N.B. (Below) Mrs Freehill's new 'Carmona' is mentioned as at Wolseley Road Point Piper, while Mrs. Freehill travels overseas in Italy.

She seems to have moved out of Carmona, Burwood, where her late solicitor husband was the Spanish consul and decided to re-name her new house in Point Piper to 'Carmona'.

Note: Probate on the will of Mr Louis Rich was only granted 01 Aug 1918, so it also seems (from the auction advertisement) that Mrs. Freehill intended to purchase the property from Louis Rich much earlier, in 1911. The Carmona property auction, then, was from only her Burwood address.

Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), Thursday 12 January 1928, page 1

His Eminence Cardinal Cerretti, who will be Papal Legate at the Sydney Eucharistic Congress in September nexf has cabled that he has accepted the invitation of Mrs. F. B. Freehill, of Point Piper, to make her beautiful home his headquarters for himself and suite whilst in Sydney.

it appears that when Mrs. Freehill was last in Rome she met Cardinal Cerretti on several occasions, and in the course of conversation suggested that her residence in Buckhurst Avenue, Point Piper, would be available to him if he so desired during his Sydney visit.

Mrs. Freehill's action is a princely one, for her home will have to be specially prepared for the distinguished visitors, and she will have to find quarters for herself and her entourage elsewhere — probably at the Hotel Australia. However, Mrs. Freehill's name is coupled with many generous actions on behalf of Catholic movements.

The wealthy widow, who is much travelled and cultured, knows the Cardinal well, having met him in Paris and Rome on her many trips overseas,

The home overlooks Double Bay and almost the whole of North Sydney. From thc big glass fronted balcony the North Shore bridge, ready for the connecting arches now, seems but a stone's throw away.

The wide garden, full of bright annuals, runs down to the water's edge and owns its own swimming pool; and the house itself is just as comfortable and tasteful as even such a great man might wish.

The State bedroom is furnished in rose and grey, with big wide windows opening over the harbour. The private secretary's room is in tones of fuchsia and mole, and the living rooms and smokerooms, though full of quaint furniture brought back from every corner of the globe, is just as bright and cheerful and comfortable as any man might wish. Mrs. Freehill has installed an Italian chef there, too. so there should be no trouble about the meals.

Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), Sunday 9 September 1928, page 28

​Home of Charm and Artistry

One of Sydney's most delightfully situated and picturesque private homes is 'Carmona,' cuddled away in Buckland Avenue, Point Piper, which has been lent, staff, chauffeur, and all, to his Eminence Cardinal Cerretti, during his stay in Australia, by its owner* Mrs. F. B. Freehill.

Built in a sort of glorified bungalow fashion, the house is of red. brick, picked out in green, and over-run with Virginia creeper, and is entered by a drive passing through red lacquered gates, and running beyond a porch over-run with greenery. The front proper abuts on (Wolseley Rd.) Point Piper, running down by formed gardens and terraces, to the water's edge, where pictorial baths and dressing sheds, in brilliant reds add an enchanting touch of modernism.

These gardens have a distinctly Continental appearance, by reason of their playing fountains, pergolas, flagged terraces, and chained borders, intersected by stone pillars, and, just now, when Cardinal Cerrutti is cosily ensconced, clumps of pink and -white azalea are in bloom against the terraces, and the flowers and coral trees make a scarlet glow.

Sun, Stars and Sea

From a verandah room facing the harbor, a gorgeous view is obtained, beloved, obviously by the owner, for scrolled on a deep ledge below the wide windows, is the legend : 'And the sun went down and the stars came up over the summer sea.'

Last Big Royal Naval Contingent Sails


On Monday, only cleaning up parties, totalling 200 men, and 30 members of the British Pacific Fleet Liaison Officer's staff will be left in Sydney.

The 200 men have been detailed from 2,000 awaiting release in Australia. A further 1,000 have already been released here.

In June last year, 80,000 R.N. were often ashore, most of them in Sydney, at the same time. They included members of shore establishments, men from barracks, those whose ships were undergoing repairs, and leave parties from fighting ships.

The Royal Navy took possession of 80 buildings or sites in N.S.W. for administrative offices, billeting, recreation clubs, stores, garages, aerodromes, and for other purposes. Among these were, part or, all, of the following:

Acme House York Street; Bank of N.S.W. Building, Wynyard Street; Grenville House, William Street; Chard House, next door; Grace Building, Bryant House;

Carmona, at Point Piper;

Cheverells, at Elizabeth Bay; Maramanah, Macleay Street; Marine Barracks, Moore Park; the Cairo, Macleay Street; all Petty's Hotel, except the bar; the Pacific and Astor Hotels at Bondi, for W.R.N.S.; and Norwood guest house, at Kirribilli.

FAIRY lights and glistening tinsel make "Carmona." the Point Piper home of the Harry Goulds, a veritable fairyland when they entertain more than 100 guests over festive


Co-hostess at the party is Mary Tait, who has recently arrived out from England with her father. Mr. Nevin Tait. Included among the guests are members of Grand Opera Company, who are having their first Christmas and New Year in Australia.

Sudden rush to reception-rooms when Aldo Ferracuti sings, while fellow opera artists Antonia Cassihelli and his wife. Mercedes Fortunata and Maria Huder look on.

Helping to entertain guests were Mrs. Gould's daughter. Mary Cass, and Mr. Tait's son Jimmy and his wife, Daphne.

Wealthy Point Piper socialite, Mrs. Mercy Gould (shown above), is helping to convert her large mansion into flats because she cannot get a contractor, or enough laborers, to do the job.

Mrs Gould, mother of three children, has learned how to cart bricks, climb ladders, use a hammer, paint and paper walls.

Wearing old dungarees, she has helped to convert her 22-room mansion, "Carmona," in Buckhurst Avenue, Point Piper, into three flats, and proposes to make more flats out of her servants' old quarters. Her husband is Mr. Harry Gould, who arrived from America in 1941. He is now a rich squatter, owner of the property, "Lilberne," at Murrurundi, and widely-known in sheep and cattle circles.

Mrs. Gould does much of the lighter work herself, and hires tradesmen for the heavier work. Red-haired, vivacious Mrs. Gould said today:

"I like my job as a builder. I've been doing it for several months. Many of my friends think I'm mad, but I think I'm extremely sane."

Read more about Point Piper:

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