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  • Writer's pictureJon Ruwolt

Historically Significant Redleaf

Updated: Jun 23, 2020


Matt Bell 17 Jun 2020 Daily Telegraph

Moran Health Care Group co-founder Greta Moran has sold one of the upper north shore’s grandest estates in a secret deal.

The landmark Redleaf Estate occupies four titles and sold for $8 million to Leesa and Paul Fitzgerald.

CoreLogic reveals the purchase was broken down into $5.8 million for the house and $2.2 million for the three other titles forming the property.

It marks the first time Redleaf has changed hands since the Moran family bought the Wahroonga home in the late 1960s.

On 4996sqm, the landmark estate is the product of several acquisitions made by Greta and her late husband Doug.

The 1899 home was built by English architect Howard Joseland in the Arts and Crafts Federation style. It was transformed into its current form in 1996 after the family enlisted Clive Lucas to undertake an award-winning restoration.

The residence has five bedrooms and retains period features such as decorative ceilings, wooden stairs and stained windows. It also features grand spaces including a dining room and billiards room, as well as a character kitchen, butler’s pantry and wide verandas

The earlier story from:

By LUCY MACKEN, Prestige Property Reporter MAR 6, 2020

The Moran family matriarch Greta, who with her late husband Doug Moran, founded one of the country’s largest private healthcare empires, is set to list her historic Upper North Shore home, Redleaf, in Wahroonga NSW.

In a family renowned for its arts patronage and a portfolio of historically significant homes, Redleaf stands not only as

It was the start of an impressive obsession for the Moran family, who now claim some of Sydney’s most historic private residences as their own, most notable among them are

  1. Darling Point’s Gothic Revival landmark Swifts,

  2. Camden’s historic mansion Studley Park and

  3. Paddington’s Georgian house Juniper Hall.

“If we hadn’t done Redleaf we wouldn’t have taken on Swifts,” Greta Moran told Title Deeds in relation to the family’s decision to buy the then dilapidated Darling Point estate for $12 million in 1997, ahead of what would be yet another expensive and award-winning restoration.

Redleaf was built in 1899 and designed by Joseland in the Federation arts and crafts style but with wide verandahs to suit the Australian climate.

  • It was left to the Sisters of Mercy in 1948 by Violet Yuille, widow of the Dr Alan Yuille, and soon after

  • the nuns erected petition walls in the original bedrooms and

  • enclosed verandahs to create a 13-bedroom house for novices and retired nuns.

Greta and Doug Moran paid the church $38,400 for the property in 1967 and quickly returned it to a single-family home with 10 bedrooms for their seven children Kerry, Linda, Peter, Shane, Barbara, Brendan (deceased) and Mark.

The grand Howard Joseland-designed residence is set on almost 5000 square metres.

Three years later the Morans took the first of several acquisitions to restore the original grounds by

  • buying the cottage next door for $40,000 from Annie Fraser, then a leading decorator on the north shore. 

  • An adjoining vacant block was added in 1971 for $35,000 from former Kogarah City mayor Cecil Sweeting

  • and another in 1984 for $130,000 to create what is now an almost 5000 square metre parcel.

While the initial 1967 house purchase was a stretch for the young Moran family at the time, their fortunes started to change rapidly in the mid-1970s.....

Redleaf is a substantial brick two-storey residence built for W.G.Parish of the Sydney legal firm Parish Patience and McIntyre.

  • The house was one of the first generation of houses built in Wahroonga with the coming railway.

  • It was designed in 1899 in the Federation Queen Anne style with arts and crafts details.

  • The design was avant-garde in its time, and the house is now rare for the high integrity of its interiors, particularly the living area and the kitchen wing.

Characteristics of the style present in Redleaf are

  1. the prominent flying gables with half-timbered effects, over

  2. projecting bay windows with leadlight casements.

  3. There is a notable arched porch with stone trims.

Modifications and dates:

Altered or extended unsympathetically In 1962

  • an unsympathetic addition was made to the north-east elevation.

  • Apart from this, the building plan and details are remarkably intact.

  • The garden however has been destroyed, except for a few mature trees.

  • Outbuildings, fences, etc. have also been removed.

Historical notes:

The house was originally set within an extensive garden of five acres. By 1915 the property was owned by Authur Crane of the Tap Manufacturers G.E. Crane and Sons.

  • The property was resumed in 1926 by Ku-ring-gai Council to provide better access to Wahroonga Railway Station. The Council subdivided the property in 1929; the subdivision being called the Ku-ring-gai Council's Model Town Subdivision.

  • At that time the house was purchased by the Sisters of Mercy and converted into a nursing home. This use continued until the mid 1960s.

  • The house has been a private residence since 1966.

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