Regency-style Rockwall House, Potts Point finally sells

Regency-style Rockwall House, Potts Point finally sells
Regency-style Rockwall House, Potts Point finally sells

The Potts Point Georgian villa Rockwall House has sold for an undisclosed $10 million plus, the suburb's third-highest house price.

The 1830s-era house was designed by architect John Verge for the surveyor John Busby. Title Tattle understands it fetched $11 million.

The property developer Mirvac, who built the adjacent Rockwall apartment complex, had its restoration overseen by heritage architect Howard Tanner.

The heritage-listed villa last traded in 1999 when bought it for $2 million.

Relisted last December through Peter Blacket of Blacket & Glasgow, it was offloaded by antique enthusiast Lilian Barclay-Rollason, the partner of solicitor John Rollason, who first sought to secure its sale in 2011 with $13 million hopes.

The couple married at the house on April 26 in 2008, though the title remained in her name only.

John Cameron Rollason was for a number of years a partner at Gadens and then a contractor consultant to Lane & Lane from 1996.

The contents are listed for forthcoming auction through Mossgreen Auctions. 

The suburb record was set when the horse breeder Tony Peterson sold the 1870s residence Jenner House on Macleay Street (pictured below) for $15 million in 2009 to car dealer Terry Mullens. Jenner was a briefly listed last May but then withdrawn from sale.

Regency-style Rockwall House, Potts Point finally sells

Last year Bomera on the lower end of Wylde Street fetched $12.5 million after it was restored by Jorge and Monica Fernandez who'd bought it from the Department of Defence.

Bomera (pictured below), initially listed with $25 million hopes, was bought by Leanne Catelan, a daughter of late property date entrepreneur Ray Catelan.

Sandstone Potts Point 1858 Italianate trophy mansion Bomera relisted

Freestanding villas in Potts Point are few and far between with the next most expensive residential offerings being terraces along Challis Avenue, with retail/commercial potential, with two sales at over $5 million.

Rockwall, the 1830s Regency-style house was designed for John Busby, of Busby's Bore fame, the Scottish engineer tasked with finding a supply of fresh water for the city, after the Tank Stream became too polluted.

Busby was among the favoured few who received a Woolloomooloo Hill land grant from Governor Darling in 1828.

These private residences were required to meet Darling's imposing villa vision.

Title Tattle reckons only five of the first 17 villas still stand, including two other restored Verge designs, Elizabeth Bay house and Tusculum.

After Busby found himself in financial trouble, Verge amended the plans in 1835 for Belltrees grazier Hamilton Sempill.

But Sempill, too, hit difficulties during the 1840s and quit the colony for Scotland.

The four-bedroom, four-bathroom villa, featured in an 1840 watercolour in the State Library of NSW.

The three-level Rockwall Crescent residence, which was heritage listed in 1979, was in a neglected state for decades when part of the idle Chevron development site.

It received a $1.7 million 1990s Howard Tanner restoration when developer Mirvac built the adjoining Rockwall apartment block.

It now sits on 1,349 square metres, down from 3.2 hectares.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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