Glen Alpine, the Horbury Hunt designed mansion, listed

Glen Alpine, the Horbury Hunt designed mansion, listed
Glen Alpine, the Horbury Hunt designed mansion, listed

Glen Alpine, the 1886 homestead on 1335 hectares adjoining the Liverpool Plains at Werris Creek, remains listed for sale.

Designed in the American New England shingle-style by architect John Horbury Hunt, the six-bedroom homestead was built for railway pioneer Alexander Amos.

It has eight working fireplaces of marble or cedar. Much of the shingle-style home was built from imported Canadian Redwood & Oregon

John Horbury Hunt was for 40 years probably the best-known architect in Australia and one of Sydney's great eccentrics. Not only controversial for his buildings, he rallied for a strong code of building practice.

Born John Horbury Hunt in St John, New Brunswick, Canada, in 1838, the Boston trained architect got off the boat at Port Jackson in 1863 on his way to India.

His style of architecture that replaced Georgian was much around the Arts and Crafts Movement, with his great love of good brick work against the prevailing fashion in Sydney.

He started work on his own in 1870, with the Anglican Church in Kangaroo Valley. Hunt was fortunate to be sponsored by two great pastoral families who funded community buildings: the Osburnes, of Kangaroo Valley, and the Whites (Patrick White was a family member in a later generation) of the Hunter Valley.

Hunt received many commissions to build Anglican churches, schools and rectories because of the patronage of Canon William White. There was his work St Matthias's Church, Denman and St Lukes Osborne Memorial Church Dapto. Ho9s major residential work inclded Camelot at Narellan.

One of his greatest buildings, Booloominbah, in Armidale (now part of the University of New England), was described by Professor A T Yarwood, as "a structure growing naturally from the terrain with the inevitability of an outcrop of rock".

Another Trevenna - now the vice-chancellor's residence at UNE - was built for the grandmother of poet Judith Wright.

Hunt and his wife, had no children but are burried wth their pets at South Head Cemetery. The architect was easily recognised around Sydney because he wotre a knee-length frock coat, high-waisted pants, blue waistcoat with silver buttons and a loosely-tied, thin bow tie.

His hat, a bell-topper came with ventilation built in and a compartment for drawing paper.

His bicycle was fitted with a fold-away drawing board and a place for ink. Apparently according to his Australian Biography mention, if he saw shoddy workmanship he had no hesitation in going on to a building site - whether he knew the owner, builder or architect or not.

The Great Depression of the 1890s ruined Hunt.

His last great work was Rose Bay's Chapel of the Convent of the Sacred Heart. Hunt became ill with Bright's disease and died in the paupers' ward at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Much of the Glen Alpine mansion has undergone extensive renovation retaining beautiful period features within its hallways, reception rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, however the servery wing and billiard/ballroom require restoration and await the new owners interpretation.

The property made up of gently undulating black and chocolate basalt soils with some hill country has a carrying capacity at present of 400 cows and further 200 steers,

"This outstanding property not only offers an opportunity to run a successful well managed grazing/farming income but the mansion in its own right would attract discerning visitors to enjoy its luxury and splender," the LJ Hooker Tamworth Jennifer Shean agent says.

The historical rail town of Werris Creek comes with its daily Sydney rail service or a 55 minute flight to Tamworth enjoying the newly installed club lounge.

Its more recent previous owners have included Grange Securities director Andrew Butterell who sold for $5.4 million in 2007 selling to the Hawkins family.

Back in 2000, when it was the Skerrett family's property, its fattened steers ending up on the shelves of Woolworths.

It had previously traded 52 years earlier.

It is listed with several other conjunctional agents including Richard Cudmore at Davidson Cameron & Co and Luke Scanlan at Ray White Quirindi along with Cameron McIvor a Schute Bell Badgery Lumby - Sydney.


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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