Wahroonga home of the late journalist Francis James listed

Wahroonga home of the late journalist Francis James listed
Wahroonga home of the late journalist Francis James listed

The long-held Wahroonga home of the late Australian journalist Francis James has been listed for sale for the first time in six decades by his 100 year old widow, Joyce.

James, a journalist, was most well known for being imprisoned in China accused of being a spy in 1969.

He spent four years in the prison before being expelled from the country after his old Canberra Grammar school friend, then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, lobbied for his release.

The Billyard Avenue house, Te Whare dates back to the 1910s. It comes with a price guide of $3.8 million.

James paid £5,950 in 1956 when he was the editor at The Anglican, a publication of the Church of England, working there alongside his wife. 

James was born in 1918 in Queenstown, Tasmania, the son of an Anglican minister.

It was briefly listed for $659,000 in 1994, shortly after James' death, by his wife who has only recently moved into aged care.

Set in 2320 sqm park like grounds, the five bedroom home is an original farmhouse built in the arts and craft style, with slate roof and wide return verandah.

Wahroonga home of the late journalist Francis James listed

It has been listed as a heritage item under the local council since 2015.

Alterations and additions are permissible outback, as the heritage listing relates to the facade.

Luschwitz Real Estate Pymble agent John Luschwitz says it is ready to renovation following its July 21 auction

In 1960 the ailing Anglican Press was caught in a controversial takeover battle between the Packer family's Consolidated Press and Rupert Murdoch's Cumberland Newspapers, which culminated in front page reports of a brawl in which the Packer's forces attempted to occupy the building to secure the all important printing presses.

At James's funeral, Sir Marcus Loane, the former Archbishop of Sydney, described Francis James as a born entertainer, and a real mischief-maker who revelled in controversy.

This article was first published in the Saturday Daily Telegraph.



Title Tattle Wahroonga

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