Wahroonga home of the late Francis James passed in

Wahroonga home of the late Francis James passed in
Wahroonga home of the late Francis James passed in

The long-held Billyard Avenue house, home of the late Australian journalist Francis James was passed in at a weekend auction.

It was passed in at $3.35 million, when the only bidder raised his bid from the opening $3 million offer at the onsite auction.

It was offered for sale by his 100 year old widow, Joyce.

The Billyard Avenue house, Te Whare where encyclopedias lined the many bookcases, dates back to the 1910s. 

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, 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.

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

Luschwitz Real Estate Pymble agent John Luschwitz and Stephen Sales had offered an initial price guide of $3.8 million.

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.

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.

This article first appeared in The Sunday Telegraph.

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