Daniell Place, Kew

Daniell Place, Kew

This landmark Victorian Italianate mansion was built in the early 1880s by an Englishman named George Parsons, who, along with his brother Leonard, was one of the original founders of oats manufacturing company Parsons Bros (later known as Uncle Toby's).

Sadly, Mr Parsons died soon after the building was complete and the home was sold to Charles Bitten, whose family retained ownership until 1927. In 1911, the family moved to England for a period of time, so the property was leased to the Church of England for use as a boys' school.

Initially the main entrance was located on Barkers Road, which is why the main façade is south-facing. The original property was subdivided in 1923 and again in 1925, at which time the home's entrance point became Daniell Place.

Since 1927 this home has been privately owned by several families and to this day it remains a treasured family home. Over the years, various modifications have been made, including the purchase of an adjacent property in the early 1990s to obtain the tennis court. The pool and pool house were added as part of a previous renovation.

Over the past three years, the current owners have undertaken major renovations to restore this incredible home to its former glory, meticulously redecorating each room in keeping with the original style. This enormous project was executed by builders CL Knights and Sons, together with architectural/interior designer Lisa Shanahan, and the results are truly breathtaking - both inside and out.

The magnificent gardens were designed by Robert Boden Design and landscaped by David Whitehead. The recent work also included the installation of two large cast-iron lamp posts from Castlemaine, repaving of the driveway using cobblestones imported from Europe, and the installation of a new glasshouse from Sproutwell Greenhouses.

In the front garden, you'll notice a spectacular towering Oak tree that was planted around 80 years ago. Surprisingly, the home itself has not been assigned heritage status, despite its historical and architectural significance.

The grand front entrance features original tiles along the portico, leading to the vast front door which contains beautiful stained-glass inserts.

In the entrance hall, pause for a moment to absorb your opulent surroundings: a soaring 6-metre ceiling, stunning William Morris wallpaper, imported French oak flooring and a large French-Regency style brass lantern sourced from Meirelles Antiques in Malvern. In the corner, a 200-year-old grandfather clock keeps watch over the room.

To your right is the dining room, with beautiful antique furniture sourced from Page Antiques. Of particular note are the framed original architectural plans from the 1940s and the lever near the fireplace, which was used to summon the servants. There is a similar lever in the loungeroom, and all original bells and wires from this system are still stored in the roof.

The generous proportions of the kitchen include an enormous island bench topped with beautiful Bianco Statuario marble. This same marble is also featured in the bathrooms. A door from the kitchen leads downstairs to the basement laundry.

It's clear that no detail has been overlooked when it comes to the loving restoration of this stately home. All cabinetry has been expertly crafted from solid timber and finished with a custom-made stain. Likewise, the interior paint colour used throughout the home is a warm, neutral hue, custom-mixed to the owner's specification.

The leadlighting in the windows along the back of the house was also especially designed, using the front door panels as a guide. The rear exterior iron lacework and tessellated tiles were added as part of the recent renovation.

As you proceed along the arched hallway that leads from the rear entrance through to the front entrance hall, note the stunning walls in the powder room, which have been intricately stencilled by the skilled hands of the current owner; a labour of love taking more than fifty hours of painstaking work.

The luxurious Brintons carpet downstairs has been custom-designed, based on the same pattern as the original carpet in the cinema (located in the room adjacent to the pool house); however, the colours have been personalised to suit the interior scheme of the home.

A grand sweeping staircase leads to the upstairs level, where a bespoke pared-back version of the same carpet design has been used on the landing and in all the bedrooms. The first bedroom on your right features a superb four-poster bed, sourced by the current owners on Gumtree, but originally from England.

The guest bedroom features an early 20th century Louis XV style carved and painted Queen-size bed, originally from Paris. The bed comprises a 'Corbeille' bed head, a 'Corbeille' footer, shaped side rails and prized carved floral decorations.

The master bedroom suite formerly housed the servants' quarters; the original servants' staircase was removed during a previous renovation. Glamourous William Morris wallpaper has been used to striking effect in this peaceful retreat.

Finally, as you exit the home, be sure to wander through the substantial grounds, including the tennis court, pool area, studio/cinema and vegetable garden. The sheer scale of this property firmly places this property in a class with very few other. It truly is a privilege to feature this unique family home in our 40th anniversary celebrations.


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