23 October 2019

Braidwood restoration offers grand country lifestyle at Mill Pond Farm

| Alex Rea
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Mill Pond Farm in September 2019. Photo: Andrew Gow

Historic Mill Pond Farm outside Braidwood has been undergoing a restoration of ‘Grand Designs’ proportions over the last 11 years and is now for sale.

Just ten minutes from Braidwood towards the village of Majors Creek, Mill Pond Farm’s historic buildings have been brought back to life and comfort under the sensitive eyes of Antony Davies and Andrew Gow.

The homestead dates from the 1830s, originally part of the Roberts and Badgery estate, a magnificent property set on 41 hectares of granite country bordering the Jembaicumbene Creek.

Mill Pond Farm housed the earliest dairy in Braidwood, stabling for the family’s racehorses and was the site chosen for the imposing Steam Flour Mill by C E Dransfield and his wife in 1859.

View of the Mill from the house. Photo: Supplied

The house is set in an established garden with swimming pond and rare 1850s specimen trees. Sensitively restored, it provides sophisticated accommodation for a large family or for entertaining, with five reception rooms including entrance hall, library, drawing room, two studies, summer room and formal dining room.

The large country kitchen has cathedral ceilings and comprehensive gourmet fittings including gas range and an Aga stove, large pantry and silver closet, looking out onto a lovely kitchen garden and a fountain in the formal courtyard.

The large main bedroom has a fireplace, a sunny bay window, and fitted walk-in wardrobes with a luxurious modern ensuite, with cast iron bath and separate shower and European fittings.

Two additional large bedrooms opening onto the verandahs share a bathroom, and the third large bedroom has its own ensuite with claw foot bath. There are three additional guest WCs. A lovely attic study/ bedroom has a balcony overlooking the Budawang Ranges. The homestead has seven open fires for atmosphere and is also centrally heated with a wood-fired hydronic system.

Currently running alpacas, horses, goats and sheep, and with a popular art and antiques gallery, Mill Pond Farm is a completely unique lifestyle property with additional commercial potential.

The property has an 1840s stable with three stalls, a loose box and a tack room, and an extensive 1840s wooden barn and workshops. The property’s 19th-century schoolhouse has been converted to a sunny studio used as a teahouse for visitors.

The kitchen at Mill Pond Farm with cathedral ceilings and granite fire. Photo: Supplied

The centrepiece of the property is the exceptional four storey stone and brick flour mill, built-in 1859, and offering four gigantic floors of flexible living or creative space. Unique in this part of NSW, the mill is among the best examples of its type in Australia and in exceptional condition.

Currently housing a successful gallery on two floors, the upper floors are suitable for conversion to accommodation or many other uses. A rare 1853 Otis lift carries heavy items to all four floors.

Plans to convert the Mill into farm stay accommodation are available to view upon request.

The property has exceptional water, with a permanent spring-fed millpond, two spring-fed wells and numerous other ponds and watercourses, as well as a series of deep 19th century ponds in the 25-acre wetland.

Bird and native animal life abound, there are platypus in several of the ponds and many water birds including black swans and occasionally a pelican.

Jembaicumbene Creek borders the property. Photo: Alex Rea

In bygone years, springing from some of the most productive lands in the region, record wheat crops were produced between the 1840s and 1885. The flour mill also housed a sawmill, quartz crushing battery and bakery.

In the late 19th-century, the property produced record quantities of fine merino wool, and as the site of the second gold discovery in the Braidwood district in 1851, the history of Mill Pond Farm is thoroughly documented and even includes bushrangers!

The Mill at Mill Pond Farm. Photo: Andrew Gow

The land includes rich black soil flats and several attractive raised areas of granite country with spectacular long views, fenced into twelve paddocks with various dams, and reticulated water to troughs and ponds.

For sale by expressions of interest, written offers can be sent to [email protected] with a closing date of November 20. Open to view by private appointment only, phone Kelly Allen directly on 0466 632 696.

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