30 October 2020

Former goldfields hotel and lockup transformed into a modern home

| Sharon Kelley
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Built in 1859, Foxhill is a beautifully renovated and restored historic home with all mod-cons. Photos: Supplied.

The 1859 sandstone cottage, Foxhill, is set on 480 acres (194 hectares) of lush, meadow-like grazing pasture, with 12 fenced paddocks, each with water from dams, and from Sheep Station Creek which forms the south boundary of the property. Swimming holes and waterfalls are waiting to be discovered along the creek beds, and the history of the homestead will intrigue buyers with a liking for a history of bushrangers and gold discoveries.

Foxhill was built as an inn for travellers stopping overnight between Araluen and Braidwood, and had a secure store, the Gunnery, for the gold being transported to Braidwood for sale. Bushrangers in the area preying on the gold included Thomas and John Clarke, and their brother James, who were reportedly responsible for 71 robberies and hold-ups, and six suspected murders from 1865 until their capture in 1867. The Gunnery windows are small, and deep, and were used by red-coated soldiers as rifle sights to fend off bushrangers.


The windows of the Gunnery were intended as rifle sights.

Sheep Station Creek was a source of alluvial gold as late as the 1920s, with a claim being staked by Messrs Lowe and Everingham for a 200 yard, 20-inch wide deposit as late as 1928, according to the North-Western Courier‘s front page on Monda, 10 September 1928.

Foxhill was extensively restored and renovated by the current owners around 10 years ago and makes the very best of the historic features while modernising the home to meet all expectations of 21st-century buyers. The historic homestead combines the original stone build with the up-to-date open-plan, indoor-outdoor lifestyle, with five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The home’s kitchen has granite benchtops, dark wood cabinetry and stainless steel appliances, a combination that complements the home’s earthy feel. Thick stone walls insulate the home against the weather, with deep-set windows and doors true to the character of the home.

The kitchen, dining, family, and lounge areas are open plan but zoned nicely by the original layout of the home. The alfresco dining area is accessed through glass doors and situated in a paved, enclosed courtyard, surrounded by the walls of the home and a retaining wall made from natural stone and a water feature.

The family bathroom is a modern masterpiece set under the corrugated iron roof, with sandstone floors and a walk-in shower, and a deep, full-length bath.

The master bedroom has external access to the home, high ceilings, and an ensuite with a frameless walk-in shower, and the same deep-set windows in the thick stone walls of the home. Four bedrooms are under one roof, with the master suite at one end of the house and three more bedrooms at the other, separated by the living, dining, lounge, conservatory and kitchen.

Under a separate roof, the Gunnery forms a unique space, a studio and bathroom downstairs, and a guest bedroom on the second floor.

The surrounding countryside and pasture are well suited to agistment, running sheep, horses, or goats, with all 12 paddocks featuring water access for stock.

Belle Property Braidwood principal Kelly Allen said the home is unique, both for its history and in the way it has been modernised and updated.

“Foxhill is a magnificent, historical and beautifully modern five-bedroom home,” said Ms Allen, “and it has everything you could need, including an ADSL2+ connection for wifi, a satellite dish for television and it’s an incredibly unique property.

“The land package that Foxhill is set on can be subdivided, or kept as one parcel of land, depending on the buyer’s needs and what they want to do with the property,” she said.

“I think the most intriguing thing about the home is the history of bushrangers and red coats, and the gold that was held in the Gunnery,” she said, “which is a fascinating part about the whole area.”

The home is open for expressions of interest, with a price guide of $3.7 million.

You can view this historically significant and modern home at 6748/6800 Araluen Rd, Reidsdale online. For further information, contact Belle Property Braidwood principal Kelly Allen on 0466 632 696.

Original Article published by Sharon Kelley on The RiotACT.

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