Chance to rejuvenate grand Belmont home built for Godfrey Hirst in 1897
BUYERS have the chance to get their hands on one of Geelong’s hidden real estate gems with the listing of a grand homestead originally built for textile giant Godfrey Hirst.
The ornate Federation-style residence in Belmont, circa 1897, is a rare piece of history with elevated views over the Barwon River and the city.
It even comes with a viewing tower — where Hirst reportedly used to keep an eye on his woollen mill.
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With wraparound verandas and decorative period features, 2 Royd Grange Court, Belmont is a window into the past.
Owned by the Notley family for about the past 40 years, its sale offers to a chance to rejuvenate one of the city’s grand old dames and take full advantage of the 1893sq m north-facing block.
Buxton agent Tony Moorfoot will auction the five-bedroom brick house on October 5 with price hopes of $1.25 million to $1.35 million.
Charmaine Notley said her late father Clive was the only person to put his hand up at auction for the property last time it sold — even though he turned up with no intention of buying.
She said he had faithfully restored the house, which was then a crumbling nursing home, in a traditional style.
She said but most people didn’t even know it existed.
“You can see it from the river, this big house, but only if you really look, but from the street, because the court is very quiet it’s hidden and very private,” Ms Notley said.
“People would knock on the door and say ‘we’ve just seen your house, it’s amazing’ and Dad would take them on tour inside.
“He loved sharing the history of the place.
“It will sad to her go but it’s been a great house to grow up in. It’s great for hide and seek.”
The house has two old-world living rooms with large sash windows opening onto the veranda that faces the river.
There’s also city views from two of the bedrooms — one of which was originally the formal dining room and has access to the tower via a spiral staircase.
The old servants’ quarters have been updated over the years, providing a self-contained, two-bedroom suite.
Mr Moorfoot said the property was in a league of its own.
“It’s just the history, it was built at the height of the Federation era in 1897 and the original owner was Godfrey Hirst,” he said.
“Really for where we are now, it’s about the outlook.”