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Fernhill. Fernhill. Featured
04 August 2018 Posted by 

ICONIC FERNHILL SAVED

Colonial mansion passes to the people
THE NSW Government has saved the fate of one of Australia’s oldest colonial homes.

 
Once unpopularly slated to become a cemetery, Fernhill Estate at Mulgoa, near Penrith, has been passed into public ownership in a move that has been billed as a “huge coup” for Western Sydney and a tourism opportunity.
 
The 385-hectare estate recently sold for $27.25M and features the more than 170-year-old heritage listed Fernhill homestead, outbuildings, gardens, lakes, paddocks and a 2-kilometre horse racetrack.

“Fernhill holds a special place in the heart of the Western Sydney community and now it will be owned by all of NSW,” said Minister for Western Sydney and Penrith MP, Stuart Ayres.
 
He said government agencies would develop a management plan for the long term future of the estate but that it would be made available as green open space for the community.
 
Overlooking the Mulgoa Valley, Fernhill is steeped in history and its story spans back to British pioneer William Cox who received one of Australia’s first land grants.
 
The six bedroom sandstone residence, completed in 1832, is today considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture.
 
It became the home of William Cox’s son, Edward, who originally planned to build a lavish, two storey building in the Greek revival style but the recession of the 1840s cut short his plan and the house remained a single level.
 
A team of 20 Irish stone masons were brought to Australia to help build Fernhill using sandstone quarried from the local hills.
 
Edward Cox and his family lived in the house from 1843 until he died in 1868 when the property passed to his eldest son, Edward King Cox.
 
The property’s illustrious equine history started with breeder Edward King Cox who produced the first Sydney Cup winner and several Melbourne Cup champions from the racehorse stud.
 
The house and surrounding land was sold in 1888 and for many years throughout the 1890s the mansion was uninhabited.
 
The house was restored several times, including in 1956 when it was owned by Australian film industry visionary John Darling and again in the 1980s under the ownership of property developer Warren Anderson.
 
Bushfires in 2002 damaged the property down to Mulgoa Road and eight years later, a collection of the Anderson’s antiques, furniture and artwork was held – said to be the largest sale of its kind in Australia.
 
Then in 2012, South African businessman Simon Tripp and his wife Brenda purchased Fernhill for a reported $45 million.
 
The estate was used as a venue for functions, race events, endurance competitions and concerts.
 
Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust proposed to buy Fernhill and convert the property into a cemetery but abandoned its plan after fierce community opposition.
 
The most recent sale was negotiated by Ken Jacobs of Christies International Real Estate.
 
 

 



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