Former Victorian-era convent in Candelo tempting the romantics

Sharon Kelley 25 April 2020
34 Auckland St Candelo

Victorian Gothic Revival characterises 34 Auckland St Candelo. Photos: Supplied.

The Victorian era lasted from 1837 to 1901, leaving a rich legacy of Victorian furniture, customs and architecture. The home at 34 Auckland Street in Candelo is part of that heritage, updated and modernised for the 21st century.

Gothic Revival architecture – built during the reign of Queen Victoria – can be thought of as the style that rebelled against neoclassical architecture with its classical Greek columns and formal porticos. The style was characterised with a return to details such as decoration on the gables, columns in arched doorways, pointed arch windows, flying buttresses and window tracery.

This home, while not as ornate as some examples, has a distinct Gothic Revival style. Built in 1898 as a convent for the Sisters of St Joseph who ran the nearby school, it has spectacularly high ceilings, an awe-inspiring four-poster bed (also in the Gothic Revival style), and a fully updated kitchen (let’s face it, nobody wants to slave over a hot spit in an open fireplace unless absolutely necessary).

Updated kitchen

Striking tiles, white cabinets and stainless steel in the updated kitchen.

The home is astoundingly faithful to the Gothic Revival movement, with solid English Bond brickwork, gables with decorative trims, hardwood floorboards, pointed arch windows, transoms above the doors, and the original working fireplaces. It has been lovingly and appropriately updated and reconfigured, and now has an open plan kitchen and a butler’s pantry which has fabulously coordinated tiles, with white cabinetry, stainless steel benchtops and polished wooden floors. There is plenty of storage space, with a dresser built-in to the dining space and plenty of room for freestanding furniture. Sash windows look out upon the established garden, which is green and shady.

Polished hardwood floors, chandeliers and high ceilings

Polished hardwood floors, chandeliers and high ceilings.

The pointed windows in the open plan lounge/dining room are a reminder of the home’s past, and an example of the Gothic architecture touches that feature throughout this home. The ceilings are adorned with rosettes and chandelier lights and are high enough to ensure these features are in proportion to the room. Over the dark wood doors there are transom windows, which are authentic to the 1890s, and which let the airflow between rooms even when the doors are shut, circulating warm and cool air as needed.

There are three bedrooms, one of which is more notable than the other two. The enormous four-poster bed seems set upon a stage, ready for a princess or a queen. It is a bed on a grand scale, with a single divan or day bed to the side, and a reading nook upon the stairs, for selecting a book on your way up to bed. There are French doors leading to the surrounding verandah, which is enclosed with a wrought-iron balustrade painted white and green railings.

The bathroom is also on a grand scale, with a rolltop bath and beautiful feature tiles, and updated tapware that looks authentic to the era.

There is a large room which could serve as a hobby room or a guest bedroom which has stained glass windows, and the laundry has a floor-to-ceiling linen cupboard and plenty of room for your appliances. Another room might serve as a home office, while outside there is a three-car garage, extra sheds for storage, and a chook shed.

Bega Valley Realty respects the measures in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All inspections must be by private appointment and on a one-on-one basis with the agent. You will be asked to wash your hands upon entering the property as directed and respect social distancing.

To view this grand Victorian neo-Gothic home by private appointment, contact Bega Valley Realty Agent Robert Schadel on 0457 572 073 or view online.


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