Ye olde Queanbeyan homestead actually built in the late 1990s

Ye olde Queanbeyan homestead actually built in the late 1990s

The ‘parlour’ of the home at 19 Thorpe Avenue, Queanbeyan, evokes images of a family sitting quietly together in 1897, listening to Strauss on a brand new gramophone.

But the reality for this astonishing home is that the first family who lived here were most likely into U2 or The Spice Girls.

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Yes, that is a bullnose verandah with decorative balustrades. Yes, that is an octagonal feature window. And yes, that is a clawfoot bath in the bathroom. But while the house looks like a lovingly restored Victorian homestead, it was actually built by a family in the late 1990s.

They bought the block and wanted to build a home that paid tribute to the history of Thorpe Avenue, an extension of Crawford Street, one of Queanbeyan’s first streets. Crawford Street is home to a plethora of heritage-listed buildings including the two-storey Benedict House (a former convent, built in 1886). It’s also the side street of Queanbeyan Public School (built in 1864). The Victorian replica at 19 Thorpe Avenue fits in beautifully.

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“What you get with this property is a home that feels like a piece of Queanbeyan’s history, but actually has infrastructure that’s like new,” sales agent Stephen Thompson from LJ Hooker Manuka said.

While the commitment to the Victorian era is mostly followed through in the interior of the house - ornate fireplaces and archways, plantation shutters and polished floorboards - touches of the 1990s are visible (terracotta floor tiles anyone?)

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What lies behind the house on the long thin 1695 square metre block is impossible to pick from the street and rarely ever seen for sale in Queanbeyan (or Canberra, for that matter). It’s actual river frontage; a backyard that literally ends only to give way to the slow-flowing Queanbeyan River.

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The home comes with its own wooden staircase/dock - a mobile one - that the new owners can submerge into the water to swim or, as the current owners do, launch a canoe from. The block also features a full-size clay tennis court, a standalone retreat/home office building and outdoor spaces perfect for sipping tea, reading, and hosting friends.

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Mr Thompson said people who’d been inspecting the property were “as eclectic as the home itself”.

“We’ve had families with young children, couples with older children and older couples,” he said.

The replica homestead is expected to sell for circa $1.7 million.

19 Thorpe Avenue will be auctioned at 10am on Saturday 5 February 2022.

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