Barnard Grove, Kew

Barnard Grove, Kew

Built in 1847, Turinville is a majestic and enchanting property with a rich history. It was one of the first houses built in Kew, having been constructed before the gold rush when Melbourne was just 12 years old. This genteel residence is also of note having been designed by John Gill - one of Melbourne most prominent early architects.

Turinville was built in the Colonial style as a country retreat for its owners JW Cowell (a wealthy hotelier) and his wife Catherine. The original house included a drawing room, dining room, breakfast room, three bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, servants' room, pantry, and storeroom with two rooms adjoining.

This historic residence is constructed of handmade bricks that are cement rendered. The walls are 60cm thick. All of the original rooms have French doors opening on to the verandah. There are also two cellars with servants' bells and an original water well. Today, the water well has a clever alternative use as a fire pit.

The property boasts five impressive fireplaces – one of which has an elaborately carved white marble mantel brought out from Italy for Government house. During shipment to Australia, the marble developed a crack that rendered it unsuitable for vice-regal use and this is how it came to be installed at Turinville instead!

In the 1870s the property was acquired by Archibald Smart, an early Mayor of Kew. Under his ownership the house underwent extensive renovations with the addition of the cast iron verandah and stucco ornamentation that were representative of the architectural trends at the time.

Today, Turinville presents as a beautifully grand and refined five bedroom home complete with a wonderfully integrated contemporary addition. In keeping with the scale of the original house, the new addition features four-metre high ceilings with dramatic over-sized floor to ceiling French doors. It incorporates a modern open plan living, dining, kitchen area that delivers enviable family living. The kitchen includes a marble island bench, splash-back window that highlights the courtyard greenery beyond, and a beautifully appointed butler's pantry. A master bedroom and bathroom have also been added upstairs. The current owners have further improved this resplendent property with some inspired decorating choices, giving the home a sophisticated feel that embraces and enhances its heritage.

It is definitely worth taking some time to wander through Turinville's magnificent gardens. You will be delighted by the sweeping lawns and many significant old trees. These include a Moreton Bay Fig, River Red Gums, Irish Strawberry, Golden Ash, Feijoa and two large Peppercorns - all thriving with birdlife. Photographs of the front garden taken around 1900 depict an informal romantic meadow of flowering perennials. The front garden was later formalized into areas of lawn and specimen trees to reflect changing fashions.

This property is memorable for many reasons. There is much to relish with the magnificent original period detail throughout, sweeping verandahs, abundance of light filled French doors, and the delightful gardens.

Turinville is currently for sale, any inquiries about this unique property can be directed to Nick West on 0418 559 494.