One of Wahroonga’s oldest homes, built for the pioneer Balcombe family and later home to a rugby dynasty is set for a new chapter.
The Briars at 14 Woonona Ave is set to undergo an extensive renovation by its current owners who paid $2.825 million at the end of last year.
The renovation is allowing one lucky person or family the opportunity to rent the iconic for the next six to 12 months, while the owners await approval from the State Heritage Office.
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“This is an opportunity to experience the luxury and heritage of one of Wahroonga’s most iconic homes,” Architectural Projects architect Jennifer Hill who is leading the project said.
It will be available through Ray White Turramurra for $1400 per week.
The famous rugby union family — the Phipps, called the property home during the mid 20th Century.
Jim and Peter Phipps, sons of owner Joseph John Flower Phipps, played rugby at the local Gordon club in the 1950s. Both of them went on to have a successful career with the Wallabies. Their uncle Walter James Flower Phipps represented Australia in 1928 and great grandson Nick Phipps (pictured) is a current Wallaby.
“There is an anecdote that the former tennis court at The Briars was the playground of Wallabies, because of how many there were,” Ms Hill said.
The 2124sqm property also has a connection to Napoleon Bonaparte as it is based on the design of the original Briars residence on St Helena, an island off the coast of Africa.
The original Briars was where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled in 1815 when Balcombe’s grandfather William was in residence there.
When Bonaparte was suspected of enjoying his exile too much with the Balcombes, William was ordered to return to England and soon after came to NSW as the first colonial treasurer.
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