An historic property on the edge of the CBD has been the love of Marian Moffett’s life for the past 10 years. Moffatt and her husband David bought the Victorian Gothic house from its previous owner in 2008. It was not in the best state of repair at the time, she says.
“The upstairs gutter between the two gables had rotted through the ceiling,” Ms Moffett says.
“It was inside the upstairs bedroom. But we saw it as an opportunity to move a wall...”
Now known as Ardenlee, the house is an example of Ballarat’s Victorian heritage, built in the early 1860s as the vicarage for St Paul’s church in Bakery Hill. It remained so until the construction of a new building next door to the church in the 1950s, whereupon it was sold to the Catholic Sisters of Mercy.
The intervening years were not kind, with unsympathetic renovations and odd room changes. Now restored, with fireplaces revealed and a makeshift chapel removed, Ardenlee is for sale.
“It’s been a labour of love to see this back to what it should have been, when it was built,” Ms Moffett says.
Once covered with wood-panelling, painted apricot, mission-brown and grey and carpeted with dark nylon, the building is now a reminder of the boom period of the city, when confidence was high and the city’s churches were powerful.
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