ON THE MARKET: Helen and John Jackson are selling Booval House after spending more than $1 million on restoration.
ON THE MARKET: Helen and John Jackson are selling Booval House after spending more than $1 million on restoration. Emma Clarke

PHOTOS: Georgian mansion goes under the auction hammer

UPDATE:  A GEORGIAN mansion an Ipswich suburb was named after has gone under the hammer.

Booval House went to auction yesterday after a $1 million makeover restored the 1800s farmstead and former Nun Convent to its former glory.

Dr John and Helen Jackson have spent a good portion of the last 20 years meticulously converting the property's sulky shed, chapel, cellar, workrooms and summerhouse into a replica of the home's original features.

While it's not yet clear if the property sold at auction, it's magnitude and grandeur have already made history in Ipswich.

Agents Ray White expect there to be able to announce a result next week.

INITIAL: A GEORGIAN mansion an Ipswich suburb was named after is about to make history all over again.

Booval House is on the market after a $1 million makeover restored the 1800s farmstead and former Nun Convent to its former glory.

Dr John and Helen Jackson have spent a good portion of the last 20 years meticulously converting the property's sulky shed, chapel, cellar, workrooms and summerhouse into a replica of the home's original features.

Almost two decades to the day since they bought the property on Cothill Rd, Mr and Mrs Jackson are ready to see it passed onto new owners.

"We were looking for a larger property with a lot of garden because my wife loves gardening and we love heritage, we love old buildings so this was a combination of those two things," Dr Jackson said.

"We liked this house because the heritage was hidden. The gardens were basically untouched."

When they bought the home in 1997, it was totally cladded in aluminium, louvres and metal roller doors, a product of a 1990s renovation.

"People didn't realise it was built in the 1850, it just looked like a big two-story building that had the verandas enclosed. It was a challenge, we had to strip it back and restore it," Dr Jackson said.

"We've had another big run in the last three years, the final phase and now it's finished. We have completed the conservation of Booval House. Hopefully it's been saved for generations."

Mr and Mrs Jackson have been cautious of the home's rich history and legacy to Ipswich throughout the restoration process.

"A dream was that one of our children would stay here and the work we did was such that we haven't cut any corners. Everything has been done from the foundations up and it would have lasted the kids and the grandkids and the great grandkids but they've moved away and we had to realise. In a way it's our legacy to Ipswich. The history is very important. A lot of heritage people are very grateful for that," Dr Jackson said.

"One of the hardest things in life is planning ahead and we're maturing and hence it's just logical to plan to move on. To do it at this stage it's a good time to hand it over."

Mrs Jackson said the property had potential to be a home as well as business with the capacity to host weddings and large functions.

"It's our home, we've done it the way we wanted to but also tried to make it the way it used to be," she said.

"It could be utilised a lot more, we had grand visions of opening it up for morning teas but we couldn't do that. As long as they appreciate the work we've put into it and keep it looking good. Hopefully it will be used in a way that still allows the public to see it."

History of Booval House

 

Booval House, date unknown
Booval House, date unknown

 

Booval house was built between 1857 and 1859 as the farm homestead for the Faircloth family. George Faircloth was an Ipswich banker and Booval was his 310 acre model farm.

Booval House is the oldest two-storey home in Ipswich and the third oldest remaining home in Ipswich. It is a rare Queensland example of Colonial Georgian architecture. Governor George Bowen visited the house on the way to Ipswich in December 1859.

In addition to cattle, the farm grew grain crops, citrus fruit and cotton.

The property passed through two other families and in 1931 became a Convent. In 1969, an Annex, or East Wing, was constructed for more accommodation and chapel. The property returned to private ownership in 1997.

The current owners moved in and commenced the long process of restoration. The first few years majored on the main house with re-stumping and re-flooring each ground floor room, total new electrical work, total repaint, cleaning out the original cellar and generally returning the house to its pristine original state.

The annex ground floor was converted to a function area and hosted many weddings and events. The grounds were professionally period landscaped. In addition, new period workrooms, garage wing, sulky shed and summerhouse were built. This conversation work resulted in the awarding of the National Trust of Queensland's highest award - the John Herbert Memorial Award for Excellence in Conservation. Later, an orchid house, fernery, reconstruction of an original brick wall (to the original stable location) and additions to the sulky shed were added.

Over the past few years the original house has been completely re-roofed, and the Annex remodelled including removing all asbestos, open plan living top floor, veranda and amenities added, completely repainted and rewired. The original Booval House is once again free-standing.

Everything has been done to ensure the property has been conserved to the highest standards, and its history retained.

Features:

Grand formal living areas which include a drawing room, dining room, library, music room, five bedrooms (three with ensuite), cellar and six fireplaces, chapel and huge modern kitchen.

The landscaped grounds include two greenhouses, a summer-house, orchid house, 1850's underground water tank and nine above-ground tanks, eight under cover vehicle spaces, workroom in garage wing and circular driveway with fountain.



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