Monday, June 7, 2010

Divine Intervention

It's been noted here previously that MOTH is a long-lapsed Presbyterian. He may have been a better church member if he & his brother hadn't skived off from attending Blackburn Presbyterian Church's Sunday School most weeks & gone hunting for snakes down at the Blackburn Lake. The church was founded on the tenets of temperance (no card playing, no dancing), piety & thriftiness, although much to MOTH's relief, a wee dram on high days was allowed. And not being able to shake his early religious roots completely, he did front up to Scot's Church in Collins Street Melbourne to whizz the first Mrs. MOTH down the aisle!

However, the old Presbyterians knew a thing or two about building church manses, as this original Gothic Revival building from the late 1880's shows. John Knox House sits within The Golden Mile in the salubrious beachside suburb of Brighton in Melbourne. It was built not long after the John Knox Presbyterian Church was completed next door & named after the Founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

A major renovation project has seen its rare Gothic originality restored & a new glass pavilion constructed & linked to the Manse via an indoor-outdoor terrace. Rooms in the original building are of grand proportions, & here the dining room has been opened up & enlarged.

An extensive alfresco entertaining area complete with outdoor kitchen overlooks the solar & gas-heated pool.

A large kitchen with luxurious fittings & finishes adjoins spacious family living & dining areas. A full Butler's pantry adjacent to the kitchen leads out to a heirloom kitchen garden.

The large ground-floor master bedroom suite leads from the family room. The Carrara marble en-suite has a free-standing bath with picture window which looks across the pool (Image 1). A bespoke fitted dressing room adjoins the bedroom.

The climate controlled 3,000 bottle custom-designed cellar is reached by an original staircase.

The glass windows of the new pavilion are angled to frame the original Manse building & adjacent Church Spire. A 50,000 litre underground water tank, extensive grey water system, full C-Bus automation, underfloor hydronic heating & fully-landscaped gardens with more than 100 roses complete this unique family residence. Should I get MOTH to go into a trance & channel John Knox to see what he thinks of the Manse now??!!
Images: Kay and Burton



  1. Praise be and open another bottle from that cellar!

  2. oh my gosh! That is simply lovely, cool, and yet INSANE! :) hahaha Can they be all that and more?

    Happy Sunday!

  3. Millie, I live not too far down the road from this beauty and have watched its renovation slowly but surely unfold as I drive past from time to time. I have always wondered what it looked like inside & now you have enlightened me. Pretty spiffy, and I bet MOTH would like it too. Lee :)

  4. Drooling, Millie. I'm not sure that the Pressies would fully approve of such luxury though! I remember a wedding at the sparse Knox Chapel here in Sydney one winter and it was positively arctic (everyone was so cold that once they arrived at the reception they skolled glass after glass of champagne cocktails in an effort to warm up and by the time the wedding party arrived, most of the guests were three sheets to the wind).

    Sorry, got off on a tangent....this house is absolutely divine and I'm hoping that MOTH can feel that it is in fact divine intervention that has led you to this article and obviously it would be blasphemous to ignore its design guidance. Just hoping he can get past the wine cellar and appreciate the other elements. Meredy xo.

  5. Gee wish I was friends with the owner, great entertaining/party house.

    Meet you in the cellar...cheers!

  6. This is the most unbelieveable thing I've ever seen. Millie, where do you find this stuff? Amazing. I've missed visiting with you. Been a little nutty with work. Glad you are well.

  7. What a little beauty! Do you think MOTH could make TBFH have floor to ceiling glass wall so you can sit in the bath and contemplate the weather? I guess he has his eyes on the wine cellar but could rejig it to be a beer cellar. Do you cellar beer?

    Jennifer XX

  8. very very good renovation!!!

  9. Great transformation... that place is amzing Millie!
    Your blog is looking gorgeous, by the way!
    :) Flick

  10. wow, that is an amazing mix of old and new.... I love this mix in buildings, as the age of the older building always seems to ground the newer extensions and make it feel like they too have been around for a long time.....


  11. My goodness what a beautiful manse! Fabulous transformation!

  12. Wow, I may be about to be converted! That is so great.

  13. Oh, Mill's,
    That is perfection to me.....gorgeous Victorian building with 'all mod cons'.
    I could just see Minister MOTH living there (I have this image in my head of MOTH in a dog collar !!) in the late 1800's dishing out Presbyterian advice and abstaining from the amber nectar....... NOT !!!! hehe XXXX

  14. Divine Intervention alright! My God! Christ! That is quite the renovation..Rachaelxx

  15. I guess this is what you can get if you got the dough.

  16. This is BEAUTIFUL what afab reno
    Kind Regards

  17. lovely post... hope you are well... been thinking of you this week.. xx pam

  18. There are no words. NOWORDS!
    Thanks Millie! Dreams for the evening? Sorted.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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