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Annandale’s neo-gothic mansion The Abbey was already regarded as arguably the most recognisable house in the Inner West, but it became one of the most expensive on Friday when it sold for $12.5 million.
The sale price fell short of the record-setting hopes of $15 million, and ends a year-long sales campaign by NAB director Ann Sherry, AO, and her husband Michael Hogan.
The Abbey was modelled on a Scottish manor complete with copper-clad turret and gargoyles.Credit:
BlackDiamondz principal Monika Tu, who listed it with her husband Jad Khattar, said an offer of more than a week ago went unconditional on Friday after the buyers from China received approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Tu said the buyers are art collectors who are very passionate about the home’s heritage as a backdrop to their own collection.
Sherry and Hogan are moving to Queensland, where they recently purchased another historic house, and where Sherry was recently appointed chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology and chair of Queensland Airports.
Ann Sherry and Michael Hogan undertook a major, four-year restoration of The Abbey after they bought it in 2009.Credit:Wolter Peeters
At the time the couple listed their landmark home in October last year the Inner West high stood at $15 million, set a few months previously by a waterfront house in Balmain East purchased by Angus White, of the Fairfax newspaper family.
Despite the $15 million asking price remaining unchanged last year, the property boom saw the Inner West record reset twice at ever higher levels, most notably at $25 million for a waterfront estate in Abbotsford purchased in late 2021 by BigCommerce co-founder Eddie Machaalani.
The Annandale high was also set last year when a double terrace sold for $8.75 million.
Not that The Abbey didn’t draw more than its fair share of interest during its sale campaign, with the likes of Russell Crowe rumoured to have shown interest.
The neo-gothic mansion was built in 1881 by Sydney Lord Mayor John Young.Credit:
The landmark mansion last traded in a near derelict state at a packed auction in 2009 for $4.86 million.
“It was in a pretty frightening condition in certain parts of the place. It was derelict. Floors disintegrating, smoke damage, walls near collapse,” Hogan told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2015 soon after a four-year restoration was completed.
The couple’s restoration included converting it back into a single residence and original tessellated tiles, stained-glass windows, fireplace, original tiles and wallpaper were all repaired.
The Abbey dates back to 1881 when it was built by Sydney Lord Mayor and architect John Young, and remains the most impressive of a row of four “witches houses” thanks to its distinctive copper-clad tower, intricate stonework and gargoyles.
The nine-bedroom residence includes a converted chapel with stained-glass windows.Credit:
Young, whose commissions included St John’s College at Sydney University and a large portion of St Mary’s Cathedral, never lived in The Abbey, instead residing at Kentville next door, and The Abbey was leased until the 1920s when it was converted into flats.
In 1959, surgeon Geoffrey Davis purchased it for £4500, at which point the mansion’s infamy for ghosts and hidden tunnels became the stuff of legend, fuelled by the rumoured wild parties thanks to Dr Davis’s membership in Sydney’s Bohemian movement The Push.
Thirteen years after Sherry and Hogan purchased it, it has been sold in immaculate condition, with a vast floor plan that includes nine bedrooms, six bathrooms, yoga room, cellar, home office, music room in a converted chapel and a swimming pool on 1300 square metres.
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