Sold by tender (settlement due in February)
This landmark, two-storey house was built 123 years ago. Sixteen years ago, Colleen and Stephen were living with their young children Bridget, Lizzie and Max in St Marys Bay when the opportunity came up to buy this property, the original Warnock homestead, one of the admired concrete villas on Richmond Rd.
"We were lucky enough to buy the house from the Warnock family who built it," says Stephen. According to Stephen and Colleen's research, the house was built by Richard Warnock, who came with his parents and siblings from Belfast in 1862. "We have the original deed by which he gifted the land to his wife, Mary, in 1885," says Stephen.
The house was built in 1887 and Richard and Mary Warnock raised seven children here. Richard's younger brother Robert built the concrete house next door a couple of years later, while the Warnocks also built a single-storey concrete villa across the road at the intersection of Peel and Kingsley streets and Richmond Rd, in about 1912.
At one time the Warnocks' estate was about 8ha in size and included the family's soap and candle factory further down Richmond Rd. Stephen describes his family's home as a "distinguished house".
"Some old houses have a special vibe about them, and this is true of 350 Richmond Rd. It has been well-loved."
In total, there are four bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, with a further bathroom downstairs. The end of the upstairs hall culminates in a balcony that overlooks the garden and the Ponsonby ridge line.
Working in collaboration with architect Nicholas Stevens, Colleen and Stephen made some changes to improve the flow of the house, including the direction of the staircase so there's an inviting progression from the entry down to living areas on the lower level. From two bookshelf-lined living rooms and a dining room, French doors open on to the expansive grounds.
The garden, at almost 3000sq m, feels like you're in the countryside rather than the city. There's an abundance of fruit trees, as well as sculptural conifers and other species.