Bendigo’s Barnard Street is known for its impressive display of historic architecture, showcasing a period when houses made a bold statement thanks to their ornate grandeur.
Case in point is Newington, built sometime during the late 1860s by James Brierley. The English stonemason also built Bendigo's oldest building, Specimen Cottage, but it was in the stately Newington that he lived with his family during part of the 1870s and 80s. Now another family has the opportunity to call the property home, with Newington currently on the market.
A modern family naturally demands a modern lifestyle, and so expanding on the trappings of a late 19th century boom time abode, the vendor has fitted out the historic building with a vast array of state-of-the-art technology. With touch screens now sitting under the same roof as an elegant chandelier and two marble fireplaces, Newington could possibly be the smartest 160-year-old heritage home in Australia.
While Brierley constructed the original building with huge stone lintels and a triple layer of brickwork over solid stone foundations, more delicate features, such as cast-iron trim gracing the front facade, are believed by historians to be alterations made in the late 1890s by renowned architect William Beebe. The property then remained virtually untouched until the 1980s, when it was treated to a restoration and renovation, a spacious kitchen/family area added to the rear of the building. Recent no-expense spared improvements, such as high-end finishes and voice-controlled smart home automation technology, has brought the property well into the 21st century.
Newington now boasts the best of both worlds. The 3.6 metre ceilings, detailed cornices, double tier 15-candle crystal chandelier, marble fireplaces and leadlight windows remain, retaining all the elegance and splendour that followed the gold rush.
The high ceilings and triple-brick walls means the building maintains a fairly constant temperature all year. Innovative systems have also been added however, in line with modern creature comforts. These include programmable hydronic floor and skirting board heating, together with European hydronic panels and towel rails.
The house has also been fitted with professional grade, voice-controlled smart home automation, which can be controlled from the touch-screen tablets, Google Home or a smartphone/computer. This technology covers CCTV security, climate monitoring, automated smart lighting and the electric sliding gate. High speed ADSL/NBN internet with wireless-mesh WiFi is also present throughout the property, including outside.
It’s the perfect blend of old world charm with modern conveniences.