Take a look at the The Rectory’s history
The current St Johns Rectory was completed within the southern portion of the Clergy Reserve c1846. The Rectory is believed to have been designed by noted church architect Edmund Blacket and is built of locally quarried Muree sandstone.
Repairs, alterations and remodelling have been undertaken over the years. Shortly after the construction of the Rectory, three Norfolk pines were planted in the surrounding grounds. One was destroyed by lightning but the remaining two stand as towering district landmarks. Each Christmas since the late 1960’s, the tallest pine has been illuminated with lights and attracts many onlookers from around the region. This tradition continues each year with our tree being lit up on the first Friday of December each year.
The Rectory was purchased by Helena and Victor Groves in August 2012. It was in need of repairs, maintenance and restoration
When Helena and Victor Groves purchased the property in August 2012, they were aware it was in need of repairs, maintenance and restoration and accepted the challenge to restore the Rectory to it’s former elegance.
One of the first issues that needed attention was the sandstone pathway leading from the back gate to the kitchen. All the sandstone bricks were lifted, and re-laid, row by row to maintain the original integrity of the pathway. The path to the original clothesline was taken up, and the concrete drainage area was replaced with matching sandstone blocks to allow wheelchair access to the disabled toilet.
All ceilings were repaired, faulty wiring removed, lights replaced, and ceilings painted. The cupboard was totally removed to make way for picture railings and wallpaper. The task of preparing the rooms for transformation is challenging. As some rooms suffered from rising damp, drainage on the south side was improved to prevent water from collecting under the property. Now it was time to remove all the wallpaper. The removal of wallpaper often revealed 2 or 3 layers of paper and was a time consuming process.
All carpet throughout the house was taken up, and revealed a beautiful Australian hardwood floor. This was subsequently polished to give a beautiful finish. The fireplace was opened up, and a new hearth laid. The lounge room fireplace mantelpiece was replaced, the original firebox removed, the fireplace repaired, and a new hearth laid.
The next room to receive some TLC was the Snug, originally the Dining Room. This took the greatest effort as the walls required a great deal of repair work. Once the wallpaper was removed, it was revealed that the walls had sustained some movement in the past. The oil heater was removed and repairs to the fireplace and replacing of the hearth and mantelpiece took place. This fireplace required excessive work as it had been enlarged to accommodate the oil heater.
Now to the kitchen. The aluminium windows and sliding door was removed, to extend the kitchen by 1500mm. Cedar windows and double doors replaced the old aluminium doors and windows. New lighting, fire retardant walls and smoke alarms were installed.
Externally, all the vertical cladding was removed and replaced with hardwood boards to match the existing garage and to keep it in sympathy to the era.
It was now time for the re-pointing of the stone wall. An area of great concern was the weathering of the sandstone at the rear of the property, especially at the back door. A stonemason was engaged and so began the sandstone repair work.
There was extensive damage to the bearers and joists under the bathroom floor and extensive repairs were necessary. to complete the bathroom, an elegant claw foot bath was installed.