By staying with us you are helping to conserve
a significant local and State Heritage property.
Without the funds generated from the guest house and function activities it
would not be possible to maintain the house and gardens as you see them today.
The land on which Silvermere is built was part of the first developments to
occur in the Blue Mountains. The driveway through the property is part of
Cox’s Road, constructed by convicts in 1815 and the first Australian road
beyond the Sydney Plain. It is likely that the explorers, Blaxland Wentworth
and Lawson, walked over the site of Silvermere during their epic crossing
of the Blue Mountains in 1813.
Silvermere and the Chauffeur’s Cottage were constructed in
1923 as a cool climate retreat for one of the three Young brothers who owned
Fairymead Sugar Mill in Bundaburg Queensland. They were also responsible for
the cultivation of ten percent of the Australian sugar crop in 1890.
The Young family and their descendents used Silvermere as a retirement and
holiday home, for special events and as a refuge during the war years until
the 1950’s when it was sold to the heiress of the inventor of the ‘Ford pill’.
In 1962 Silvermere was purchased for the Blue Mountains Grammar School and
used as classrooms and a boarding facility until 1981. In 1983, it was purchased
by two grandsons of the Young family, one of whom was Canon Broughton Knox
then recently retired as Dean of Moore College at the University of Sydney.
During those years Silvermere was used as a retreat for church groups.
Following the passing of the two brothers, we purchased Silvermere in 1998
and spent two years restoring the house and grounds before opening as a guesthouse
in April 2000. Further extensive landscaping inclusive of the northern terrace,
the southern pond area and unobtrusive car parking facilities on the western
boundary allow us to cater for small functions and weddings. These landscaping
elements were completed in 2006.
The original 1923 house was designed by BJ Waterhouse, a
well known architect who also designed May Gibb’s Nutcote at Mosman and several
other buildings which are now listed as important heritage items.
Our 1998 to 2000 restorations involved removing the old boarding school fabric,
restoring the original verandahs and fireplaces and exposing the original
Queensland kauri or hoop pine wood work and jarrah floors. The kitchen you
see today is much the same as when it was renovated in 1950 using new plans
developed by the still practising B. J. Waterhouse.