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Historic home with links to former PM Ben Chifley to go under the hammer

Media release - 22nd January, 2013

Raine & Horne Bathurst continues commitment to Australian history

  • Raine & Horne Bathurst will auction historic Abercrombie Hall on Thursday, 21 February, 2013 at 7pm
  • Abercrombie Hall was used as the Abercrombie Shire Council Chambers, when former Prime Minister Ben Chifley was President of the Shire
  • The three to four bedroom residence is built on a 1,000 square metre block and will appeal to tree-changers and history buffs

Leading real estate group Raine & Horne has been appointed to sell yet another of Bathurst’s historic homes, Abercrombie Hall, following hot on the heels of the successful sale of Rainham, the ancestral home of the Raine family, in December 2012.

Once the council chambers for the Abercrombie Shire, Abercrombie Hall includes Australia’s 16th Prime Minister, Ben Chifley, among its most famous councillors, and has been listed for auction by Raine & Horne Bathurst on 21 February, 2013.Abercrombie Hall, Rockley

“This stylish heritage building represents a unique opportunity for a discerning buyer with an ambition to own a piece of Australian political history,” said Angus Raine, CEO of Raine & Horne.

Nestled in the idyllically peaceful village of Rockley, just half an hour south of Bathurst, NSW, Abercrombie Hall is a fine example of modern amenities blended with early 20th century architecture.

With a flexible floor plan of three to four spacious bedrooms on 1,000 square metres, Abercrombie Hall boasts a Tuscan-style courtyard with commanding views over the village of Rockley, which is listed with the National Trust of Australia, and the surrounding rural landscape.

“The stately residence also showcases a generous formal and informal living room complete with kauri floorboards and 12-foot high ceilings,” said Natalie Moase, Property Consultant for Raine & Horne Bathurst.

“In addition, the home contains some stunning 19th century features such as grand windows, which perfectly capture architect Edmond Gell’s Anglican and Catholic Churches, standing opposite Abercrombie Hall.”

Built in 1912, Abercrombie Hall is also associated with Ben Chifley, who officiated as the President of Abercrombie Shire Council, between 1933 and 1947.

Between 1945 and 1949, Mr Chifley was also Prime Minister of Australia.

Bathurst-born, Mr Chifley is considered by many to be one of Australia’s most admired political leaders, implementing numerous reforms including the establishment of Australian citizenship, federal funding to the States for public housing construction and the introduction of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Also during Mr Chifley’s watch, work started on the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme, Qantas was nationalised and the Australian National University established.

“At Abercrombie Hall, Mr Chifley represented the aspirations of his electorate, performed his duties as Council President and hosted many galas and celebrations,” said Ms Moase.

To acknowledge Mr Chifley’s service at Abercrombie Hall, one of the leadlight doors bears a dedication to his famous “Light on the Hill” speech to an ALP congregation in 1949.

In light of Abercrombie Hall’s historical significance, Ms Moase is anticipating a high level of interest in the auction.

“This historic home has all the ‘mod cons’ of a regular home and is likely to capture the imagination of a buyer interested in preserving a special piece of Australian history.

“There are few towns in New South Wales which encapsulate the charm and dignity of rural life as Rockley does, and it is hardly surprising that both the village and Abercrombie Hall are listed on the National Trust of Australia’s Heritage Register,” added Ms Moase.

Scheduled for auction at the Raine & Horne Bathurst Auction Room on 21 February 2013 at 7pm, Abercrombie Hall is available for inspection by appointment only by contacting Natalie Moase on 0404 066 929.

For more information about the auction of Abercrombie Hall, contact Raine & Horne Bathurst on (02) 6331 6555.

For further media information contact:

Angus Raine, CEO Raine & Horne on 0409 920 697

Andrew Harrington, National Marketing & Communications Co-ordinator on (02) 9258 5400