Unalla – home to Western Australia’s doyenne suffragette Bessie Rischbieth
“The beautiful Federation Queen Anne-styled Unalla – home to Western Australia’s doyenne suffragette Bessie Rischbieth – is on the market for only the second time in its 113-year history.
- Unalla, (pronounced “You-narla”) built in 1903 by dynamic South Australian entrepreneurs Bessie and Henry Wills Rischbieth, is the last remaining mansion-sized estate in the exclusive Perth suburb of Peppermint Grove.
- It is a striking home that exudes historical significance on so many levels.”
|Extensive fretwork and inbuilt cabinetry stay true to the Queen Anne style.|
“Unalla epitomises the federation style favoured by the architect of the day, Charles Oldham.
- Unalla’s matriarch was a leading figure in the drive to give WA women a voice.
- Noted as one of Australia’s most enigmatic campaigners for social reform, Bessie Rischbieth’s achievements included being a foundation member of the Child Protection Society in 1906, a founder of the WA Women’s Service Guild, a co-founder of the British Commonwealth League of Women in 1925 and, most notably, represented Australia at League of Nations in 1935.
- Unalla is a captivating residence and fitting home to such an important West Australian couple. Striking white verandah posts wrap around both storeys of the house and contrast well with the local red clay brick. Inside, the extensive fretwork and inbuilt cabinetry stay true to the Queen Anne style.”
|Unalla, 5 View Street, Peppermint Grove WA|
“Wide verandahs, sweeping windows, a grand staircase, high ceilings, huge rooms and a stylish ambience echo reflections of a classic era filled with grace and charm.
- Exquisite leadlight windows bring light and a kaleidoscope of colour into the home where examples of craftsman-built timber panelling and cabinetry still in perfect condition.
- The huge rooms are softened by decorative fretwork arches and beautiful fireplaces. Expansive grounds now include a full size tennis court, glass conservatory, fountains and manicured lawns.”
|The garden and Grounds of Unalla, Peppermint Grove, WA|
“Unalla’s grade one heritage listing is by virtue of architecture, as well as the cultural significance of its founders during WA’s gold boom and the impact they had on social reform.”
|A portrait of Bessie Rischbieth, circa 1930s.|
- New to the state in 1899 during one of WA’s most prosperous eras, the Rischbieths quickly rose to prominence within the purple circles of Perth’s movers and shakers. On the back of his successful business Henry Wills and Co trading stock, kangaroo, hide and tallow trading, Henry Rischbieth grabbed an opportunity to buy into the prestigious Peppermint Grove.
- The couple never had children to enjoy the sprawling grounds of Unalla.
- Mrs Rischbieth launched herself into a lifelong crusade to protect the human rights of women and children and often hosted events at Unalla, including the well documented Moonlit Fete in 1932 on behalf of the Australian Federation of Women Voters to raise funds for the League of Nations peacetime efforts.
- She was pivotal in obtaining the women’s vote in WA in 1899, helping convince the premier at the time, John Forrest, not to oppose the motion. WA was one of the first states to allow women to vote. Read more at domain.com
“Since the mid 1800’s the unique cachet of property in Peppermint Grove has never waned and, to this day, the suburb is one of the most prestigious, desirable and tightly held residential addresses in Australia.
- Prominent Perth family names and some superb original residences from those early days remain, although many of the major landholdings have been subdivided over the years.
- Behind iron gates, on the corner of View and Forrest streets, a tree-lined driveway reveals the rare jewel that is Unalla; – the largest remaining mansion in “the Grove”.
- Construction of this majestic two storey Federation Queen Anne style residence, which is now Category 1 Heritage Listed, commenced in 1903.
- Designed by Charles Oldham for his friend Henry Wills Rischbieth, it is now considered a major work of aesthetic significance and a defining example of the period.
- The residence has had only two owners, both of whom have meticulously maintained the house and gardens ensuring the splendor of Unalla has been untouched by the years.
- Wide, wide verandahs, many windows, a grand staircase, high ceilings, huge rooms and an indefinable sense of comfort and wellbeing come together in this remarkable home.”
“Largely original, it has a timeless grace and charm that has effortlessly translated into the 21st century. Of course, the bathrooms have been brought up to date and there are air conditioner units in the bedrooms.
- Also, an ultra-modern elevator has been thoughtfully placed in an unobtrusive location – but nothing has been allowed to disturb the overall serenity and grandeur of Unalla.
- Exquisite leadlight windows bring light and a kaleidoscope of color into the home where examples of craftsman-built timber paneling and cabinetry are still in perfect condition.
- The huge rooms are softened by decorative fretwork arches and beautiful fireplaces while luxurious window treatments and carpets are as new.”
“The vast grounds include a paved courtyard, full size tennis court, glass fern house, magnificent trees, palms, tranquil leafy walkways, fountains and lawns – the perfect setting for many a fete and garden party.
- Unalla has an aura of confidence and an exciting future to offer a new owner.
- Not only is it a doorway into the life of Perth’s prosperous early settlers, it is a cherished and greatly respected home that has made a seamless transition into the busy modern world.
- All this on land that can never be duplicated.
- A rare, rare treasure indeed.”
- 5 bedrooms
- 3 bathrooms
- Grand entry foyer
- Formal Lounge
- Formal Dining
- Drawing Room
- Modern kitchen
- Billiard Room with bar
- Glassed conservatory
- Grand staircase
- 2 Powder Rooms
- Basement cellar
- Wide verandahs
- Original stained glass windows
- High ceilings
- Wooden fireplaces
- Built in wooden cabinets
- Security alarm
- Air conditioning in bedrooms
- Internal modern lift
- Double garage
- Electric gates
- Horse shoe driveway
- Water features
- Tennis court with lights
- 98ft water well
- 45,460 litre water tank
- Lush established gardens
Agent: William Porteous : 0439 880 242
William Porteous Properties International