Historic Daylesford ‘Downton Abbey-esque’ guesthouse seeking majestic new owners

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51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The guesthouse at 51 Stanbridge St is known as the Duchess of Duke St and its grounds as “the secret garden of Daylesford”.


When Andrew Matthews and Keith Cleur first visited Holyrood House, the property was showing its age with ivy-choked gardens and sheets hanging in place of curtains.

However, the pair saw potential behind the circa-1864 home’s outward appearance.

They bought the property, known as the Duchess of Duke Street, to restore its Victorian period features, including original fireplaces and three-room cellar.

“We heard this gorgeous property was looking pretty tired and was in need of a big renovation,” Mr Matthews said.

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“The drawing room has the most fantastic, handmade, over-the-top cornices, with horsehair backing.

“They’re just stunning and that was the one thing that sold us on the house.”

The couple worked with specialist period home architect Stephen Davis to return the house at 51 Stanbridge St, on the corner of Duke St, to its glory days.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The sprawling Daylesford property.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The property was the first home in Daylesford to obtain electricity and also served as the town’s first fine dining restaurant.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

A three-room cellar includes an original bread oven.


After a three-year renovation, which involved tradespeople living on-site for three months, the pair fulfilled their long-held dream of opening a private hotel.

Mr Matthews, a former chef and butler, and Mr Cleur, who worked in retail for decades, have run their “Downton Abbey-esque” guesthouse for five years, but are selling to spend more time with family and plan their next business venture.

While renovating Holyrood House they contacted previous residents’ families and researched the abode’s history, discovering it was the first Daylesford home to be connected to electricity.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

Holyrood House was built by Daylesford’s first town clerk Donald McLeod, who later became a Victorian MP.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

Landscaped gardens feature handmade brick paths, a golden elm, a copper beech tree, date palms and Cyprus hedging all dating back to the early 1900s.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The open fire places provide a cosy atmosphere in winter.


They also met former residents Jane and Bill Gregory, who established the town’s first fine dining restaurant at the home during the 1980s.

Another former owner told them Holyrood House was known as “the secret garden of Daylesford”, with its cast-iron fountain and 1900s-era fruit trees — ideal for making jams and preserves.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The house has been used for boarding guests frequently throughout its history.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The property has six spectacular bathrooms.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

One of the elegant bedrooms.


McQueen Real Estate director Kim McQueen said Holyrood House “has the most intact period features I’ve seen in Daylesford”.

“These offerings are quite rare and when they come up they are quite prized,” Ms McQueen said.

The six-bedroom, six-bathroom residence is for sale with a $3m-$3.2m asking price.

Expressions of interest for 51 Stanbridge St, Daylesford, close on May 19.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The property is located close to Lake Daylesford.


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51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The guesthouse at 51 Stanbridge St is known as the Duchess of Duke St and its grounds as “the secret garden of Daylesford”.


When Andrew Matthews and Keith Cleur first visited Holyrood House, the property was showing its age with ivy-choked gardens and sheets hanging in place of curtains.

However, the pair saw potential behind the circa-1864 home’s outward appearance.

They bought the property, known as the Duchess of Duke Street, to restore its Victorian period features, including original fireplaces and three-room cellar.

“We heard this gorgeous property was looking pretty tired and was in need of a big renovation,” Mr Matthews said.

RELATED: Tony De Marco and Theresa Albioli buy of Daylesford landmark

Off-the-grid escape sells rapidly, Daylesford vendors triple money as regions sizzle

Artist David Bromley’s family house painted as a potential luxury getaway

“The drawing room has the most fantastic, handmade, over-the-top cornices, with horsehair backing.

“They’re just stunning and that was the one thing that sold us on the house.”

The couple worked with specialist period home architect Stephen Davis to return the house at 51 Stanbridge St, on the corner of Duke St, to its glory days.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The sprawling Daylesford property.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The property was the first home in Daylesford to obtain electricity and also served as the town’s first fine dining restaurant.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

A three-room cellar includes an original bread oven.


After a three-year renovation, which involved tradespeople living on-site for three months, the pair fulfilled their long-held dream of opening a private hotel.

Mr Matthews, a former chef and butler, and Mr Cleur, who worked in retail for decades, have run their “Downton Abbey-esque” guesthouse for five years, but are selling to spend more time with family and plan their next business venture.

While renovating Holyrood House they contacted previous residents’ families and researched the abode’s history, discovering it was the first Daylesford home to be connected to electricity.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

Holyrood House was built by Daylesford’s first town clerk Donald McLeod, who later became a Victorian MP.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

Landscaped gardens feature handmade brick paths, a golden elm, a copper beech tree, date palms and Cyprus hedging all dating back to the early 1900s.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The open fire places provide a cosy atmosphere in winter.


They also met former residents Jane and Bill Gregory, who established the town’s first fine dining restaurant at the home during the 1980s.

Another former owner told them Holyrood House was known as “the secret garden of Daylesford”, with its cast-iron fountain and 1900s-era fruit trees — ideal for making jams and preserves.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The house has been used for boarding guests frequently throughout its history.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The property has six spectacular bathrooms.


51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

One of the elegant bedrooms.


McQueen Real Estate director Kim McQueen said Holyrood House “has the most intact period features I’ve seen in Daylesford”.

“These offerings are quite rare and when they come up they are quite prized,” Ms McQueen said.

The six-bedroom, six-bathroom residence is for sale with a $3m-$3.2m asking price.

Expressions of interest for 51 Stanbridge St, Daylesford, close on May 19.

51 STANBRIDGE ST, DAYLESFORD- for herald sun real estate

The property is located close to Lake Daylesford.


Sign up to the Herald Sun Weekly Real Estate Update. Click here to get the latest Victorian property market news delivered direct to your inbox.

MORE: Flowerdale home with stone-age look rocks hobbit-style ensuite, fold-down TV

Victorians brace for interest rate rises: Search every suburb

Victoria’s top 50 real estate agents

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