Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quiz - Wardlow

It is the house Miss Phryne Fisher bought when she returned to Melbourne in the ABC1 tv show Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries.

It is a beautiful house in the ever so beautiful part of Melbourne, Parkville (PV). At the end of the street the house fronts is Royal Melbourne Hospital. It is one of the best preserved housing areas of Melbourne with barely a block of cheap sixties or seventies flats to be seen.

In the tv show there is a horse trough on the footpath, the parking signs are removed, a maple and magnolia adorn the front lawn, clearly in pots and of course a lack of modern cars. What a pity Miss Fisher's Hispano Suzia was not parked our front when I visited.

The house is called Wardlow and was built in the 1890s. For some generations until 1975 it belonged to the Boyes family. The formal front rooms have been kept in a well preserved condition and although the upstairs was modernised in the 1930s, it is still very good. Naturally at the rear of the downstairs it is modern and has practical facilities. It is heritage listed, not that that offers much protection, but it is very unlikely to ever be in danger because of its location.

Something interesting that I just found out while fact checking, it was once occupied by the disgraced and disgraceful blogger Andrew Landeryou, son of ex state Labor politician Bill Landeryou. Landeryou  junior was in financial difficulties for a period and it is suggested that he fled to Costa Rica for five years to avoid his debtors.

While Landeryou was living in Wardlow, the house was owed by a company owned by Solomon Lew, he of swimming pool notoriety, and in the news daily at the moment over family financial battles. Lew had invested money in a company owned by Landeryou and when the company failed, we can possibly assume Lew kicked Landeryou out of the house and sold it. I believe this was 2005. Landeryou did not attend the auction, but was however seen slowly walking his dog past while the auction was in progress. The house sold then for $1.84 million to an Australian born London lawyer couple.

Anyway, the house is just stunning! R just cleverly noticed that in the show the horse trough sits where the modern fire plug is and the tree on the nature strip was removed for the show. You can see signs of its disturbance.

An interesting etched and repeated pattern in the render on the ground floor between the windows.


  1. Do you also have interior shots from the ground floor? [Or is that the next post]

  2. Andrew, you invoked the evil one's name and I swear he would find a way to google his own name from hell.

    I love this show, it's like watching my family because they lived like this and dressed like that until the gambling grandfather did the lot.

  3. Gorgeous house, it's a shame there's not more around like it

  4. fenstar's got it in one, it is most certainly a gorgeous house - love the tower! and an interesting history it has too... definitely not set dressing from ACP? no.

  5. The house is lovely but I found the show duller than a Miss Marple mystery and I gave up viewing half way through the first episode.

  6. A fascinating house with a fscinating history. I love the etching on the walls. Do you have interior photos?

  7. Peter, I may be able to find some online that I can publish.

    Jah Teh, note I said 'it is suggested'. After eight years, I am not want a writ to arrive now. Gambling cheated you out of a fortune. Property speculation cheated me out of mine.

    Fen, I wouldn't mind rattling around inside it for a year or so.

    Smudgeon, the tower is great. I had to think about what ACP was.

    Victor, your anti Melbourne bias is showing. :-P

    River, I don't, but I may find some.

  8. Thanks for the inside info on Phryne's house Your Highriserness.

    we are enjoying the house-tour element of the PF shows. First it was Como, then Rippon Lea. We bet it would be Raheen next - and it was! They got round to Labassa, and upstairs at Her Majesty's (built 1929 I think). The www.Walking Melbourne gang must be enjoying it too.

  9. Dearest Ann, apparently I started the WM thread, and people were interested. So much of snooty architects.