Love a cuppa and a slice of the simple life? Dip into this sweet and stylish historic home in Australia’s “first notable town”.
If you enjoy an English Breakfast or Earl Grey, this historic Maldon home is sure to be your cup of tea.
Blending an eye-catching facade painted with tea and coffee brand Bushells’ logo and a ”warehouse vibe” interior, the property is for sale with a $1.05m-$1.15m price guide, via Jellis Craig’s Leah Panos.
Sellers Carmel Heron and Conrad Greer bought the 45-47 High St building five years ago, and spent about three and a half years restoring it as a two-bedroom house with a shopfront.
“We’d walk down Maldon’s main street, see people photographing the Bushells building and think, ‘wouldn’t that be a great project one day?’” Ms Heron recalled.
“So when it came on the market, we thought we’d have a look and make an offer.”
The couple’s first offer was rejected. But a year later, they finally bagged the property, which began its life in the 1860s as part of Warnock’s Beehive Store and since been used to sell a variety of goods including hardware, clothing, toys, groceries and food.
Roger Palmer ran a milk bar and general store from the building in the ’80s, becoming famous in the gold rush town for his “Maldon milk ice blocks”.
Mr Palmer, now 87, and wife Sam also lived upstairs with their daughter and worked around the clock, opening the store from 9am to 7.30pm and preparing the ice blocks, cakes and other food to sell until about 11pm each night.
“My wife and I had about two and a half days off together (in their nine years running the store),” he said. “But the shop was marvellous, and the people of Maldon are so friendly.
“I still live in Maldon, been here 46 years.”
Ms Heron and Mr Greer, who split their time between Melbourne and Maldon, were hands on in their “labour of love” reno, which they mostly completed on weekends.
They first restored the shop, which is now leased as a teddy bear store and joins office space and a cellar on the ground floor. Next, they moved on to the upstairs living quarters.
“We sandblasted the whole building, stripped the interior right back and gave it a nice facelift,” Mr Greer said. “There were some good surprises – when we peeled back some of the paint, it had the original Bushells sign on the inside.
“We also redid the backyard, did all the stonework and terracing.
“Where we need trades, we used them, but we did most of the work ourselves. My son is a carpenter, which helped.”
Exposed brickwork and Oregon beams, original hardwood floors and large Dormer windows now characterise the interior.
“You feel a world away from the main street, even though you look down it from one of the bedrooms,” Ms Heron said.
Her partner said they had loved sitting in the backyard “with a glass of wine looking up at Anzac Hill”.
“We have also enjoyed a lot of cups of Devonshire tea with homemade scone,” Mr Greer added.
Ms Panos expected the property to appeal mostly to Melbourne-based buyers seeking a weekender, with the rent return from the shop an added bonus. The store is leased until September 2022, with an option to extend for a further year.
Maldon was first settled in the 1840s and was classified as Australia’s first “notable town” by the National Trust in 1966.
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Originally published as Maldon: Bushells building conversion for sale as house, shop