Real Estate

Heritage house with link to Ned Kelly for sale in central Victoria

Written by The ReReport

A property with a rich history involving heroics from a young Ned Kelly has hit the market in central Victoria.

These days, 26 Henry St in Avenel is a four-bedroom residence that’s home to local history buff Margaret Lindsay-Field.

But it began its life in the 1850s as a store, becoming the thriving Royal Mail Hotel soon after in 1857, according to the Victorian Heritage Database.

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The hotel earned the nickname “The Coach House” for being a stopover for Cobb & Co coaches carrying mail and passengers from Melbourne to Beechworth and Sydney.

“The strategic location of the hotel ensured its popularity, and the hotel was further buoyed by the increase in coach activity between Melbourne and the gold town of Beechworth,” the database said.

In the 1860s, a young Ned Kelly rescued the seven-year-old son of Royal Mail owners Esau and Margaret Shelton when he fell into the flooded waters of nearby Hughes Creek.

The Sheltons rewarded Kelly with a green silk sash, which the bushranger would later wear beneath his armour during his famous last stand at Glenrowan in 1880.

The bushranger was hanged at the Old Melbourne Gaol later that year.

Mr Shelton ran the hotel until his death in 1899 and it closed in 1903.

The property went on to become a boarding house, residence and bed and breakfast, according to heritage documents that describe it as historically and architecturally significant to Victoria.

A family friend of Ms Lindsay-Field, Dean Gardiner, said the brick property was “pretty unliveable” when she bought it about eight years ago.

“I could fit my head through some of the holes in the walls,” he said.

The pair carried out a thorough restoration that involved installing a new bathroom, new wiring and plumbing, and painting the walls, but retained the home’s rare Georgian architecture and handcrafted period interior.

The property is being sold privately with a $580,000 asking price.

Janelle Puppa Real Estate selling agent Bonnie Gaehl expected the house’s history, scope for further restoration and size to attract buyers.

It occupies almost 2000sq m of land and offers 12 rooms, including four living areas with fireplaces and an underground cellar.

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