Historic Greycliffe House, one of the few remaining examples of Gothic architecture in the Sydney area, stands in Nielsen Park, Vaucluse. Part of the Sydney Harbour National Park the area is a popular sanctuary in the city for people and native species.
John Reeve, son-in-law to the explorer William Charles Wentworth, built Greycliffe House as a family residence. Completed in 1851, it was handed over to the public estate in 1911. Since then it featured in Sydney’s history as the Lady Edeline Baby Hospital and Tresillian Mothercraft Home. Today it is the office of the Sydney Harbour South area of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The face of the historic gardens surrounding this heritage icon has changed many times through the property’s long history. A range of plantings and garden maintenance resulted in the mixture of both native and exotic species. However, many of the features and plantings from the Tresillian 1930s have been preserved through the years.
Matron Kaibel who worked at the Tresillian Home was a keen gardener. She laid stones, designed and planted the garden herself over her 18 years there. Today, the restored or reconstructed well, the terrace gardens, pathways and the parterre gardens are still amongst the most interesting features.
The roof of the current building was replaced after the building was almost destroyed by fire in 1897.
I believe the garden area is also available for wedding receptions.
Most of this information was taken from
Featured in Australiana Challenges group, Aug 2010.