The 1880s Bellevue Hill hilltop estate, Rona, joins the lengthening list of trophy homes for sale, but stands out as the stunning inland Sydney offering this spring.
The now-modernised sandstone home sits on the Ginaghulla Road dress circle.
It dates back to the days when Edward Knox, of the then prominent CSR sugar family, commissioned the trophy home when, fearful of insanitary harbourfront conditions, the pioneer plutocracy took to the ridges.
This year there's plenty for sale on the harbourfront including Altona and Wingadal at Point Piper, Elizabeth Bay's Boomerang and Elaine at Double Bay, but few inland.
There's none better the very private 5,700 sq m estate with its Victorian Rustic Gothic Revival style home that has been home for the past 12 years to the property developer Terry Agnew and his wife, Kyril.
With 180 degree harbour views, the modernised five bedroom sandstone mansion comes with a separate accommodation in its former stables.
Gone is the gothic gloom, as the home is now crowned by a glass ceiling in its grand hall.
It light and luxury, with all the mod cons including air-conditioning and hydronic heated stone floors while retaining appealing heritage elegance with Kauri ceilings and doors and joinery. The gardens have sweeping lawns, alfresco terraces, pool and north-south tennis court.
Bart Doff at Laing & Simmons Double Bay has the spring offering inconjunction with Ben Collier at McGrath Estate Agents.
"This is truly one of Sydney’s finest residential estates, a trophy residence of unparalleled prestige, size and significance," Bart Doff said.
It was 1989 when the Knox family sold Rona to the Tempo cleaning company businessman John Schaeffer who sold it in 2004 to the Agnew's in what then ranked as Sydney's fourth-highest residential property sale.
Schaefer took the opportunity to add former stables and the tennis court block reversing the 1949 subdivision of the original 3.2 hectare estate.
It's last listing saw a who's who of Sydneysiders who inspected the home including Packer casino chief Rob Rankin and the recruitment headhunter Julia Ross.
To watch the video of the listing, click here.
This article was first published in the Sunday Telegraph.