Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Bellevue House, Richmond

The land was purchased by Samuel Evans, a licensed victualler who operated the Wheatsheaf Inn at Risdon, for ₤135 in February 1839.  Evans subsequently constructed a two-storey stone house and sold it to Benjamin Berthon, a farmer with property at Cross Marsh, for ₤950 in April 1853.

Bellevue was put up for auction in March 1856 and the advert in The Hobarton Mercury described it as a ‘Noble, Substantial, and Well-built Stone Mansion … specially erected for the accommodation of a large family, unusually replete with domestic conveniences.  The rooms, twelve in number, are spacious, light and airy.  The yard and out-houses are most commodious, and the stables afford stallage for six horses.’
During the 1850s, Bellevue was rented by Major Charles Schaw, the police magistrate for Richmond, and also by his successor, Charles Octavius Eardley Wilmot.

Thomas Charles Ryly purchased the property in December 1870.  At that time Ryly was the publican at the Lennox Arms (which was located on the site of today’s Richmond Arms Hotel) and he had previously operated the Richmond Hotel.  Ryly was also a coach proprietor and mail contractor, operating the regular service between Richmond and Bellerive.  Ryly became quite wealthy and accumulated a significant amount of property in Richmond (including Oak Lodge, situated on the corner opposite Bellevue).

Ryly resided at Bellevue until his death, aged 77, in May 1908.  The property then passed to his widow, Mary Ryly, who stayed there until March 1936 when she died at the impressive age of 96 years.
Bellevue was auctioned in April 1950 when the notice in The Mercury described it as a ‘commodious and substantially built stone residence’ with large stone stables.  The notice continued ‘the whole of the fittings in the house are cedar and the whole place is in excellent order … This beautiful old home should commend itself to any person desiring a nice home in the country and yet within a half hour’s drive of the city.’

Bellevue was ultimately sold for ₤2,150. It remains a private residence to this day and appears to be in wonderful condition.

Main Information Source: Australian Heritage Database