Chelsea Park, Burradoo, NSW, Australia

23 January 2014 . Tags: ,

Chelsea Park, located in Burradoo, is one of only two Art Deco mansions in the Southern Highlands of NSW Highlands. It currently operates as a bed and breakfast.




The house was designed by Ethel Noreen Garry and Built by a Sydney builder for 5000 pounds. The house was not finished until 1946 due to rationing of bricks just after the Second World War.  Said to be a creative person, with many ideas ahead of her time, Garry attended Sydney Technical College at Ultimo in 1923. She studied china painting and pottery. Her pottery and hand painted furniture were sold in Australia’s leading department store, David Jones.  She opened the first interior decorating shop in Bowral with her sister and then went on to teach pottery courses at Goulburn Tafe.


Garry built five houses in Bowral and one in Goulburn, including  Hawthorne Lodge in Osborne Road , The Midhope on Moss Vale Road, a house on Kangaloon Road and a house that was on the site of the units across the road from Corbett Gardens.  She also operated a number of guest houses including the Bondi Pacific Private Hotel, with 100 rooms and a staff of thirty.  Apparently all went well with the business until the Japanese mini submarines shelled Sydney Harbour. People fled the coast and within a week her guest house was empty. Undeterred, she moved to the Highlands and opened Shrublands (now Mount Valdimir) at Sutton Forest. In 1942, Shrublands was filled with 60 English women and their children who had fled Hong Kong before the Japanese invasion.  Garry then moved to Laurel Park in Osborne Road which she operated as a guest house. Always enterprising, she subdivided the land and started building Chelsea Park and Norfolk Lodge (now known as The Midhope) on land on Moss Vale Road.

The current owners were able to obtain a copy of Ethel’s autobiography. This source in addition  to information provided by one of Garry’s daughters has allowed them to gain an understanding of what the house and it contents would have originally looked like.  The original sweeping staircase and the steel framed windows remain and it has been decorated to suit the era and style of the original  house.

Accommodation includes three delightfully restored and decorated rooms:

  • the Mayfair with award-winning 1930s furniture
  • the Shibumi room with an elegant Japanese theme
  • the spacious, light-filled Chelsea room with lush soft furnishings and a dramatic Hollywood-style dressing table.

Further information and images can be viewed at their website.  Click here.


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