History

Ardenlee was built at the end of the Gold Rush era around 1861. It was built as a vicars residence for the Church of England situated on nearby Humphray St.

In the early 1960's the property was purchased by the Sisters Of Mercy. The vision of the sisters was to use the property to house and train student teachers. A very "sixties" school room and dormitories was squeezed into the land behind the grand house. Here the nuns taught and trained Student teachers for the local catholic schools. This was the origin of what is today Aquinas College.

When the college out grew the buildings on the property it was then sold to a local entrepreneur in 1999. It was used for several attempted ventures including a computer training centre, a travel agents school, and other ventures.

Marian spotted Patrician House, as it was then named in 2008. It had been empty for over a year. She saw the potential in the tired old house and it was purchased in February of that year.
The house was stripped back to a bare shell and the serious work of restoration began.

Restoration in the truest sense of the word is not possible if you wish to enjoy the conveniences that we all expect in modern living. Originally, for example there was no lighting - only candles and oil lamps. Later, gas lighting was installed using lead pipes. This was superseded by primitive, cotton wrapped electrical wiring. Some time later more modern wiring was installed and then it was re-wired again.

Marian has skilfully incorporated the best decorative features of the era in terms of beautiful period wall papers, ornate ceiling roses, classic lighting and wide Victorian cornices with their distinctive deep gutters and detailed paintwork.