The crumbling remains of Eurama Castle Estate still stand on the edge of the highway at Faulconbridge, but the ruins give no indication of the illustrious past of this parcel of land.
It is steeped in history, having hosted the likes of the Father of Federation, Sir Henry Parkes, three-time NSW premier, Sir James Martin, and NSW lieutenant-general and long-serving chief justice, Sir Alfred Stephen.
The vast estate, with its extensive views of the city, is now for sale.
Almost one million square metres of land will be auctioned on August 15, including the ruins of Eurama, once a beautiful 19th century home visited by the rich and powerful, two swimming pools, a gully connecting to an ornamental lake and a large machinery shed.
“This is totally a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Jonathan Crisp, of Chapman Real Estate at Springwood. “This was once a grand old home with tower. It has two pools hand-cut into sandstone and is on 935,000 square metres.”
Mr Crisp said he has issued more than 50 contracts to would-be buyers and one had already made an offer which was being considered.
He has had calls from around the world about the estate — “someone even rang me the other day wanting me to sell a castle in Croatia”, he said.
Potential buyers have diverse plans for the estate Eurama, Greek for expansive view. These include subdividing into smaller lots for personal residences, preserving the ruins, restoring the old home or even developing it as a tourist destination.
Eurama was once part of an even larger estate where powerful and influential political figures gathered in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The “castle” was built by a Sydney solicitor called Andrew McCulloch, who later sold it to another solicitor, George Evans.
After Mr Evans died, his daughter, Emily, bought it with her husband, James MacLaurin. His brother, Henry, visited Eurama the day before he sailed to the First World War, where he was killed on April 27, 1915 at Gallipoli, the most senior officer to die there.
During the war, the famous Cooee March passed by Eurama. This march of volunteers for the Great War began in the country and numbers increased as the men moved through each town. Emily, hearing their shoes were worn out, bought every marcher a new pair. They gave her three cheers as they marched past her home.
Eurama changed hands many times during the 20th century, eventually being owned by a Sydney real estate agent who restored it, only to see it burn down in the 1968 bushfires.
Stage one of the estate was sold as acreages and houses are now being built on the 18 lots. Stage two consists of 15 separate titles but will be auctioned as a single unit on August 15. The ruins of Eurama can be seen from the highway, just east of Todarello’s fruit barn.