Former PM Robert Menzies' country retreat on the market

The current house was built six years ago. Photo: Supplied
The current house was built six years ago. Photo: Supplied

A Mount Macedon property that was once the holiday retreat of former Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies has been listed for sale with a guide of $3.3 million to $3.6 million.

'Illira', located at 110 Douglas Road, is on the market with Dominic Romeo of Circa Heritage and Lifestyle.

Though the block is rich in history, the present-day house is only six years old - with two previous residences having been damaged by separate fires.

The property has views to the city. Photo: Supplied

The property has views to the city. Photo: Supplied

A 1941 report in Melbourne's TheArgus newspaper about the first fire said that the Menzies had used the property as a holiday home.

The late Sir Menzies was prime minister between 1939 and 1941 and again between 1949 and 1966.

Built in 1901 for Robert Moorhead, the original property housed several members of Melbourne's high society before passing to the Menzies, including Ivy Clarke, daughter of Sir William Clarke and Lady Janet Clarke of 'Cliveden', East Melbourne and 'Rupertswood', Sunbury.

The current residence consists of seven bedrooms, with a library with in-built bookshelves, conservatory, 2500 bottle cellar and open fireplace among the standout features.

The original stables have been converted into an entertaining area complete with pizza oven and waterfall.

There are views to the Melbourne CBD from the deck.

The kitchen includes a wood-fired cooker. Photo: Supplied

The kitchen includes a wood-fired cooker. Photo: Supplied

Mr Romeo said that the vendors, who are selling to relocate closer to family in Geelong had built the current house six years ago using some of the original stones from the first iteration of Illira.

He said that the terracing from the original gardens was still in place.

Originally established as plots of land for summer homes, Mount Macedon was long a popular holiday destination for Melburnians, though the present owners had decided to use Illara as their primary residence.

Based on current interest, the future owner "is probably going to be a person that wants to move there as a permanent home," Mr Romeo said, although there had been a number of second-residence purchases in Mount Macedon during the pandemic.

"The buyer will probably come from suburban Melbourne or Sydney or the Southern Highlands of NSW," Mr Romeo said.

The median house price in Mount Macedon is currently $1.36 million according to CoreLogic.

The former stables are now an entertaining area. Photo: Supplied

The former stables are now an entertaining area. Photo: Supplied

Although lockdowns in both states had restricted viewing of the property, he said that interest had been strong, though the property's price point meant that prospective buyers would want a physical inspection before purchasing.

"Sometimes you can sell sight unseen but at that sort of level people do want to have a look at it

"I think the appeal [for buyers] is the sheer size and quality of the build. The owners have spent a lot of money just building something of high quality and the way it sits on that hill looking towards Melbourne, it's just stunning. It's very private and quite set back [from the road]," he said.

This story Former PM Robert Menzies' country retreat on the market first appeared on The Courier.