ADDRESS 13 Warwick Farm Road Olinda Victoria 3788 Australia e: stay@acountryhouse.com p: +613 9755 1783
SOCIAL
Dalcrombie - the Mansion Next Door Fern forest near A Country House Mary Vale Seminary Building the Cottage 2 - at A Country House
Dalcrombie - the mansion next door.  Ralph worked in the gardens next door at “Dalcrombie”, 11 Warwick Farm Road and Lillian was the housekeeper for the same property. The historic building named Dalcrombie was owned by Mr. Earl Coles, of the Coles and Garrard, Optometrist firm. It is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture and was designed by prominent Australian Architect Mr Harry Norris (1887-1966). Mr Harry Norris also designed the family home Burnham Beeches for Mr Alfred Nicholas. Dalcrombie was built by J. Ezmond Dorney in 1938 – 1939, and was reported to once have had 150 feet of dove cotes, a monkey house and a seal enclosure.
a love of nature. While building the house and garage, Ralph and Lilian taught themselves about gardening and plants from the English gardening magazines they read, and the gardening courses they attended. They were very inspired by the fashionable English Gardens of the time. They planted the Conifers along the front fence line, left of the driveway. The Conifers were claimed only to grow to 12 feet in height, Mr. Sangster surprised  how they had grown way past that. They also planted an avenue of Japanese Maples with a Conifer at the end of each, on the high side of the garden, and a Blue Spruce outside the bathroom, at the end of the Cottage. The apple, orange and lemon trees in the orchard were also planted by the Sangsters.
the Mary Vale seminary.

Father Michael Kalka, a Gladstone

Park Parish Priest stayed with us in

2001, 30 years after spending a term

at Mary Vale in 1975. He explained

that thirty men could stay here at a

time, and that they enjoyed a cooked

breakfast every morning, silver

platters filled with bacon and eggs, a

cooked lunch and dinner was served

daily, and cakes were cooked for

morning and afternoon teas.

The building was hydronically

heated, and water was pumped up

from Perrins Creek. Father Kalka also

explained that The Chapel windows

were all stained glass, sadly only the

arched windows remain.

Following a decline in the number of priests being trained, the property then became a retirement home for Nuns of the Sisters of Charity.
Kevin Dennis -generosity. In 1958, Ralph Sangster sold the Cottage for 4,500 Pounds and moved back to Canterbury, he bought a house on a one acre block with a beautiful garden. The Cottage was later bought by Kevin Dennis, a Melbourne icon in the 60's, 70's and 80's, his face was a familiar sight on TV in Used Car commercials for his Holden Car Dealership in Balwyn. His car yard success enabled him to follow passion in Fine Foods, opening the fashionable Jacksons in Toorak and Gowings Restaurant in East Melbourne. As further evidence of his amazing generosity he also gave the property that became ‘A Country House’ to the Catholic Church.
Building the Cottage at A Country House
the gardeners cottage - 1950’s. Mr. Sangster designed and built the house, now known as the Gardeners Cottage, at A Country House. It took him 12 months to buy bricks, and a futher 5 years to finish building, as they could only save a little money at a time to buy the materials needed to build the house. The garage was built first, and Lillian and Ralph slept here when they came up for the weekends to continue construction of the house. In 1951 the house was at lock up stage and Mr. Sangster said that he and Lillian bought a mattress to sleep on the floor.
a country house - history. A delightful elderly gentleman named Mr. Ralph Sangster stayed with us on the 17th of November, 2007 after his daughter in law made contact with us. Mr Sangster was very generous with his time, we sat for an hour and reminisced about his life. He stayed for the weekend in the Cottage, the house that he built for his family in the late 1940's. Mr Ralph Cyril John Sangster was born in 1913 to English parents and grew up in Canterbury, Melbourne. As a young boy, and up to the age of 19, he and his parents enjoyed month long holidays over Christmas, and weekends in their holiday houses in Olinda and Kalorama. Often the family would finish work at Noon on Saturday to head off to the holiday house for the weekend. If it was late in the evening an adult would walk in front of the car carrying a  lantern so that the driver could see where they were going on the small dirt roads. The children spent their holidays picking berries and riding bicycles. Mr. Sangster later went on to be become an Engineer and married Lillian, a country girl from Gippsland, who loved horses. They lived in a maisonette (a small apartment) in Canterbury. Mr. Sangster said that he had great synchronicity with Lillian, they had one child, a son John, and that a spinster aunt lived with them all of their married life. In 1947 Mr. Sangster paid 900 Pounds, over 3 instalments to Mr. Charles Livingston Hall for a 5 acre potato farm on Government Road, now Warwick Farm Road.  Mr. Sangster said the land was covered in bracken and you could see all the way to Mt. Baw Baw.
The original gate at A Country House
national rhododendron gardens. A dark red flowering Rhododendron named the“ Unknown Warrior ” planted in the garden bed outside the front door of the Cottage was a wedding present from Mr. Sangsters Father. Both Ralph and Lilian worked in the National Rhododrendron Gardens helping with the plantings and landscaping design layout. They continued their work and support with the National Rhododrendron Gardens for the next 41 years. “Ralph was a Chemical Engineer with I.C.A.N.Z. and spent his retirement devoted to rhododendrons and music. In summer months he would travel up to the gardens from Canterbury to water by hand the young rhododendron plants. Lillian and Ralph travelled overseas and interstate extensively, including trips to the Himalayas. He became President of the International Rhododendron Society which required travel to the UK, NZ and the USA to collect ideas for the NRG. His vision included encouraging politicians to be interested in the NRG by inviting them to visit several of the great gardens in the hills. Some of these were Dr Cox’s Holly Farm, Rick Coles’ Mernda Heights, Ansell’s Pirianda Garden and Peter Damman’s Morningside. “ From the Rhododendron newsletter 2012 by Val Marshall
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SOCIAL
Dalcrombie - The Mansion Next Door Fern Forest - A Country House Mary Vale Seminary Building the Cottage 2
Dalcrombie - the mansion next door.  Ralph worked in the gardens next door at “Dalcrombie”, 11 Warwick Farm Road and Lillian was the housekeeper for the same property. The historic building named Dalcrombie was owned by Mr. Earl Coles, of the Coles and Garrard, Optometrist firm. It is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture and was designed by prominent Australian Architect Mr Harry Norris (1887-1966). Mr Harry Norris also designed the family home Burnham Beeches for Mr Alfred Nicholas. Dalcrombie was built by J. Ezmond Dorney in 1938 – 1939, and was reported to once have had 150 feet of dove cotes, a monkey house and a seal enclosure.
a love of nature. While building the house and garage, Ralph and Lilian taught themselves about gardening and plants from the English gardening magazines they read, and the gardening courses they attended. They were very inspired by the fashionable English Gardens of the time. They planted the Conifers along the front fence line, left of the driveway. The Conifers were claimed only to grow to 12 feet in height, Mr. Sangster surprised  how they had grown way past that. They also planted an avenue of Japanese Maples with a Conifer at the end of each, on the high side of the garden, and a Blue Spruce outside the bathroom, at the end of the Cottage. The apple, orange and lemon trees in the orchard were also planted by the Sangsters.
the Mary Vale seminary.

Father Michael Kalka, a Gladstone

Park Parish Priest stayed with us in

2001, 30 years after spending a term

at Mary Vale in 1975. He explained

that thirty men could stay here at a

time, and that they enjoyed a cooked

breakfast every morning, silver

platters filled with bacon and eggs, a

cooked lunch and dinner was served

daily, and cakes were cooked for

morning and afternoon teas.

The building was hydronically

heated, and water was pumped up

from Perrins Creek. Father Kalka also

explained that The Chapel windows

were all stained glass, sadly only the

arched windows remain.

Following a decline in the number of priests being trained, the property then became a retirement home for Nuns of the Sisters of Charity.
Kevin Dennis -generosity. In 1958, Ralph Sangster sold the Cottage for 4,500 Pounds and moved back to Canterbury, he bought a house on a one acre block with a beautiful garden. The Cottage was later bought by Kevin Dennis, a Melbourne icon in the 60's, 70's and 80's, his face was a familiar sight on TV in Used Car commercials for his Holden Car Dealership in Balwyn. His car yard success enabled him to follow passion in Fine Foods, opening the fashionable Jacksons in Toorak and Gowings Restaurant in East Melbourne. As further evidence of his amazing generosity he also gave the property that became ‘A Country House’ to the Catholic Church.
Building the Cottage - A Country House
the gardeners cottage - 1950’s. Mr. Sangster designed and built the house, now known as the Gardeners Cottage, at A Country House. It took him 12 months to buy bricks, and a futher 5 years to finish building, as they could only save a little money at a time to buy the materials needed to build the house. The garage was built first, and Lillian and Ralph slept here when they came up for the weekends to continue construction of the house. In 1951 the house was at lock up stage and Mr. Sangster said that he and Lillian bought a mattress to sleep on the floor.
a country house - history. A delightful elderly gentleman named Mr. Ralph Sangster stayed with us on the 17th of November, 2007 after his daughter in law made contact with us. Mr Sangster was very generous with his time, we sat for an hour and reminisced about his life. He stayed for the weekend in the Cottage, the house that he built for his family in the late 1940's. Mr Ralph Cyril John Sangster was born in 1913 to English parents and grew up in Canterbury, Melbourne. As a young boy, and up to the age of 19, he and his parents enjoyed month long holidays over Christmas, and weekends in their holiday houses in Olinda and Kalorama. Often the family would finish work at Noon on Saturday to head off to the holiday house for the weekend. If it was late in the evening an adult would walk in front of the car carrying a  lantern so that the driver could see where they were going on the small dirt roads. The children spent their holidays picking berries and riding bicycles. Mr. Sangster later went on to be become an Engineer and married Lillian, a country girl from Gippsland, who loved horses. They lived in a maisonette (a small apartment) in Canterbury. Mr. Sangster said that he had great synchronicity with Lillian, they had one child, a son John, and that a spinster aunt lived with them all of their married life. In 1947 Mr. Sangster paid 900 Pounds, over 3 instalments to Mr. Charles Livingston Hall for a 5 acre potato farm on Government Road, now Warwick Farm Road.  Mr. Sangster said the land was covered in bracken and you could see all the way to Mt. Baw Baw.
The original gate - A Country House
national rhododendron gardens. A dark red flowering Rhododendron named the“ Unknown Warrior ” planted in the garden bed outside the front door of the Cottage was a wedding present from Mr. Sangsters Father. Both Ralph and Lilian worked in the National Rhododrendron Gardens helping with the plantings and landscaping design layout. They continued their work and support with the National Rhododrendron Gardens for the next 41 years. “Ralph was a Chemical Engineer with I.C.A.N.Z. and spent his retirement devoted to rhododendrons and music. In summer months he would travel up to the gardens from Canterbury to water by hand the young rhododendron plants. Lillian and Ralph travelled overseas and interstate extensively, including trips to the Himalayas. He became President of the International Rhododendron Society which required travel to the UK, NZ and the USA to collect ideas for the NRG. His vision included encouraging politicians to be interested in the NRG by inviting them to visit several of the great gardens in the hills. Some of these were Dr Cox’s Holly Farm, Rick Coles’ Mernda Heights, Ansell’s Pirianda Garden and Peter Damman’s Morningside. “ From the Rhododendron newsletter 2012 by Val Marshall
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