Paul Bangay’s formidable former Macedon Ranges property has been sold for $8 million

More than doubling its value since it last went under the hammer.
Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain

“Woodend was less than an hour from my Melbourne office, and the size of the school land was manageable. That was as far as my rational response to St Ambrose went — for I’d fallen in love with the schoolhouse. It had been tucked away for so long behind its walls of blackberries, like some sleeping beauty, that I wanted to wake it up, bring it to life.”

This extract, taken from Paul Bangay’s book ‘The Enchanted Garden’, puts perfectly into words just how passionate the landscape designer was about his former home and estate, St Ambrose, which overlooks Mount Macedon in country Victoria. 
Paul parted with the 2.69-acre property back in 2004, selling the estate to some former clients of his, who insisted on adding a clause to their contract that he return annually to tend to the gardens. Naturally, he more than willingly obliged.
Paul Bangay St Ambrose estate gardens
Within the formal gardens is a swimming pools, ponds, an orchard and ‘contemplation garden’. (Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
From there, he moved into nearby Stonefields, a sprawling 50-acre property halfway between Kyneton and Daylesford. The designer spent more than a decade transforming the grounds, even opening them to the public to enjoy via guided walks, before selling the beloved property in January this year to fellow landscape architect Jamie Durie for an estimated $11 million, with the sale later failing to settle and Bangay retaining ownership of the property. 
Paul Bangay St Ambrose Estate garden
The main residence was a former c1900 schoolhouse, which has over the years been lovingly converted. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
Paul Bangay St Ambrose Estate entrance driveway
The property is advertised as “One of Victoria’s finest estates with an illustrious history dating back to circa 1888.” (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
And now, St Ambrose has recently been listed on the market and subsequently sold for a whopping $8million. Though it had been through two owners since Paul handed over the keys, the carefully curated gardens are more established now than ever, and the original c1900 schoolhouse has since been thoughtfully updated, no doubt contributing to the value of the estate.

Tour Paul Bangay’s former St Ambrose Estate

paul Bangay St Ambrose Estate Garden sunken fire pit
In the main garden, a sunken conversation fire pit provides the perfect spot for outdoor entertaining no matter the season. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
Paul Bangay St Ambrose estate reflection pool
There are plenty of alfresco spaces throughout the sprawling gardens that are designed for entertaining. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
With a price guide of between $8 million and $8.8 million, the property encompasses the schoolhouse, a self-contained guest house, and expansive gardens designed by the maestro himself. There are four bedrooms, a hidden study with built-in cherry wood bookcases, and impressive raked cathedral ceilings throughout.
Paul Bangay St Ambrose Estate bedroom
Stunning raked cathedral ceilings are a statement throughout the main residence. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
Paul Bangay St Ambrose estate hallway
The main residence has been updated to capture views of the garden in almost every room. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)

Outside, seemingly perfectly symmetrical hedges and garden beds form a series of garden rooms, concealing a sunken stone conversation fire pit, a swimming pool, ponds, an orchard, and a ‘contemplation garden’. There is also 240,000L water tank storage and an ornamental Manchurian pear-lined driveway.

paul Bangay St Ambrose Estate garden rooms
Manicured hedges create structure throughout the formal gardens. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)
The former owner held the title for 14 years, and as such a unique property, it’s likely the new one will do the same. It last sold in 2009 for $3,270,000 so this new sale price has more than doubled its value. Find out more about the sale, here.
Paul Bangay St Ambrose Estate sale price location Woodend
The country estate, situated right at the foothills of the majestic Macedon Ranges, is within walking distance to the local town of Woodend. (Credit: Photo: Kay & Burton via Domain)

This article originally appeared on Homes To Love.

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