Dymesbury Nature Park and Gardens
Massive price drop from $2.85 million to only $2.1 million – here’s your chance!
To have any appreciation for this property, we have to go back to its historical start. Frank Rawlings Dymes was born in Madras, India and arrived in Albany in 1883. He was the first solicitor and barrister in Albany.
He married the widow, Ellen Belinda Nicholson (Hassell) in 1906. She was the only daughter and heiress of John Hassell of Kendenup (a large homestead still standing). Frank was an avid sailor, loved horses and experimented in breeding pasture grasses from England. He was also an avid gardener. Rumour has it that Frank was considered a drunken scoundrel by his wife’s family and through his marriage was in control of Ellen’s wealth – but that’s just one side of the story… (Info E. Prideaux)
It is noteworthy to remember that Frank was the founder/inaugural Commodore of the Princess Royal Sailing Club formed in 1909. He donated a trophy to the club in the 2nd/3rd season, which is still competed for today called the Dymes Cup. (Info P. Terry)
Frank also gifted the old taxi rank on Stirling Terrace to the community to be a shelter for cabmen in the horse and buggy days between 1906 and 1913. A women’s restroom was added in 1926. This old taxi rank is beautifully preserved on the corner of Stirling and York Street. The roof slates are currently being fixed by the Historical Society. See the old photo taken around August 8th 1910 under “floorplans” on this site. Apparently this was also the only time snow has been recorded in Albany. (Info R. Daniel).
Ellen died in 1913 and apparently Frank spent his entire time developing his beloved Dymesbury Park and Lodge, where he was driven by his coachman, Mr Thompson dressed in high boots, white jodhpurs, long coat and tall hat. Frank was always impeccably dressed and his coach was drawn by Punch and Judy – two beautiful white horses.
The old heritage listed stables are still intact at Dymesbury Park (house 2) and have been sensitively converted by the current owners as an extra home on the property.
A magnificent lane of 89 magnolia trees was planted by Frank and exists on the property to this day – they’re now at least 105 years old, healthy and truly spectacular. Their blooms are bigger than dinner plates (the last one I picked was around 30 cm in diameter) and their beautiful fragrance in bloom – throughout spring but all through the warmer months too – a never to be forgotten, once in a lifetime experience.
This serene and beautiful estate is undeniably one of Albany’s most sought after residences and thus, an extremely rare opportunity. The historical 9.02 ha/22 acre property is perfectly placed with the Willyung Creek running over the weir into the pool and on to the King River. Willyung Creek is fresh water and from the weir down it is tidal. This property is only about 8 minutes ‘drive from town. Note that the river running through this land actually belongs to this property, which is highly unusual. You can catch your own breakfast – be it trout, bream or mulloway or enjoy some fresh yabbies in season. If it’s in your stretch of the river, it belongs to you – no trespassers allowed.
One of my favourite stories is a honeymoon couple visiting the BnB that insisted on catching their own breakfast from the front lawn. They barbecued their fresh fish under the magnificent trees in one of the numerous gazebos on the property. Surely, it can’t get better than this!
The creek is fresh water and flows all year round which makes it perfect for fishing, swimming, kayaking or little boats. There’s an endless supply of fresh water so it’s easy to keep the gardens in pristine condition.
When the current owners bought the property 40 years ago the pool area was grass banks. It took the owners seven years to complete the terracing with help from a friend. They also created the gardens and lawns.
The beautiful grassed terraces, antique bridges and wonderful old trees surrounding the river create a picture perfect atmosphere so captivating that it has long been a preferred location for weddings – dating back decades to when the current family first bought the property.
There are four separate homes on the estate – the main residence/homestead or “Dymesbury House” – being a large, added-on 5 bedroom home which is also operated as a very popular B&B. The impressive home features a massive entertainment area off the main entrance – formerly a pool which has been filled in – and now boasts a huge informal entertainment area with a sauna, spa, bar, big screen TV and its own separate bathroom and toilet.
To the left beyond the French doors is the formal dining room, a beautiful room with jarrah floors. This room leads through to the formal lounge, while a third entry takes you through to the well equipped kitchen.
The large formal lounge is one of the focal points of the stylish home and truly reflects the era. Your eyes are forced to look upwards as a spectacular ornate ceiling dome steals your attention, hovering above the central part of the room. Lovely crystal glass windows provide shadowy light across the jarrah floors and furniture.
This room benefits from being next to the conservatory or breakfast room – comprised completely of French glass windows and doors and overlooking the magnificent gardens with views over the river, weir and bridge. It leads out to an extensive patio at the front of the home. Three of the five bedrooms (including the bridal room) open out directly to this patio and magnificent surroundings.
The formal lounge has a second entry which leads through to the corridor where four of the bedrooms and another two bathrooms are set. The corridor is adorned in picture frames which explain the colourful history of the estate and detail the life of Frank Dymes, which proves extremely popular with visitors staying at the B&B.
The fourth bedroom is at the end of this corridor, slightly smaller than the others but boasts a small private courtyard overlooking the gardens. There are two separate bathrooms and a powder room along the corridor for guests.
The corridor features a second entrance from a slider which leads to the kitchen – an immaculate room with ample cupboard and bench space to cater for guests and the family. It boasts a walk in pantry, a large built in oven and hob, dishwasher, and separate scullery.
Off the kitchen, and adjoining the large entertainment area is the office and second informal lounge. This leads to a lovely sunny outdoor area with a BBQ, outdoor set and large orchard. The fifth bedroom can be accessed from this area. The room is queen sized and has plenty of built in robes – it is currently used as the main bedroom by the owners as it frees up the other side of the house to be run as a B&B, and nestled amongst the apple orchard it feels very tranquil and private. A large laundry room is at the back of this extension.
There are three additional homes located further to the back of this estate and out of sight of the homestead. They are ideal rentals or could be used for extended family. Maybe one home could even be utilised by a groundskeeper.
Home 1 is a 3×1 and the newest of the homes – earning $270 per week. Home 2 is the historically well-known, converted stables and is a 2×1 earning $200 per week. Home 3 is a 3×1 and earns $270 per week. We believe that Frank actually lived in this home near the stables.
Explaining the magnificence of this property is impossible. It needs to be seen and sensed to be appreciated. Hopefully the photos and video will give you a small indication of the astonishing beauty.
Other than the homestead and 3 other homes, there’s a variety of big and small sheds plus garages that should satisfy the need of any buyer. The bird and plant life are amazing and there are a few tame rescue animals on the property including kangaroos and peacocks plus a few bird aviaries. There is of course an abundance of natural wildlife including possums, bandicoots and lizards – an absolute delight for overseas visitors staying at the B&B.
We now get to the interesting part – the special zoning. Other than enjoying this property what could you possibly do with it? The answers are limited purely by your imagination.
It is formally zoned as caravan and camping. In short meaning that you can have boarding/guest/lodging, a camp ground, caravan park, caretakers dwelling, chalet/cottage units, holiday accommodation, home occupation, home office, park homes and of course private recreation.
This is just a drop in the ocean of possibilities. Let me start by explaining what they did here over the last few decades:
• Wedding functions are very popular. You could put up a marquee, cater for the guests – or bring caterers in.
• Music festivals/shows – there’s the most delightful “music dome’” already set up under one of the terraces facing the river. It literally is a hollowed out, concrete and powered dome – in readiness for a band. To add further atmosphere, large outdoor lights shine serenely on the gushing river. They used to have live classical music nights, Scottish bagpipers performing and many others. What a setting –goosebumps!
• Live theatre shows, including operas
• Charity functions – with a charge at the gate
• Car boot sales and antique shows on the lawns
Now imagine just a handful of other possibilities (with council permission of course):
• Something similar to Boston Brewery appeals greatly to me. You could wander through the gardens and brewery and enjoy a delightful meal at a restaurant overlooking the river.
• Customers could potentially order a delightful picnic basket in advance and find a favourite spot under the trees with friends and family to enjoy it.
• Rent the three other homes out or refresh them for more income – or build more chalets on the property for short stay letting or other needs.
• Extended families could share the magic. Maybe mom and dad could live in the main house and their adult children and families – or grandma and grandpa – could utilise the other homes on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. Close but far enough for everyone’s privacy. It’s perfect for intergenerational living.
• Consider a special retreat for relaxation and pampering – spa, sauna, beauty treatments, yoga etc. OR
• You can keep the nature park all to yourself and lavish in the privacy and incredible beauty.
Not too many people own their own Nature Park and river – and even less with historical importance. Frank Dymes did an amazing job – whether he used his wife’s money to do it or not – that is still debatable! Looking at his handiwork, I have to judge him as an artistic man with exceptional vision.
All the owners that came after him truly appreciated his creations and added worth to the original plan. Words used to describe it to me were rich river loam – historical, romantic, inspirational and ultimately rewarding – which I understood. Hopefully the next owners will feel the same – and build on this proud Albany tradition with insight and delight. Please watch the live video to get a better idea of the scope and beauty of this property.
Note: It is PRIVATE PROPERTY so please don’t drive in and wander around – the owners feel strongly – and deserve, their privacy. Viewings are through the exclusive agent only so if you’re a qualified buyer, please contact Jess on 0410 631 335 for more details and to book an extended private tour. If you’re the right kind of buyer, then enchantment is guaranteed…