The day started at the impressive front gate. The house rests on the top of a hill overlooking Sydney Harbour. The view is not what it once was with houses and tall units blocks being built all round. There are still glimpses but frankly with a house like this would you ever be looking at the water.

We were conveyed to the leafy, luxurious harbourside locale in the equally luxurious Peugeot 508 eHDI micro-hybrid but more about that next week.

Swifts is a mansion of European proportions being built mostly of sandstone. It’s had a chequered career but is now back in private hands as a family home. Only the ground floor rooms were on view as the first floor is occupied by the family. It was nice to see evidence of family occupation such as the TV and DVD player.

27 Million AUD was spent on the renovation so that says a lot about what condition it had been left in. There are some touches yet to be added such as some of the chandeliers and other such fittings. These all disappeared during the years of dereliction. The house was  left to the Catholic Church along with a huge sum for renovations but this money was taken by the church for use elsewhere and the house was allowed to crumble.

The pics loosely follow our tour though this magnificent home so please enjoy.

Swifts front gateSwifts front gateSwifts front doorSwifts front garden with hideous unit block acorss the fenceSwifts front gardenSwifts garden statueSwifts garden drivewaySwifts porte cochere light detailSwifts porte with front doorSwifts front gate from front doorSwifts 042Swifts porte cochere from side gardenSwifts 044Swifts side entrance and colannadeSwifts side lawn with diners for afternoon teatSwifts garden statueSwifts Australian flag flying on the roofSwifts Australian flag flying on the roofSwifts looking along the front from the porte cochereSwifts looking from the porte cochereSwifts looking from the porte cochereSwifts looking from the porte cochereswifts front entry hallswifts front dinging roomSwifts 056swifts front sitting roomSwifts 058Swifts 059swifts front dining roomSwifts 061swifts libraryswifts billiard roomSwifts 064swifts the first ever flush loo in Sydneyswifts the servants stairsswifts the electricity fuse boardSwifts 068Swifts 069Swifts 072swifts the stair hall off the entry hall.Swifts 076Swifts 077swifts the stair hall off the entry hall. Note the tapestriesswifts the stair hall off the entry hall. Note the painted detail in the dado railswifts the family tv roomSwifts 081Swifts 082Swifts Detail under the stairsSwifts 084Swifts 085Swifts 085Swifts 086Swifts The ballroomSwifts The terrace outside the ballroomSwiftsSwifts 090Swifts 091Swifts a glimpse of Sydney Harbour. Imagine what it used to be likeSwifts 093Swifts window detail. Note the venetian blindSwifts 095Swifts 097Swifts 098Swifts stairs from side gardenSwifts 100Swifts 101Swifts 102Swifts 103Swifts 104Swifts 105