This property can be inspected by contacting Sonia Walkom.
No 74 Church St, The Hill, Newcastle is a solid, stylish three storey-building, part of Chapman's Terrace (circa `1884?) on the flat, western section of The Hill, about a block below historic Christ Church Cathedral.
The terrace has up to 4 bedrooms, bathroom & powder room, large lounge room and large main bedroom and the rear of the house, its northern aspect, has a grand scenic view over
Newcastle Harbour up to Kooragang Island and towards the harbour basin. At night, it looks spectacular like a fairyland of lights in the inky blackness.
An unexpected pleasing feature of the house to many viewers is the three-room basement leading out to a secluded garden and back entry.The walls of this basement are an all too rare feature - solid sandstone block walls. A nearby terrace has converted a similar, stone block walled basement into an impressive entertainment/ living/rumpus room space.
While at this stage the exact age of the house is unknown, it is likely to be about 129 years old, although the title land deed (1838) goes back even further to the days of growth of the settlement after the end of the convict era.
It is included in the sweeping aerial panorama lithograph created by artist A.Scott Board in 1889 before the landmark architect Frederick Menkens designed terrace -Lance Villa-of 1890 (it is three doors away to the west) was erected.
The title deed for the property goes back to 1838 under colonial Governor Sir George Gipps when he began selling Crown land blocks in what became the inner city of The Hill,
after the A.A.Company kick-started development nearby in 1830.
The famous, progressive pioneer Alexander Walker Scott bought the site in the then fledgling town of Newcastle in 1838, possibly to live there or as a prime investment.
Scott is better known today for his extensive farm and vineyard on Ash Island, once visited by explorer Ludwig Leichhardt in 1842.
Scott's two daughters Helena and Harriett have now also become equally famous for their outstanding drawings of flora and fauna on Ash Island.
A.W.Scott is also remembered for starting large-scale industry at Stockton, across the water, where his industries included a copper works, a firebrick industry and a textile factory.
For about the last 80 years and three generations, the property No. 74 church St, The Hill has been in only one family, the Scanlons.
Sales of it and adjacent properties of Chapman's Terrace rarely come on the market and are eagerly sought after. Of the four original Chapman terraces, the first No. 70 and No 76 were both bought by the legendary Australian Margaret Olley, who was equally renowned as an astute businesswoman. Such was her love of this particular old style terrace group. No. 74 is the second largest of the group and at one stage was also eagerly sought by Margaret Olley as well. All four terraces were once owned by the Scanlon family and at least one of them, next door to No. 74, was sold by them to Margaret Olley, who then proceeded to buy two more Church St area terraces within a block radius lot her original purchases.
Over the years many interesting residents, including renters, have lived in No 74 Church St, The Hill. They include a possible Mayor of Newcastle and it is believed Commander Frank Gardner, long regarded as the 'farther of bowls' in Newcastle, lived here in 1901.
His colourful background included running supplies to the Confederate South during the American Civil War before settling in Newcastle to become an insurance agent. He is famous today for paying for an erection of Australia's first soldier memorial statue outside the old Post Office in Hunter St as a private gift in 1916.
He is also credited with paying for the building of the Church St brick wall for nearby Christ Church Cathedral.
Part of the surprising history of the house was a medical paper delivered some years ago which revealed the role of the house in 1896 in an unusual Australian medical experiment. The house was then occupied by an early electrician and electrical pioneer Ed Filmer.
Employed by Royal Newcastle Hospital, Filmer was credited with being the first to successfully pioneer X-Ray photography in Australia, testing out the idea first in his own terrace home of using "Roentgen trays' (X-Rays) to precisely locate broken bones and embedded objects within bodies.
His role as Australia's X-ray founder was formally acknowledged in a series of three stamps in the 1980s. Two others also shared the credit for using X-rays but all were within five months AFTER Filmer's innovative experiments. Possibly this was because Filmer never published a scientific paper on the subject.
According to a relative, the innovative "Battery Bill" Filmer was later appointed the wireless operator to Sir Douglas Mawson's expedition to the South Pole, but his then employer (the NSW Railways Department) wouldn't let him go. Sydney's Powerhouse Museum has now preserved one of Filmer's surviving cathode ...
This property was listed on 29 Nov 2013 and has been viewed 62 times by 62 visitors.