Annesely House was built in 1878 in Portland, the oldest town in Victoria, Australia. Originally a doctor’s surgery and private residence, this mansion has been meticulously restored to its former grandeur. It now provides some of the finest accommodation on the Great Ocean Rd.
We are located in Portland on the Great Ocean Rd, half-way between Melbourne and Adelaide. The coastal town of Portland was established by the Hentys in 1834.
Portland has survived and thrived through federation, two world wars and economic hardship. Like the town itself, Annesley House has witnessed changes in Victoria across three centuries and is still standing to offer you that special stay in Portland.
When we started restoring Annesley House, our guiding principle was simply to ‘let Annesley tell its own story.’ We wanted to combine the rich history of the mansion and the town itself & yet provide you with the finest Portland accommodation on offer. Our greatest wish continues to be that the story of Annesley House continues through the memories of your stay in Portland!
The story so far…
Portland is a picturesque coastal town located on the Great Ocean Rd approximately halfway between Melbourne & Adelaide. It abounds in natural attractions such as pristine beaches, national parks, historical buildings and world class fishing. So far Portland has managed to avoid the “tourist theme park” feel that many coastal towns in Australia have succumbed to. Portland accommodation like the town itself is diverse & offers the holiday maker & corporate guest a large choice. We believe for that truly special stay in Portland the serviced apartments of Annesley House have no equal!
Annesley was built in 1878 as the residence and surgery of Dr Brewer. Below is an extract from the “Portland Guardian” Sept 27, 1879.
“ TOWN IMPROVENTS…we cannot omit noticing [the accommodation] of Dr Brewer. It is one of the finest that a private gentleman in a country district need desire”.
Dr Brewer was both “Medical Officer” in charge of the local hospital & Mayor. He was born in an era when wealth was used to impress and Annesley House was constructed for this purpose. We are sure our three-bedroom serviced apartment that bears his name would suitably impress Dr Brewer.
Dr Brewer had only one child, a daughter Rosalie who died without producing an heir. The rooms in which she lived have been remodelled into a one bedroom serviced apartment “Rosalie’s retreat”. It is not difficult to imagine a young lady sitting in Rosalie’s retreat glancing out at St Stephen’s church or to sea searching for a suitor who alas never came.
In the late 1800s Portland was a busy port & business centre. A man of Dr Brewer’s station would have been called upon to ‘accommodate’ visiting captains whilst their ship was in Port. We have remodelled the rooms now known as the Captain’s Quarters to reflect the eclectic tastes of sea going gentlemen of the era.
Wadmore Sisters (Honeymoon Suite)
In the early 1900s Annesley passed to the Wadmore sisters who were well known for their enterprising spirit. The Wadmore sisters quickly turned the mansion into a guesthouse offering the finest Portland accommodation. Annesley House became an instant hit with holiday makers in the Western District of Victoria. The main bedroom of the house has been remodelled into our “Honeymoon Suite”. We thought it was only fitting that it bears the name of these enterprising sisters.
Baytree & Mrs Luers
In the 1940s Annesley passed to Mrs Luers (daughter of a local parliamentarian & poet) who had three great loves in life: playing the piano, the guests that passed through Annesley House and tending the beautiful gardens of the mansion. Mrs Luers was owner of Annesley until 2004 when the house was bought by the current owners.
We think it is only fitting that the serviced apartment, which is draped by her beloved Baytree, be named in her honour.
Grande & Current Owners
In 2004 the previous owners purchased Annesley House and began the laborious process of restoring the mansion. Their objective was to restore Annesley to its former glory while allowing the mansion itself to tell the story of those that have lived & loved within its walls. In August 2018, the new owners took over Annesley House and will continue to provide accommodation in this amazing property at the highest possible level.
The formal sitting room, which is now known as “the Grande”, was the room in which Dr Brewer received his distinguished guests. In an era when first impressions always counted, this room was designed to amaze guests with its opulence. ‘The Grande’ is now available for hire and is ideal for small functions or meetings.
You & the Annesley Story
‘Annesley House’ aims to provide the finest accommodation in Portland on offer. It is now fully restored & remodelled into six “superior” serviced apartments and the “Grande” meeting/function room. Many of the fixtures and furnishings used are unique to Annesley House.
We always endeavour to price our serviced apartments in a realistic manner, in so doing we hope that the story will continue through your memories of your stay in Portland.
So why not join us as the story continues!