Chelsea Park Chelsea Park
History

Chelsea Park was designed by a unique enterprising and creative lady named Ethel Noreen Garry. Built by a Sydney builder for the then amazing sum of 5000 pounds, the house was not finished until 1946 due to rationing of bricks just after the Second World War. A creative person with many ideas ahead of her time, Ethel attended Sydney Technical College at Ultimo in 1923. She studied china painting and pottery. Her pottery was creative as was her hand painted furniture which was sold in David Jones. After opening with her sister the first interior decorating shop in Bowral, she went on to teach pottery courses at Goulburn Tafe.

Ethel enjoyed building. She built five homes in Bowral and one in Goulburn. She built the house known as Hawthorne Lodge in Osborne Road and the property known as The Midhope on Moss Vale Road, as well as a house on Kangaloon Road and a home that was on the site of the units across the road from Corbett Gardens.

Ethel also operated a number of guest houses including the Bondi Pacific Private Hotel. With 100 rooms and a staff of thirty, all went well until the Japanese mini submarines shelled Sydney Harbour. People fled the coast and within a week her guest house was empty. Undeterred, Ethel moved to the Highlands and opened Shrublands (now Mount Valdimir) at Sutton Forest. In 1942 Shrublands was filled with 60 English women and their children who had fled Hong Kong before the Japanese invasion.

From Shrublands, Ethel moved to Laurel Park in Osborne Road which she operated as a guest house. Always enterprising, she subdivided the land and started building Chelsea Park and Norfolk Lodge (now known as The Midhope) on land on Moss Vale Road.

We have been very lucky to obtain a copy of Ethel’s autobiography and have had one of her daughters visit Chelsea Park. The information we have been able to obtain has enabled us to return the house to what it was like when it was built. The original sweeping staircase and the steel framed windows remain and it has been decorated to suit the era and style of this special home.

Chelsea Park is one of only two Art Deco mansions in the Highlands so we are very fortunate to be able to share it and showcase the foresight of a very special lady Ethel Noreen Garry.

Davidia Williams 2006

Art Deco Rooms
Unique B&B
Art Deco Rooms