Having left Goathland in July 1904 after his defeat in the second election of 1904, Sir Malcolm McEacharn was to return to his Kew home only once again in 1908 for a period of three months. [1]

In the years following his departure, as his Balaclava and Kew mansions stood empty, rumours swirled about their possible sales. In July 1906, The Daily News of Perth reported that Goathland in Kew was ‘on the market’ and that ‘Mr. Jack Wren, of tote fame’ had offered to buy it.[2] ‘Egregria’ reported that the news was received with derision by society, but that Lady McEacharn had actually confirmed that negotiations had taken place, albeit unsuccessful ones.

The two mansions were formally advertised for sale in September 1906. This advertisement provides the most comprehensive single description of the house and garden of Goathland:

Sale by Auction of the Grand family Mansion “Goathland”, Studley-Park Road, Kew,
Built in Charming Elizabethan Style of Architecture, with 4 ½ acres of grounds. … The magnificent Brick and Red-tiled Elizabethan mansion with main entrance from a handsome tiled roof portico.
FRONT HALL 9ft x 25ft., which in turn opens into one of the finest central halls in Australia, about 25 by 30. The floor is laid in oak parquetry, walls beautifully panelled in blackwood, with arched inglenook tiled fireplace, fitted with seats on either side to match woodwork. All set off with stained glass lights, windows, and domed skylights, producing a marked effect. Beautiful and massive blackwood staircase leading up from the centre to a landing, and thence to a handsome balcony, off which the main bedrooms open. All the rooms are lofty, and fittings are of the very best.
DRAWINGROOM, 18 by 30, and 4ft bay, arched recess with handsome mantel and overmantel.
DININGROOM, 20 by 33, panelled blackwood dado all round, massive mantel and overmantel to match.
LARGE SITTING ROOM [27 x 18], handsome tiled mantel and overmantel.
BOUDOIR, beautiful inglenook, with large overmantel; also strongroom, gentlemen’s lavatory off front hall.
MAGNIFICENT BILLIARD ROOM, fitted with bookshelves, lit from dome and two large windows.
Gentlemen’s lavatory, well-fitted with latest improvements. Large storeroom, glass and china room, pantry, H and C; fitted with cupboards and drawers. Large back hall, fitted with lift to upper apartments.
KITCHEN, larder, dairy and boot-room, all having tiled walls; servants’ hall, large laundry, dry cellar, coal storeroom, wine cellar, and cupboards.
BEST BEDROOM [31 x 19], with beautiful half-circle overmantel. DRESSINGROOM off, fitted with lavatory basin, white marble bath.
BEDROOM No. 2, 18 by 27, and 4ft window recess; bathroom off, tiled walls.
BEDROOM No. 3, 17 by 18. BEDROOM No. 4, bathroom and lavatory opposite.
TWO OTHER BEDROOMS, dressingroom, workroom, governess’s bedroom, boys’ bedroom, 2 other bedrooms, large bathroom.
First floor, rear portion, back stairs, 4 servants’ rooms and servants’ bath, linen presses, lavatory, tiled floor, housemaid’s pantry.
Outside, 2 men’s rooms, brick coal house, &c. The whole house is in perfect order, fitted with electric light; hot water is laid all over the premises. The edifice shows the same substantial and massive construction throughout, no expense having been spared to make the mansion the most complete and best-appointed gentleman’s residence in Victoria.
The EXTENSIVE GROUDS, having a great street frontage to STUDLEY PARK ROAD by a depth of 999ft. right through to STEVENSON STREET have been laid out at immense cost, the wide winding drive from front gates being bounded on either side by graceful lawns and well kept flower gardens, showing a profusion of palms, rare shrubs, and well-grown English evergreen and ornamental trees, with a brick and tiled-roof pavilion; also fernery, rockery, with fish pond. The lawns are terraced down, interspersed with rosary arbor and grass tennis court.
Beyond is the kitchen garden and BRICK STABLES of four loose boxes and 2 stalls, large coachhouse, feed bins, saddle and harness room, man’s room, and large loft, pitched yard. …
The Argus, 1 September 1906, p.6. [3]

Even with this fulsome praise Goathland received no bids and was passed in for private sale. The Launceston Examiner noted that the house had cost £45,000 to build.[4]

The next auction we hear of is of Sir Malcolm McEacharn’s wines, which were put up for sale in 1907. I thought it might be interesting to include the advertisement for those readers interested in knowing what rich Australians drank at the turn of the century:


CLARETS – Chateau Margaux (1903). Chateau Lafitte. Grand Vin 18??, Chateau d’I****, Talbot St. Julien. HOCK – Steinberg. Deinhardt, and Co., 1896; Leibfraumilch 1896. SHERRY – Sandeman, Amontillado, Xeres No. 19. CHAMPAGNE – HEIDSIECK, DRY MONOPOLE, GOULET, ARJALA, &c. SPIRITS, LIQUERS, &c. 9 CASES BRANDY, Superior Old Hennessy. Also STANFORD UNIVERSITY, BENEDICTINE, PEACH BRANDY, McEWAN’S ALE, WALKER’S EXTRA SPECIAL WHISKY. Also 9 BOTTLES VIN DE TOKAY, 1857. 2 BOTTLES EAU D’OR BORDEAUX. 2 BOTTLES MADEIRA. *** (Originally the Property of the Late Sir Redmond Barry). The Argus, 9 February 1907, p.2. [5]

Any discussion of Sir Malcolm McEacharn’s return to Goathland ended with news of his death on March 11, 1910. He died in Cannes in the south of France while on holiday. Within months, the house was advertised again, with the words ‘A Bargain’ ominously attached to the notice.[6]

The formal auctions notices for 26 July do not add significantly to that already stated in the sale notices placed in The Argus in 1906, apart from the itemization of contents, which are separately specified. They included two magnificent Japanese genuine bronze garden lanterns on freestone bases, standing 12ft high. These were regarded as the finest examples of Japanese bronze in Victoria.[7]

At the auction, Goathland, ‘a mansion well known throughout Australia for its artistic beauty’[8] was ‘knocked down at £7,500 to Mrs. Frances Treadway, widow of the late Mr. J. F. Treadway, of Dudley-avenue, Kew. Mrs. Treadway intimated that the purchase was made on behalf of one of her daughters’.[9]

[1] The Advertiser, 6 March 1908, p.10.
[2] The Daily News, 2 July 1906, p.4.
[3] The Argus, 1 September 1906, p.6. (Note – The formatting of the advertisement has been modified to make it more readable.)
[4] Examiner, 25 September 1906, p.7.
[5] The Argus, 9 February 1907, p.2.
[6] The Argus, 27 July 1910, p.3.; 1 August 1910, p.2; 3 August 1910, p.3; 17 August 1910, p.3
[7] The Argus, 26 July 1911, p.2.
[8] The Argus, 3 August 1911, p.9.
[9] Ibid.