Breenhold & Heritage

Heritage listed Breenhold has several links to Sydney's earlier history and to its artisanship of the past. Breenhold's archway enclosed garden, Celestium, has its origins in the 19th century.

Retford Hall, (shown opposite) located at Darling Point overlooking Sydney Harbour, was one of the Colony's most imposing mansions. Designed by Edmund Blacket for leading merchant Anthony Horden, it was built in 1865 of Pyrmont sandstone.

Demolished in 1967 to make way for an apartment building, a large number of its sandstone blocks were purchased by Tom Breen and trucked to Breenhold, where they were reworked on site by a small team of skilled stonemasons and reconstructed as the Celestium quadrangle garden centred upon the Star Pool.

In the Gardens are several other tangible echoes of Sydney's past, some yet to be reconstructed on site. These include a number of large pink granite columns from the original AMP building that stood at Circular Quay, and a Victorian copper domed cupola supported by sandstone columns and base. The cupola originally was atop the CIB building, before it was demolished in the 1960s, on the corner of Hunter and Elizabeth Sts. Numerous antique English Coalbrookdale cast iron seats and Italian urns also grace the Garden, and its several pools.
Natural Geological Resources

Breenhold benefits from the rich volcanic basalt soil typical of Mount Wilson. Many of the stone walls and pathways in the Garden are built from flat basalt slabs and boulders that occur on the property.

The Four Seasons at Breenhold

The combination of rich soil, high rainfall and cool mountain climate conditions provides luxuriant growing conditions for the Garden, and vibrant seasonal variation.
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