A converted hospital built by former Australian prime minister Sir Earle Page in the rural town of South Grafton is set to sell after 115 years of ownership.
Located on the Clarence River, the circa 1904 six-bedroom property named Clarence House was originally built by Dr Page as part of his medical precinct.
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The hospital was used by Dr Page and his wife Ethel to provide rare facilities that weren’t available to patients in rural areas, including access to an x-ray machine, ambulances and surgical procedures.
The first cancer operation outside of Sydney was performed there as well, before it was converted into a maternity hospital and then a residential unit of four flats in the 1940s.
Dr Page also had a distinguished political career and was the leader of the Country Party (now known as the National Party) from 1921 to 1939, while also serving as deputy prime minister to both Stanley Bruce and Joseph Lyons.
He became the 11th Prime Minister of Australia in 1939 after the death of Joseph Lyons and served for 19 days in a caretaker role.
The property, which is still configured as four units and has a price guide of $425,000 to $450,000, is still in the Page family and is owned by three descendants of Sir Earle Page.
Listing agent Tyler Marsh of Dougherty Property-Grafton said it was the most significant property he had sold.
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“Historically I haven’t come across anything quite as unique as this place,” he said.
“Earle Page is one of the most significant characters Grafton has ever produced given he was prime minister for a short period of time.”
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There has been plenty of interest in the property, with many Sydney buyers seeing its potential as an investment, or wanting to turn it into a bed and breakfast.