Blair Athol – “most significant” Melbourne estate – sells for $12.8m

Stately Melbourne mansion, Blair Athol, in Brighton, is selling for $12.8 million.

The distinctive Victorian Gothic dwelling, which in season, is hidden behind creepers, is returning a tidy capital gain for the vendor who paid $7.52m in 2013.

Built in 1872 for Archibald Menzies (the owner of the city’s Menzies Hotel, which was constructed in 1868) the Blair Athol estate once spanned the length of Menzies Avenue from Brighton Beach train station to Hartley Street.

Now on 3358 square metres, the holding includes a tennis court, pool, spa, guest house and Edna Walling designed garden.

The fully renovated and luxuriously appointed mansion, with seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, a study and conservatory, was designed by Lloyd Taylor, who penned other Brighton mansions: Kamesburgh House and Chevy Chase.

In recent years Blair Athol at 5 Leslie Grove has been owned by former Tabcorp and Southcorp chief executive Ross Wilson. For years until 1994, the estate was owned by Just Jeans founder Craig Kimberley.

JP Dixon’s Jonathan Dixon and Jacqueline Maggs listed Blair Athol for private sale in August describing it as one of Melbourne’s most significant properties.

The deal – to a Brighton local – was agreed just shy of the the $13 million – $14 million guide.

It is the latest eight figure deal to be struck in the bayside suburb, coming five months after Nick Johnstone Real Estate director Nick Johnstone sold 7 Dawson St for an undisclosed sum.

Last August, cricketer Shane Warne paid a reported $14.3m to buy back a fully renovated, c1880 Victorian mansion which he sold in 2007 (the 2016 campaign for this home was managed by JP Dixon’s Jonathan Dixon).

The suburb’s most valuable deal was struck in 2015 when 7-Eleven Australia co-owner the late Beverley Barlow paid nearly $20m for a contemporary triple storey mansion on Brighton’s waterfront. This deal was negotiated by Kay & Burton’s Ian Jackson.

In 2013, cricketer Ricky Ponting spent a reported $10m for a Brighton house with a tennis court and pool.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property writer and experienced analyst, Marc is the co-founder of