Graham and Barbara Payne.
Graham and Barbara Payne.

Glover House has new owners

IN a quiet moment former owner Brian Reid says you can still hear the ‘laughter of girls’ in the heritage-listed Glover House in Palmerin Street.

A former senior boarding house for St Catharine’s girls school, the private residence officially changed hands this week.

Mr Reid and his wife Fay sold the property through LJ Hooker Warwick for an undisclosed sum to Barbara and Graham Payne.

The sale marks the end of a 12-year stay in the house the Reids describe as having “a truly special feel”.

“It was a girls’ boarding house from the early 1920s until the 1970s,” Mr Reid said.

“We’ve had more than 120 former students come back through the home since we bought it in 1998 and they all describe their years there as happy.

“We believe that possibly more than anything else has contributed to the warmth and special feeling of this home.

“It sounds unusual, but in a quiet moment in the downstairs area where the girls cubicles were you can still hear their laughter.”

The Colonial Federation style five-bedroom home was built between 1918 and 1920 by former Warwick politician GD Barnes.

Mr Barnes later sold the house to St Catharine’s and the school campus eventually stretched from Locke to Pratten Street and east of Acacia Avenue.

Today the home still features original terracotta roof tiles, which were imported from France.

Located on a 3000sq m (or three-quarters of an acre) block the property also boasts an underground wine cellar that Mr Reid said can hold up to 1200 bottles.

“The cellar was built by Mr Barnes, who as a member of parliament entertained a lot in the house,” he said.

The property’s other striking architectural attribute is the curved front bay window.

Mr Reid said modern builders described the window design as an impressive engineering feat with the timber “steamed” so it could be curved into position.

For new owner Barbara Payne the purchase represents something of a dream come true.

She has loved the striking house since she was a young schoolgirl.

“I grew up on a farm at Loch Lomond and St Cath’s was one of two houses in Warwick which caught my attention,” Mrs Payne said.

“The other was a small sandstone house my mother always referred to as Miss Park’s cottage on Albion Street.

“But I never really thought I would own either one.”

For the fourth generation local, who returned to the Rose City 12 years ago to be closer to her aging parents, the new purchase is somewhat symbolic.

“It is a dream come true really,” Mrs Payne said.

“It is a beautiful house and I am looking forward to calling it home.”

She and her husband Graham have no desire to significantly change the historical home, although they have planned a name change.

“We are going to call it Hallayne, which is a combination of my surname Hall and Payne,” she said.

The couple also have designs on the underground cellar.

“We love wine so it will be nice to have space to collect a little more.”

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