PHOTOS: Historic home for sale, first time in 40 years
HE has sold homes in Ipswich for more than 45 years, but Les Thornton's final sale will be one very close to his heart.
Mr Thornton and his wife Celia have decided to sell their family home after living in the historical house for 40 years.
"It's quite sad, but we're ready to move," Mrs Thornton said.
"The thing is we loved it as soon as we saw it 40 years ago and we've had a lovely time for all those years, but there comes a point and so this is that point."
The house was built in 1863, after a man by the name of William Welsby bought the allotment it sits on for 52 pounds and proceeded to build what would then be called The Stone House.
He lived there with his wife Hannah, four sons and two daughters and had started work as a subcontract building bridges for the newly started rail line between Ipswich and Grandchester.
"We do not know why he decided to use stone or build the house right up to the edge of the footpath," she said.
"We always think that what he built may have been based on his own and Hannah's memories and perhaps yearning for what they had left behind in England."
Since then it's been home to a number of prominent Ipswich people, including Sir Josiah Francis who was re-elected mayor five times.
Today, the house is more commonly known as Belmont.
It's understood that the name Belmont came from the Boer War battle of the same name.
"Belmont is a very simple and unsophisticated building," Mrs Thornton said.
"There are no hallways, no embellishments and no ghosts.
"The room that we use as our kitchen was actually William's carpentry workshop."
The Thornton's have extended the home since taking up residence and the property now brings together the old and the new.
Over the years they have discovered small relics from the past.
"We've found somebody's pay, old pound notes and things under a carpet. Older newspapers, heaps of things in the garden, old bottles and coins, army buttons from way back. It's delightful," Mrs Thornton.
Mrs Thornton says it's Belmont's history that she loves the most and her children love to call it home.
"I always told stories and I would say at night, 'Imagine what it was like to be the first children here, that's a hundred odd years ago, what do you think it was like?"
"It's been really beautiful."
The home is now up for sale by auction for anyone interested in owning a slice of Ipswich history.
The house has five bedrooms, three studies, four bathrooms, five fireplaces and a four car garage.
It has a formal sitting room and formal dining room, plus an eat-in kitchen, conservatory/sunroom, a large family room and a pool.
For more information you can contact Les Thornton on 0438 124 071.
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