The probable year of the construction of Parkview. Either the building was built by the Blackman Estate (William Blackman deceased) for the next buyer before it was bought in 1972, or as part of the purchase (an early ‘land and house’ package).
William Blackman’s widow, Sarah, nee Cobcroft, died this year and her death may have precipitated the sale of Blackman Estate properties. William Richards Lester, a chemist, bought the allotment for £700. The high price suggests that the Parkview building was by then constructed on the site. Though, there’s no proof to say Lester didn’t build after purchasing an empty allotment.
Rowland, a visiting professional photographer took an image of ‘Parkview’. With its large shop front window displaying ‘Lester Chemist’, it indicates that the building was most probably built specifically for Lester.
It’s assumed William Richards Lester was in his Parkview residence when he alerted the police to an incident he witnessed. A prisoner named Sullivan was seen scaling the wall of the ‘goal’ across the road from Parkview, and escaping. The prisoner was soon apprehended.
Charles Lester, the second son of William Richards Lester, spent his early youth in Mudgee before leaving for Edinburgh University in 1884. He later qualified as a doctor and a chemist.
Architect Harold Hardwick designed Forgandenny, in Short Street, as a residence and surgery for Dr. Charles Lester.
William Lester, the eldest son of William Richards Lester, married Sarah Weston. The allotment on which Parkview was built was subdivided at the time of William’s marriage. William subsequently built a home called Rexton, which faced Douro Street. This house was designed by architect, Harold Hardwick.
The Misses Leeson operated a ‘first-class’ boarding house in the Parkview building.
William Lester passed away.
The guesthouse was taken over by Mrs. W Campbell of Hargraves. However, owing to her ill health in December that year, the guesthouse management was taken over by The Misses Loneragan, also of Hargraves. At that time, the building was advertised as Parkview.
Rexton became a private hospital, operated by the Rheinberger sisters.
The Parkview property was maintained by the trustees, Dr. Charles Lester, and his sister-in-law, Mary Lester.
Florence Loneragan bought Parkview for £1000. She continued to operate the guesthouse. Florence married Thomas McCracken in 1936.
Florence Loneragan died. The property remained in her estate and continued as a guesthouse.
At this time, Parkview guesthouse was being operated by Mrs. Sylvia Codner.
The property was listed for auction on the 1st April 1964.
The property was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Leonard. Extensive renovation then occurred: Paint stripping and repainting, internal partitions removed, ensuites and extra kitchen installed, repairs to the verandah and roof. The Parkview was then run as a Bed & Breakfast by Norman’s daughter, Angela Leonard, and her husband Simon Staines. They ran a café at the same time which utilised the courtyard for alfresco dining.
The Parkview continued as a Bed & Breakfast under various owners and tenants, including Libby Birch, Peter and Louise Windeyer, and Margaret Large.
The Parkview guesthouse was auctioned on the 26 September, 1998. The real estate agent was The Property Shop. Mrs. M Austin bought Parkview, and her daughter Di Austin ran the guesthouse and café.
The Parkview guesthouse was auctioned on the 18th December 2015. The real estate agent was The First National, agent Andrew Blackman. The reserve price was not met and the property was unable to sell. Peter and Debbie Eldred started negotiations to buy.
On the 19th of March, Peter and Debbie Eldred were handed the keys and commenced the transformation in turning Parkview into the luxury hotel it is today.