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Fenwick House

Home > Ballina > Historic Houses | Beaches | Accommodation
by Kate Blake (subscribe)
Exploring, nature and connection through writing are my passions. Find me on☺
Published November 15th 2016
Fame and Fortune Made on the Sea Built this Majestic House
Last weekend I headed south to explore the Ballina area and what a treat that was. This huge old homestead attracted my attention on the drive into town, so I had to find out more. A wander through the Shaw's Bay pub beer garden led me to their stunning beach access, which was enhanced by the majestic homestead that had housed Captain Thomas Fenwick's family.

James Fenwick, the Captain's nephew designed and built it in 1886 for nine thousand pounds, a small fortune in those days. Captain Fenwick was the local tug master born in Scotland and raised on the Sydney waterfront. The locals revere him as 'the river captain' who was a blunt, strong-willed and ruthless character. His domineering energetic ways saw him running things locally his way with his family home announcing his wealth.

Fenwick House, Ballina
The Outlook over Shaw's Bay

Apparently, the pub owned it for sometime and hired it out for local dos and weddings. One local said the history was displayed on the walls inside but as it is now privately owned I have had to make do with newspaper photos. This one gives a taste of the Italian marble tiles and fireplace, the English mahogany staircase, chandeliers, four metre high ceilings. There is even speculation about ghost stories such as perfume wafting from room to room or shadows flitting about, but we will never know.

Fenwick House, Ballina
Interior courtesy of Cathy Adams in the Northern Star

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Why? History in a Homestead built more than 120 years ago
When: Only from the Outside when the Beer Garden is Open
Where: Shaw's Bay, Ballina
Cost: Free Peek
Your Comment
Am hoping to get a peek of the house this afternoon.
by mail (score: 0|8) 1216 days ago
Nice article :)
by Former Writer (score: 3|1221) 2216 days ago
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