Did you know there is a secret mansion sitting on the water in Concord, in Sydney’s inner west? It’s called Yaralla House, and the grounds are open to the public to explore.
We happened across this property several weeks ago when we were exploring Rivendell House, as the property owners and developers of Yaralla House are the same owners who developed the property of Rivendell. Rivendell was purpose built to help children who were mentally challenged, but the property also provides some schooling for other children as well.
Much like the Rivendell property, which you can read my previous article about this place above, the grounds surrounding Yaralla house are open to the public to explore. And they are certainly lovely to do so. Sitting on the water, parts of the land do open up into small pockets of swamp, however the view is lovely if you can peer through the overgrown mangroves and gardens.
A lot of the property is currently undergoing some renos with respect to a lot of the gardens, so some parts are closed off, and when we went, there were council men working on a lot of the walking tracks, resurfacing and fixing them, all over the great property.
The Yaralla Estate, also known as the Dame Eadith Walker Estate and now home to the Dame Eadith Walker Hospital, is a heritage-listed hospital at The Drive, Concord West, City of Canada Bay in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Here they treat patients who are adults and mentally challenged. So the only rule for exploring, is that you aren’t allowed to approach the building to talk to any of the clients.
Which is super easy to manage, as the property is huge. So no risk of getting too close to any of the patients, which is a mixture of in-house ones and day visitors.
A little history of the property:
In the 1860s, Thomas Walker commissioned the architect Edmund Blacket to design a home on the shores of the Parramatta River. This Victorian Italianate mansion became the Walker family home. From 1893 to 1899, Eadith Walker built extensions that were designed by the architect John Sulman. A stables and coach house complex were also designed by Sulman at the same time. The entire estate is listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register and the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate.
Dame Eadith Walker DBE, CBE, who never married, died at Yaralla in 1937 after a long career devoting her life to the Australian Red Cross and a wide range of other philanthropic organisations.
Her estate was disposed of in accordance with the terms of her father’s will, brought about by the Thomas Walker Trusts Act (1939), a portion of which was set aside to found the Dame Eadith Walker Convalescent Hospital and income from the remainder went to support the hospital, the Thomas Walker hospital and the Yaralla cottages built by Dame Eadith for elderly people in need.
Much like Rivendell, this is beautiful location to visit. I highly recommend swinging past the Fremont Cafe on hospital Road, across the road from Concord Hospital for a quick bite to eat and a coffee. They are Greek owners and the food is pretty good. Though a lot of I can’t eat as I am gluten-free, and let’s face it’ll not hang Greeks really cater for vegans or gluten-free peeps like me LOL. And considering my partner of more than 15 years is Greek, I can say that HAHA.
The last time I went, I ordered a delicious grilled salmon and chips with greek salad, which was amazing. Though I wasn’t really expecting to eat, so I was absolutely stuffed after eating, as I was looking for something smaller and lighter. So, if you’re looking for a proper lunch before you decide to go exploring Rivendell or Yaralla, or both locations, make sure you stop by to say hi and get a good feed. And if you aren’t hungry, the coffee is perfecto.