The Manor, Mosman

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The Manor seen from Iluka Road
South side of house, facing Sydney Harbour

The Manor is a mansion in the Sydney suburb of Mosman. Built circa 1911, loosely in the Federation Queen Anne style, it stands in the harbour-front street of Iluka Road, in the Mosman locality of Clifton Gardens. It is listed on the heritage register of New South Wales.[1]

History and description[edit]

The Manor's original owner, William John Bakewell, of Bakewell Bros., initially planned a cottage of eight rooms, but the project kept growing until it was a mansion with fifty-five rooms, most of which were lined with beaten copper. It was spread over six allotments in Margaret Street, which later became Iluka Road. It became known locally as Bakewell's Folly.[2]

In 1922, the Theosophical Society rented The Manor for a community of some fifty people, headed by Charles Leadbeater, a claimed clairvoyant, and a major figure in the Society. The Manor became an important centre for the Society and was regarded as a great "occult forcing-house".[3]

The English writer Mary Lutyens stayed at The Manor in the 1920s and described it as "a huge and hideous villa".[4] The young Indian Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was presented as the new "World Teacher", stayed in nearby David Street with his brother Nitya while Lutyens—his eventual biographer—stayed at The Manor.[5]

The Theosophical Society bought the house in 1925, holding it under a trust deed. In 1926 they started the radio station 2GB; the initials stood for Giordano Bruno, a saint. The station operated from The Manor for a few years.[6]

In 1951, they set up The Manor Foundation Ltd to own and run the house. The Society still used The Manor as of 2013.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ State Heritage Register
  2. ^ The Theosophist, magazine (Theosophical Society) August 1997, pp.460-463
  3. ^ The Theosophist, magazine (Theosophical Society) August 1997, pp.460-463
  4. ^ To Be Young, Mary Lutyens (Corgi Books) 1959, p.153
  5. ^ Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening, Mary Lutyens (John Murray) 1975, p.202
  6. ^ State Heritage Register

Coordinates: 33°50′36″S 151°15′03″E / 33.8432°S 151.2508°E / -33.8432; 151.2508