What’s it like living in the Kincoppal in Elizabeth Bay?
We take a peek inside to find out.
Kincoppal: why it’s the ultimate in harbourside apartment living
Elizabeth Bay may have one of the densest suburban populations in Australia, but there’s something so beautiful about the area, you almost don’t notice just how many people live here. Home to grand old residences, stunning art deco apartment blocks and of course, the pint-sized picnic haven of Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay is also close to the city – and a suburb many urban dwellers dream about living in.
And the gated community of prestigious Kincoppal, at 93 Elizabeth Bay Road, is definitely one of the jewels in the suburb’s crown. Famous for its enviable spot on the harbour and luxuriously spacious apartments, it’s no surprise this landmark waterfront sanctuary is one of the most tightly held residential blocks in Sydney.
History of Kincoppal
The Kincoppal estate has been many things in its lifetime. Originally, it was home to John Hughes, a grocer and property developer and Catholic benefactor who purchased land in Elizabeth Bay in 1869 and built an elegant house he named Kincoppal, which means ‘horse head’ in Gaelic (‘ceann capall’), reportedly after a rock formation in the harbour nearby that looks like a horse head from certain views.
Hughes lived there with his wife and six children and was appointed Knight of the Order of St Gregory by the Pope in 1882. After his death in 1885, Kincoppal was apparently bequeathed to his elder daughter, Maria, who became one of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Mother Maria Hughes.
The religious order Maria belonged to established a Convent School in 1903 in Darlinghurst, and the school moved to Kincoppal in 1909, when it opened for boarders. Three sisters – Isabel, Paulette and Phyllis McDonaugh – were weekly boarders there and became well-known alumni of the Elizabeth Bay campus, growing up to become silent-era filmmakers. The sisters were recognised by the Australian Film Institute in the 1970s as ‘the most talented of the late silent era film-makers in Australia’.
The Kincoppal school was later amalgamated with its sister school, The Convent of the Sacred Heart at Rose Bay, on the Rose Bay campus. Now known as Kincoppal-Rose Bay, School of the Sacred Heart, it’s still in operation today (and not surprisingly, very popular with Eastern Suburbs families).
Back in Elizabeth Bay, the Kincoppal estate was sold and redeveloped by Mirvac as apartments in the early 1980s– although the Hughes’ exquisite original sandstone mansion, gatekeeper’s cottage and tramsheds remain, as do the magnificent gardens – a collection of subtropical native rainforest pines, palm trees and broadleaves.
Kincoppal’s famous residents
It’s no surprise that a few celebrities and movers’n’shakers have called Kincoppal home – including media mogul Rupert Murdoch and, it’s rumoured, Russell Crowe at one point, too. But perhaps the most famous resident here has been David Bowie, who bought an apartment in the complex in 1983 and used it as a luxury crash pad during month-long adventures he took around Australia. He reportedly had it decorated in wall-to-wall black slate, which would’ve been the ultimate man cave look back then!
Despite raving about the ‘fabulous’ Sydney flat he holed up in between tours and recording sessions, Bowie sold up in 1992 when he married supermodel Iman and knew he wouldn’t be using it as frequently. “Mainly the reason being that I just wasn’t getting there enough and it seems a waste of a really nice apartment,” the singer reportedly said, back when he put it on the market.
What’s it like to live in Kincoppal?
Well, you may not be a world-famous musician, but for $3-6 million you’d have a shot at enjoying a slice of Bowie’s former life. Peering through the gates, the manicured gardens of this stunning estate don’t give much away, but we know the apartments here have ‘house-like’ proportions, with open plan living and dining areas taking advantage of the sparkling ocean views and sea breezes.
Naturally, it’s the large entertainer’s balcony you’d spend a lot of time on – each one overlooks beautiful Rushcutters Bay and the Cruising Yacht Club; just the spot to enjoy the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day, perhaps?
For the ultimate in privacy, the block features secure parking, a concierge, private sunny pool area, a spa and gym. Why would you ever want to leave?
Past sales in Kincoppal include:
If you’d like to know more about buying or selling an apartment in Kincoppal contact our team today.