It’s one of Brisbane’s most fascinating homes, surrounded in history and mystery, and it’s on the market.
The nine-bedroom property, Nyrambla, sits in the inner-city suburb of Ascot, one of Queensland’s most affluent areas.
During WWII Nyrambla was requisitioned by the Allies and became an essential, top-secret, location of the war in the Pacific.
For about three years Nyrambla was the home of Central Bureau whose job it was to decode Japanese radio transmissions.
In the garage of Nyrambla enemy messages were decoded and retransmitted to Allied bases around the world.
There are even claims that the Central Bureau intercepted and decoded a Japanese signal that led to the ambush and death of Admiral Yamamoto, the architect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The house was designed by early Brisbane architect James Cowlishaw and built back in 1885 for bank manager Henry P Abbott.
Long since passed, he is remembered in the surrounding streets named Henry and Abbott.
The house itself is an impressive two-storey structure surrounded by expansive verandahs.
Originally it had stables and servants’ quarters, and over the years a swimming pool and tennis court were added.
Around 1925 it was purchased by Mr GW Whatmore, who was the managing director of an automotive group that sold Austin cars.
He was also an alderman on the Brisbane City Council and was formerly a champion cyclist, rower and yachtsman.
The house was converted to flats flowing his death in 1929.
At some point after the war, Nyrambla returned to operating as six flats. It was offered for sale at auction in February 1951.
Over the years since then the old house has seen several inhabitants, some of them quite well-known.
Former ABC presenter Blair Edmonds lived there as did media personality and operator of farmers markets, Jan Power.
Nyrambla is listed on the BCC heritage register, and it states there that the building has been converted back to a private residence.
Inside the home features a dining room with a marble fireplace and brass chandelier, this private retreat adjoins the kitchen, quaint sitting room and leads out onto the sunlit patio and pool.
The upper floor features a grand dining room and expansive wraparound verandah.
Covered in so much history, if these walls could talk, I’m sure they would have a thing or two to say.