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Healesville: Dad ‘with a dream’ builds mud brick home around vintage red phone box

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170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

The house at 170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville, with a link to Napoleon Bonaparte is on the market.


A Healesville mud brick house built around an antique red telephone box that also has a link to Napoleon Bonaparte is calling to buyers wanting a character-filled retreat.

The three-storey home at 170 Long Gully Rd is named “Kereith House” after owners Keith and Kerrie Fisher, who are downsizing from their 8.38ha property.

Ms Fisher said after her husband was determined to rebuild after his original home on the site burned down in the 1970s.

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From 1981, Mr Fisher, a commercial painter, spent four years constructing the house on weekends and evenings including crafting mud bricks by hand out of clay, top soil and straw.

“Builders and friends told him, ‘There’s no way you will build it,’” Ms Fisher said.

“It’s the unique story of a man who did have a dream and worked tirelessly to make it come true.”

170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

The old-fashioned red telephone box that Kereith House was built around.


170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Paddocks at the property have been home to ponies, horses, goats and cattle.


170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Merbau bench tops in the kitchen.


Mr Fisher said the red phone box in the living and dining area was purchased from a Richmond antiques store by her husband.

“He sort of built this house around the phone box,” she added.

“We used to have a phone in the phone box and we’d answer it.”

170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Plenty of space to entertain.


170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

The home consists of timber imported from around the world.


Mr and Ms Fisher were married in the abode, which hosted about 90 guests.

The “one off” house where their children grew up includes a set of shutter-style doors attached to a bedroom window, also bought from an antiques store – the shop employee told them that the doors came the French estate of France’s former emperor and military leader Bonaparte.

Other highlights of the home include leadlight windows, 120-year-old wagon wheel light fittings and a wine cellar.

170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Wagon wheel light fittings that are more than a century old.


170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Rolling hills and pastures as far as the eye can see.


170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

A fireplace to keep cosy.


Timber from local forests, Canadian Oregon beams and Radiata Pine from New Zealand were used in the house’s construction.

A set of doors from a Warrandyte church that burned down half a century ago leads from the main bedroom to an ensuite.

Outdoors incorporates a pool, six paddocks and two dams, including one with a bridge.

170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Blue and green leadlighting in one of the bedrooms.


170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

170 Long Gully Rd, Healesville - for herald sun real estate

Some of the artwork and furniture inside the house will be available for purchase, if buyers are interested.

Healesville Real Estate director Ian Vine said the mud brick property offered panoramic Yarra Valley views.

“Muddies can be quite gloomy but this is full of light and is really quite amazing,” Mr Vine said.

Kereith House is for sale via expressions of interest with a $1.8m-$2m asking price.

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