Victorian manor seeks entrepreneur

The birthplace of the Ashes, Rupertswood mansion near Sunbury, north-west of Melbourne, is looking for a hotel management company to renovate the 50-room mansion, its gardens and outbuildings – and operate it as a five-star boutique hotel.

Built in 1876 for Australia’s first baronet Sir William Clarke as a home able to accommodate royalty, Rupertswood has been owned by food author Margaret Mclelland as a reception centre and hotel since then, now wants someone else to take the lease over. Ms Mclelland said Rupertswood is so big it requires a larger team to get the best out of it.

After a social cricket match on Rupertswood’s grounds that included members of the English team in 1882, Lady Janet Clarke burnt a bail and presented the ashes in an urn to the victorious English captain, Ivo Bligh – creating one of the most celebrated competitions in international sport.

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