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                    Margolyes. ‘A lot of Babe was filmed next door on John and Vicki Mauger’s gorgeous property, and when we discovered this place, I thought, I want this. Heather and I, and Heather’s sister Sandra, who is a private detective in San Francisco, bought the land and then we built the road and the house.’
The home sits high up in the tree canopy with sweeping views of Wollongong and the Pacific Ocean. Designed
by architect Mark Jones, it is clad in steel with broad triangular decks on thick poles facing north.
‘We found Mark by looking through magazines and we really liked the style of house he designs. Then we met him and he gave us each a questionnaire to fill in that asked: How do you think I can build you a house if I don’t know you and how you like to live?’
The result is a big, welcoming home, resplendent
with character and warmth. Three large independent apartment spaces are linked to a communal living area that maximises the views. Each apartment has its own bedroom with double bed, study and luxurious ensuite, and is linked by a gallery cum library to the Great Living
Room, with its kitchen, walk-in pantry, wood burning stove, open fireplace and combined living/dining area. Floors are blackbutt wood, and much of the furniture and the doors are imported from Indonesia.
The house sleeps six but can comfortably accommodate an extra three thanks to daybeds in the studies. Outside, wildlife is always close.
‘We get visits by kangaroos, wombats, wallabies, lyrebirds and even the occasional snake, though thankfully I haven’t met one on this stay.’
In 2013 Margolyes became an Australian citizen and remains as in demand today in acting circles as ever. Now at home in London, she recently filmed another series
of The Real Marigold on Tour, which follows Margolyes and other senior citizens around the world. She has also done commentaries for Flipping Profit, a real life BBC infotainment about car boot sales, and for bestselling kids’ book series Winnie and Wilbur. We will see her on Australian screens in the new season of Rake later this year, and she is also set to star alongside Essie Davis in the film version of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. She returns to Australia in December to begin rehearsals for the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of the Lady in the Van, and while she’s away she has decided to rent out Yarrawa Hill on Airbnb.
‘I’ve always thought houses work best if they are used, she says. ‘And now that we have decided to make Yarrawa Hill available for more people to enjoy, I’m happy because it will be even more loved.’
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