Glenella History

Glenella Guesthouse is a NSW state listed heritage property and is also part of the important heritage listed Govetts Leap Road streetscape.

The original part of Glenella was built as a residence in 1905 by George Phillips, a carpenter by trade who moved his family to the healthier mountains climate on advice of his doctor. George was from South Australia, born of Welsh parents. 

The initial residence occupied one lot (#56), seen on the left. This house was later expanded in 1915 to become the much larger Guesthouse present today – taking up two village lots. It was further expanded downstairs in 1917.

The building is regarded as Federation Queen Anne style and exhibits features such as the bi-coloured bullnose verandah, hipped roof, and rusticated timber weatherboards. The interiors have timber floors, decorated plaster ceilings and feature many lead-light windows in original condition.

The physical property is sloped and comprises two levels. Upstairs houses the grand entrance lounge, the dining & sitting rooms plus a large commercial style kitchen, currently used by guests for self-catering or outside caterers. There are also modernised en-suite bedrooms. The downstairs (not visible from the front) houses more bedrooms, and the original shared bathroom, plus some communal areas and the owner’s residence. At the back of the property is an old mechanics shed which was the starting place of Kerry’s Service Station, which later moved to the current IGA building.

The Phillips family first advertised Glenella as commercial accommodation in 1909, and since then Glenella has always provided comfortable accommodation and at various times also operated a restaurant. The most well-known being the two-hatted ‘Glenella Restaurant’ operated by renowned chef Michael Manners from 1976 until 1988. 

Published in 2020, there is also a well-researched history book – “Glenella and Blackheath”, which was written by local historian Wayne Hanley.