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Live in your own castle in Portsea

By Mikaela Fowler

Buyers have the chance to court a remarkable Portsea residence that’s fit for a king or queen. Graeme and Julie Watson have listed their longtime weekender in the seaside suburb’s castle-like Delgany Estate, with a $3.9-$4.25 million price guide. The multi-level three-bedroom apartment at 1 Armytage Drive features arches and limestone walls inside and out, and is crowned by a flag tower.

It’s one of 33 homes in the exclusive 3.5ha estate neighbouring Portsea Golf Club. Five of those apartments — including the Watsons’ — were created inside a grand summer house build for Harold Armytage in the 1920s, as a second home away from his Como House residence in South Yarra.

Mr Watson said the building became a hospital for officers during World War II and, in the ‘50s, was transformed by nuns into a home for deaf and dumb children. It then fell into disrepair before being reinvented as a hotel, with a Sydney developer ultimately taking over to create the estate that exists today.

The Watsons bought their apartment off the plan in 2006, engaged renowned architect Stephen Akehurst to fit it out, and got the keys in 2008. The home of about 350sqm offers multiple living indoor and outdoor living spaces over two levels, plus the flag tower.

Mr Watson said his favourite part was the loggia, which faced north out to the apartment’s private front lawn. A sun deck also encircles the first floor.

He had also loved the estate’s closeness to the “best beach in the Portsea area, Fishermans Beach”, its direct access to the golf club, and the fact it was private but social, with residents enjoying an annual summer drinks party and a golf day.

Mr Watson had also compiled a considerable collection of flags to fly from the tower, which he said offered views of “Indented Head, Queenscliff, Sorrento, Mt Martha and, when it’s clear, the city”.

He said he and his wife were selling their “once-in-a-lifetime” holiday home to move to a larger Portsea property with room for their grandchildren.

Two other apartments within the estate, at 14 and 16 Armytage Drive, are also on the market asking $1.65-$1.75 million and $1.95-$2.15 million respectively. Another, at No. 11, fetched $2 million in February.

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