On Saturday 27 February 2016 having previously been sold to an undisclosed buyer for around $18million, Bishopscourt was opened up to the general public for a donation of $10 to Anglican Overseas Aid. It is a fascinating place with spectacular views from the balconies across the city and harbour. The original house was only a three-roomed cottage built in 1835. The first of many extensions began in 1840 when a first floor was added and the house became known as “Percyville”.
The house and land had several owners and tenants from 1835 until it was purchased in 1846 by Thomas Sutcliffe Mort, who changed its name to “Greenoaks”. More land acquired resulted in a 13 acre property with a very grand building comprising many more extensions. Mort died in 1878 and Mrs. Mort and other tenants occupied the house until 1910 when the house and land were auctioned. The reserve price wasn’t reached. It was eventually bought by Mr. Campbell Langtree, who subdivided the land and sold the house and 2 acres of land to the Church of England in 1910 for six thousand seven hundred and fifty pounds. The premises from that time on was used as a residence for the Archbishop of Sydney. Further renovations were carried out by Archbishop Wright from 1911-13 and in 1927 including the columned entrance gates and the enclosed conservatory. Other extensions came later.
The chapel is particularly beautiful and was added in 1935 during the time of Archbishop Howard Mowll. The joinery is Queensland maple. The Coats-of-Arms of Canterbury and Calcutta are displayed on the chancel beams. The Coats-of-Arms of all the Archbishops of Sydney from William Grant Broughton to Sir Marcus Loane, are displayed alternately on the beams of either side of the nave. Neither Archbishop Peter Jensen or Archbishop Glenn Davies have their Coats-of-Arms displayed in the chapel.
Archbishop Glenn Davies and his wife have now moved to temporary accommodation until new premises for the Archbishop of Sydney can be bought.