Glenleigh was built in the 1880’s by James Ewan, a shipping merchant, businessman and philanthropist as his “country residence”. He and his wife were very involved with life in Penrith, and gave freely of their time and money to many charitable causes.
Glenleigh Estates’ distinctive appearance stems from the unusual bricks it is built with. They were shipped across from England as the ballast in James Ewan’s merchant ships. These bricks are contrasted with red brick lintels. Timber verandahs and an imposing timber entry porch add to the fine exterior.
The interior of the house is also magnificent, and still in a very good state of repair. The most impressive detail in Glenleigh is the ornate work on the ceilings. Two Italian artists were brought to Autralia by James Ewan to create these masterpieces. Each room displays a medallion which is uniquely suited to its use – musicians and opera singers in the Music Room, writers in the Library, and fish, hare and birds in the Dining Room.
Fortunately for the history of the district and for Glenleigh, the present owners are keenly interested in restoring the house and garden to their original state. The garden has an extensive selection of conifers, exotic grafted specimens and magnificent deciduous avenues, making it spectacular during any season.