About Lanigan Abbey
Wandering through the streets of Gundagai one day, antique and art valuer Brian Tozer looked up to see an old dilapidated building behind St Patrick's Church. On discovering it was a convent abandoned 11 years previously, he decided, "I want it and I want it now".
Fortunately Mr Tozer's wife Joan also fell in love with the 119-year-old building and after 18 tiresome months of paint, plaster and interior decoration, the former St Francis Xavier's Convent had been transformed into what they had dreamed of for so long.
They named the property Lanigan Abbey Estate after the first Bishop of Goulburn. The opening was conducted by long-time friend of the Tozer family, media and royal commentator Diana Fisher, who said her hope was that "the road to Gundagai leads straight to Lanigan Abbey Estate".
The opening was intended to reflect the original foundation ceremony in 1888. As part of the ceremony, attended by about 300 people, Gundagai parish priest Fr Bernard Hennessy led Canberra and Goulburn Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power and Wilcannia-Forbes Bishop Chris Toohey as they blessed the estate.
In 1889 The Gundagai Times called the convent "one of the most handsome buildings in the town" and it is once again. Lanigan Abbey Estate bed and breakfast and art gallery has been named as a heritage and national trust listed property and is furnished in the elegant style of the High Victorian period. There are four suites offering overnight accommodation and an art gallery that is open daily.
The Tozers moved their Katoomba art gallery "Bandamora" to Gundagai with 700 pieces are on show at the estate in the building which was once a schoolhouse. Work from the likes of Hart, Boyd and Sealy families grace the walls with prices ranging from $250 to $250,000. Construction on the then St Francis Xavier's convent began in 1888 when Mercy Sisters brought from Ireland needed somewhere to live. The Salvatorian and Holy Faith Sisters have also lived there, but when Mr Tozer stumbled across the building, it had been uninhabited since 1994.
Welcome to beautiful historic Gundagai, romantically set on the picturesque banks of the great Murrumbidgee River. Overlooking the town and river beyond, majestically stands Lanigan Abbey Estate romantically restored in the High Victorian manner.
Lanigan Abbey Estate is a historic Heritage & National Trust listed property. The Estate was built in two stages. In 1888 the Abbey was built for The Sisters of Mercy who came from Ireland. The Abbey is built in the Romanesque style; the brick work is in the poly chromatic style in the Lombardic design which is the same as Rippon Lee in Melbourne. Set in re-established gardens in the Italian style of formal lawns with many marble statues and pots filled with exotic trees and plants. Amidst this large garden is the Lanigan Central Square and on the eastern side of Square is the Gothic Designed Art Gallery Restaurant and The Gate Keepers Cottage which was built in 1898 as the school building.
This makes Lanigan Abbey Estate unique in New South Wales and therefore the premium Bed and Breakfast and Art Gallery of the Greater Riverina.
Lanigan Abbey offers 4 ½ STAR Bed and Breakfast Accommodation, including a full silver service cooked breakfast. All rooms are decorated with fine art works and each has its own individual theme.
- Lanigan Abbey is furnished in the elegant style of the High Victorian Period.
- Throughout the Abbey there are extensive and valuable Artworks with all having been chosen to compliment the particular room that they are in.
- Lanigan Abbey Estate is available for tours by appointment between 11am and 2pm with a minimum of six people.
- For information or bookings call (02) 6944 2852.