From the moment Elizabeth and Patrick Brennan peered out at the landscape from the front steps of Melrose Park, they knew they had fallen in love with Mudgee.
Four years ago, the pair originally from Europe, stumbled across Melrose Park and quickly came to the realisation they could not bare to have the property slip through their fingers as "it ticked all of the boxes".
The origins of the250 acre property date back to 1870 when it was first owned by William Bowman who was gifted the land to farm and pasture on.
It was not until the 1900s that the then 900 acre block was subdivided, and has since had various owners including Sarah Cadell and Thomas Short, while remains of the once present dairy and deer farm live on as deer, cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and even an elk continue to roam the grounds.
Fast forward to 2019 and the Brennan's are breathing new life into the location by transforming the property into a wedding venue.
"This year we have been embarking on a journey to open up the doors of Melrose Park to the public by hosting small events, weddings and farm accommodation," Elizabeth said.
"I wasn't going to do it again, but the property lends itself so well.
"It's very secluded and you just literally have the views of Mount Frome beyond."
The venue houses a deer cottage which in the event of a wedding, is transformed into accommodation for the bridal party, while the silos at the rear end of the property are appropriate for the groomsmen to reside with the cow shed reserved for evening celebrations.
The couple have also paired with Mudgee's Commercial Helicopter Service to provide an extended service for those who wish to wed at the old country style inspired venue.
"I'm only ever going to lend it [Melrose Park] to one event at a time. I really want the bride and groom to enjoy the week before, to really immerse themselves and to make it their own home," Elizabeth said.
As long as you've got a bride standing on the lawn, it looks beautiful.Elizabeth Brennan, Melrose Park owner
The Brennan family moved to Australia 10 years ago from Europe and were living in Sydney before gradually moving out to the Central West.
Due to her European background, Elizabeth says it's what triggered her love for old properties such as Melrose Park.
"I just love old properties. Coming from Europe I've always had old properties," she said.
"Apart from it's historic attributes, it's got a beautiful landscape. This does tick a lot of boxes.
"I've never lived on acreage, my largest property with land was in England and that was on two to three acres. In England they seem to think I'm living on some huge cattle station."
When my husband and I stood at the front steps and looked out at the view, we knew that we loved it.
The property has not just been a way for Elizabeth to continue her passion for older homes, but also a learning ground for teachings that she had never come across before living in Mudgee.
"I have never known the importance of water so much from living on the land and in Australia so that's a new one for me," she said.
"Things that you would never have thought of particularly living in Ireland where their problem is too much water."
Due to the age of the property, repair is ongoing and Elizabeth is determined to ensure it is best kept to retain its character.
"I'm hoping that if I can make some funds, it will go towards the upkeep of the house," she said.