In honour of Marisa’s late mother Romana, the tiny room on the north-east corner of the House is called GABRIELLI, Romana’s maiden name.
In a Hanworth ‘Mother-Daughter tradition’ of sorts, Romana’s mother, Oliva is honoured with OLIVA’S CHASE, the delightful courtyard area off the Preston Wing and Marisa’s daughter Isabella is honoured with a beautiful room in the Norman Wing. The GABRIELLI ROOM was once actually part of the accommodation pool but is today used as a storeroom.
Towards the north-eastern corner of the original part of the homestead, just before the veranda turns the corner, there is a magnificent room named MARISA (next door to the smallest ‘room’ GABRIELLI). Aptly named for Marisa Vecchio, current owner and proprietor of Accommodations, this room is supremely cloistered and has its own private ensuite. It is thanks to Marisa’s dedication that the restoration of Hanworth House is not only award winning but superbly bespoke of modern and by-gone eras.
The MARY ROOM lies to the right of the MARISA ROOM. It is named for Mary Wienholt, second owner of Hanworth and well established philanthropist. Mary repurposed the sprawling 1860’s family home into a hospice for impoverished gentlewomen, renovating and making significant structural additions to expand the growing need for hospice accommodation. Mary purchased the home in 1913 and subsequently gifted it to the Theosophical Society in 1927 with trust covenants for continued operations as a hospice for women.
MARY, another prestigious room with direct access to both the front and rear verandas of the House, is also ensuited.
To the left of the front door is the office of Hanworth House.
This space is named for Saint Rita who was canonised on May 24, 1900, when she was bestowed the title of Patroness of Impossible Causes but is also known as patroness for abused wives and heartbroken women. While this canonistation is befitting of the current day association and partnership of Hanworth House and the Women’s Legal Service, the naming of RITA actually came about because a miniature plaque of St Rita was found amongst the forgotten possessions of past residents, left behind at the time of Hanworth’s 2012 sale. The well-thumbed icon now sits in the office, honouring and protecting all women of Hanworth House.
ROMANA DRAWING ROOM
To the right of the entry hall is the Drawing Room or lounge room that is now called ROMANA. This room is the most grand of the entire homestead and befittingly is dedicated to Marisa’s late mother Romana Preston.
Romana was quite the remarkable woman! Like mother like daughter. Her long list of achievements includes:
ANNE DINING ROOM
The dining room is through and next door to the Romana Room. This room is named in honour of Anne Powell, the mother of previous owner, Mary Wienholt. A plaque describing Mary’s dedication was installed by the Theosophical Society – Mary Wienholt gifted them the home to continue its Hospice operations. This plaque has been restored and sits to the right of the front door.
Quite coincidentally, without prior knowledge of Mary Wienholt’s dedication, Marisa dedicated Hanworth House to her own late mother, Roman Preston. The commemorative plaque sits alongside Mary’s at the front door. These two events occurred almost 100 years apart. Hanworth House’s first function was held in this room – a house blessing … and despiriting. To find out more see Ghosts of Hanworth House.
The main kitchen has been named CAPTAIN’S GALLEY in honour of George Poynter Heath, Captain in the Royal Navy and original owner of Hanworth. The highly appointed, commercial grade yet somehow homely Kitchen runs off the Anne Dining Room. It is easily accessed from the dining room, the sprawling rear veranda and the front wrap around veranda that overlooks the Wienholt Wing and the Phoenix Pavilion.