Grand style with a country touch
A Crafers West mansion is a piece of South Australian history, writes Amy Noonan.
IT’S a ‘‘little bit of England’’ in the Mt Lofty Ranges. Gurrawarra, on Waverley Ridge Rd, was built in 1883 and some of the garden is as old as the house, the vendor says.
The feeling of warmth first drew the owners when they bought the property in 2008.
‘‘As soon as you walked into the house, it had that real warmth about it. Even though it’s a mansion, it doesn’t feel ostentatious,’’ the vendor says.
‘‘It felt like a farm home and we knew straight away . . . the decision to buy it was there and then. We said, ‘this is exactly what we want’.’’
The house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a cellar and a formal lounge room.
‘‘The formal lounge has a magnificent bay window and the drapes are just fantastic; they were already here,’’ the vendor says.
‘‘You also have a separate area which could be a children’s play area, a media room or a parents’ retreat – it’s selfcontained with its own bathroom.’’
The house boasts plenty of history. The vendor says it was built by Alexander Thomas Magarey, a founder of the Royal Geographic Society.
‘‘I think it was his main house. He and his father were evangelists and he came up to the Hills because of an unwell daughter,’’ the vendor says.
The vendor says Waverley Ride Rd was a popular summer holiday spot for wealthy South Australians who lived in North Adelaide.
These days, it’s just eight minutes’ drive from Burnside and a further seven minutes to the city, the vendor says. That was perfect as she got used to living the country life.
‘‘I’m not really a country person but I love what the country gives you. Here, it’s putting your toe in without getting too deep,’’ she says.
Now the vendors are preparing to get in deeper, looking to buy a hobby farm near Hahndorf. The experience of living at Gurrawarra, however, is memorable.
‘‘Clouds go past your windows in winter – at first I thought it was a fire – and it’s a bit like (being in) Sherlock Holmes at night, when the clouds are running past,’’ the vendor says.
‘‘The first year, on August 28, it snowed, and that was magnificent.’’
Outside, on the 0.3ha of garden, are some of the original trees planted in 1880.
‘‘There are four elms, two giant oaks, we have a European horse chestnut and the English horse chestnut – it’s 26 trees and they are all European,’’ she says.
‘‘They form a beautiful canopy in a wooded area filled with bulbs.’’ Features: Furnished holiday home with three bedrooms, timber kitchen, outdoor entertaining area, boat shed as well as a second shed. 18 Curramulka Rd, Minlaton Agent: Professionals Yorketown, ph 8852 1188, Peter Tonkin 0407 390 281. Open: Contact agent. Features: Seven-year-old three-bedroom home with semi-enclosed rear pergola for outdoor entertaining. Established rear lawn, 45,000 litre rainwater tank, fenced dog yard, garage with power and lighting.