Grand style with a coun­try touch

A Crafers West man­sion is a piece of South Aus­tralian his­tory, writes Amy Noo­nan.

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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.

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