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The imposing house ‘Carclew’ on the summit of Montefiore Hill at North Adelaide with grounds extending between Jeffcott Street and Strangways Terrace was built for tobacco merchant Hugh Robert Dixson in 1901 and at first named ‘Stalheim’. Architect John Quinton Bruce created an eccentric Federation-style mansion in sandstone with red brick bands, its form complicated by multiple roof gables, balconies and a tall corner turret. In 1908 the house was bought by Marie Bonython, wife of Sir John Langdon Bonython, proprietor of the Advertiser, and given its present name. Occupied by the Bonython family until 1965, the house is now owned by the state and operated as a youth arts centre. The fence surrounding the site dates from the earlier house of James Chambers, which was the starting point in 1861 of John McDouall Stuart’s expedition to cross Australia.

By Peter Bell

This entry was first published in The Wakefield companion to South Australian history edited by Wilfrid Prest, Kerrie Round and Carol Fort (Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2001). Edited lightly. Uploaded 25 June 2014.

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1897-1908

Images
Image: A large, two-storey stone mansion with a cylindrical turret comprising one corner of the structure
‘Carclew’, 30 November 1897. At the time this photograph was taken, the property was known by the name ‘Stalheim’
Courtesy of/Photographer:Ernest Gall

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 5344, Public Domain

Image: A large, two-storey stone mansion with a cylindrical turret comprising one corner of the structure
‘Carclew’, 30 November 1897. At the time this photograph was taken, the property was known by the name ‘Stalheim’
Courtesy of/Photographer:Ernest Gall

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 5331, Public Domain

1908-1965

Images
Image: A large, two-storey stone mansion with a cylindrical turret comprising one corner of the structure
The south-eastern façade of ‘Carclew’, c. 1910

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 8437, Public Domain

Image: A large, two-storey stone mansion with a cylindrical turret comprising one corner of the structure
‘Carclew’, c. 1930s. The property was the home of Sir John Langdon Bonython and family at the time this photograph was taken

History SA. South Australian Government Photographic Collection, GN13382

People

Images
Image: A middle-aged man with mutton-chop sideburns dressed in early-nineteenth century attire
James Chambers, c. 1850. Chambers was the first European owner of the property upon which ‘Carclew’ was later built

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 28865, Public Domain

Image: A middle-aged man with a long, unkempt beard and dressed in mid-nineteenth century attire poses for a photograph
John McDouall Stuart, 1860. Stuart’s successful expedition across Australia commenced on land where ‘Carclew’ was later built

History SA. South Australian Government Photographic Collection, GN03084

Image: A man sporting a waxed handlebar moustache and three-piece suit poses for an official photographic portrait
Hugh Robert Dixson, 1902. Dixson (later Sir Hugh Robert Denison) was first owner of the manor house later known as ‘Carclew’

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 6691/31, Public Domain

Image: A woman in wealthy late-Victorian attire poses for a photograph
Lady Marie Louise Bonython, c. 1890. Lady Bonython purchased ‘Carclew’ in 1908 and lived there until her death in 1924

Image courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, SLSA: B 11246, Public Domain

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