It was while studying law at Cambridge that young Edmund came to love the English lifestyle and after having come into his inheritance: Martindale station and a great deal of money, he engaged a London architect to design a home similar to the English manor houses. Sixty tradesman, most brought out from England, were contracted to build the house which took 23 months. Edmund surrounded the house with a polo ground, a racecourse, a boating lake and a cricket pitch in which the English X1 played at least once. He and his 2 brothers lived the high life entertaining Adelaide society, including the Adelaide hunt club. M
Edmund had to sell up in 1891 because of over expansion, drought and the depression of the mid 1880’s. At the sale he would have made only 3000 pounds in the 11 years he owned it. Don’t think he would have been happy with this capital growth. Too much shooting animals, polo playing and spending money Edmund! M
The house was bought by William Mortlock a South Australian grazier and politician who had inherited his father’s empire as a wedding present for his wife Rosye for only 33,000 pounds.( a steal!) Some wedding present Bill! William and Rosye also had 6 children, but only 2 survived into adulthood.
Of the 2 surviving boys one drowned leaving John (known as Jack) to inherit Martindale Station when his parents died. Jack was a very studious man who traveled all over the world, bringing back many artefacts which you can see all over the hall today. He married in 1948 and died 15 months later at ago 55.
William Mortlock and wife Rosye above for whom he bought the house as a wedding present.
Above is the story of Valentine’s room who of the 6 children who was locked in this room due to his “cretinism”. He died aged 8.
When son Jack Mortlock died he bequeathed the property to the University of Adelaide, appointing his wife as trustee. She handed Martindale Station over to the University in 1965 and died in 1979. In 1986 the University handed the Hall with 45 acres over to the South Aust. Govt. M
Now have a look at how different the next rooms are. They are for the servants so no need for too much finery.