Martindale Hall and Miranda

Remember when Miranda and her classmates left Appleyard College for picnic and then decided to explore Hanging Rock, never to return? The iconic film Picnic at Hanging Rock set on Valentine’s Day in 1900 was critically successful for drawing international attention to the emerging Australin film industry.

Appleyard College was in fact the Georgian styled Martindale Hall at Mintaro, about a 90 minute drive from Adelaide.

This striking Italian influenced heritage-listed sandstone mansion was constructed in 1879-1990 for Edmund Bowman Jr.  His father, Edmund Snr, had arrived in the area in 1838 after buying 9159 acres around Mintaro, naming it Martindale Station and setting up what was to become a famous Merino sheep stud.

The second owner was William Mortlock, a South Australian grazier and politician who bought Martindale Hall and Station as a wedding present for his wife Rosye in 1891.

His son, John, developed the station and built up an impressive art collection. When he died, 400 acres of farmland and the Hall were bequeathed to the University of Adelaide and Libraries Board of South Australia while providing a life interest in the estate for his wife.  When she died childless in 1979, she bequeathed it all to the University of Adelaide.

The Mortlock family name is now associated with extraordinarily beautiful Mortlock Wing of the State Library of Sout Australia.

A visit to Martindale Hall

Wandering the hallways, rooms and grounds is a joy for those of us curious about what surrounded people living such a life over a century ago.  The overflowing library with its unusual coat of armour, the eclectic collections of artifacts and artworks all mingle with the signs of domesticity, albeit that of a higher quality lifestyle.

The Hall a real presence and its well worth a visit to where Miranda once walked the hallways.

This article was compiled with information from the following links:

Martindale Hall and visiting details

Martindale Hall – general

Mortlock Wing – State Library of Australia

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