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Martindale Hall Story: 1a

Martindale Hall Chronology

Coach manufactured by Duncan & Fraser, Adelaide, the property of Edmund Bowman  B-17731-2.
Edmund Bowman 1865 illustration.png
William Ranson Mortlock, born Melbourn, Cambridgeshire B-11343.jpeg

Above: William Ranson Mortlock, born Melbourn, Cambridgeshire 

Thomas Richard Bowman 1885.jpg

Above: Thomas Richard Bowman 1885

Below: Old colonists 1836-1840

- William Bowman

Old colonists 1836-1840 - William Bowman.jpg
Frances Hasell 2.png
Edmund Bowman and Annie Cowle.png
Rosye F. Mortlock PRG-1445-8-8.jpeg

Above: Rosina Mortlock

Below: John Andrew Tennant Mortlock (Jack)

John Andrew Tennant Mortlock. B-46904.jpeg
Dorothy Elizabeth Mortlock  B-68335.jpeg

Martindale Chronology


From: The Mortlock Weapons Collection

Summary of State Heritage Object: 10067-001

Provisionally entered by the South Australian Heritage Council

on 16 July 2020

Confirmed by the South Australian Heritage Council

on 10 December 2020


Read more: State Heritage protection pending for Martindale Hall weapons
17 July 2020

Note: The chronology includes key dates and events from both the place’s and object’s histories.

1838 Edmund Bowman visits South Australia and upon his return to Tasmania convinces his parents to relocate the family to South Australia.

1839 Edmund Bowman arrives in South Australia with a flock of sheep. His brothers John Jr. and William follow with a second flock of sheep and are joined later by their parents John and Mary and sisters.

1840 John Bowman Sr. purchases section 341 at Enfield and establishes ‘Barton Vale’ including orchard, vines and grain crops.


1843 John Sr. and Edmund Sr. Bowman begin to move their stock (sheep) north and look for land to lease around the Wakefield River. William Ranson Mortlock arrives in South Australia and works as an Inspector of Sheep, amongst other activities.

1844 J Bowman takes out an occupation license over land described as Finniss River.

1845 J Bowman takes out 2 occupation licenses for land near the River Wakefield.

1846 J Bowman takes out an occupation license for land at Lower Wakefield. 1847 J Bowman takes out occupation licenses for land in Upper Wakefield and Light Regions. Upper Wakefield land is named Martindale.


William Ranson Mortlock procures an occupation license for land near Tumby Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.


1848 Edmund Bowman Sr. purchases 3 acres of land in the village of Enfield near Barton Vale and builds a 5-room stone cottage.

1850 William Ranson Mortlock and Margaret Tennant marry in Port Lincoln and soon after relocate to Adelaide, where William runs flour mills on Halifax Street and at Port Noarlunga. Their pastoral holdings are cared for by a manager.


1850- 1851 Hundreds of Upper Wakefield and Stanley are proclaimed and the Bowman’s purchase most of the land in the area they lease.

1852 ‘Barton Vale’ house comprising eleven rooms is completed and is surrounded by a 3 acre garden. The property also features a stables, coach house and numerous outbuildings.

1854 Edmund Bowman Sr. and Elizabeth Hackney are married at Trinity Church. 1855 Edmund Bowman Jr. is born.


1857 John Bowman dies leaving his pastoral holdings to his four sons. (Edmund Sr. inherits ‘Barton Vale’, Martindale and Werocata.) Edmund transfers the title of the 3-acre property and cottage at the village of Enfield to his mother, Mary. William and Margaret Mortlock return to the Eyre Peninsula with their young family after the Halifax Street mill is destroyed by fire.

1857- 1864 Brothers Edmund Sr., John Jr., Thomas and William Bowman collectively manage the Bowman pastoral holdings.

1858 William Tennant Mortlock is born near Port Lincoln.

1860s1870s William Ranson and Margaret Mortlock continue to build their pastoral holdings adding Strawberry Hill and Lake Wangary to the Yalluna Run. They also acquire pastoral holdings in the north of the State including Angorichna, Mount Arden and Yudnapinna. 

1866 Edmund Sr. drowns in the Wakefield River leaving his estate to his sons Edmund Jr., Charles and Hubert and financial support for his daughters Clarissa, Alice and Jessie. Edmund Sr. bequests his wife Elizabeth the use of ‘Barton Vale’ during her life. The Bowman estate is placed into trust and the land leased until the children reach their majority.


1868- 1884 William Ranson Mortlock serves three terms in the House of Assembly.

1873 William Tennant Mortlock travels to England to study law at Cambridge University. After completing his degree he practices law in London.

1875 Edmund Bowman Jr. travels to England to study law at Cambridge University. While in the UK he meet Francis Hasell (Fanny) and wishes to marry her.

1878 Edmund Bowman Jr. commissions Ebenezer Gregg to design Martindale Hall. The completed house is meant as an enticement to try and persuade Fanny to marry him and move to South Australia. She ultimately refuses.

Mid1878 Edmund Bowman Jr. returns to South Australia (without completing his degree) and launches amicable legal proceedings to have his father’s intentions interpreted in the disposal of the trust as both Edmund Jr. and Charles had turned 21 and wished to manage their inheritance. The trust is valued at £114,410.

1878- 1880 Martindale Hall and Coach House are constructed under the supervision of EJ Woods and main builder Robert Huckson. A pump house, reservoir and tanks are constructed to supply water to the house.


Late 1870s - early 1880 Edmund Bowman Jr. and Charles borrow substantial sums of money and continue to build their pastoral empire.


By 1883 they own Wandillah (17,787 acres), Mt Bryan (25,136 acres), Martindale/Wirrilla (16,000 acres), Holm Hill (1,600 acres), Werocata (25,616 acres), Forrester’s Farm (595 acres) other land (1,000 acres) and lease Euro Bluff, Andamooka, Parakylia and a small station at Mongolatta.


1881 William Tennant Mortlock returns to South Australia due to his father’s ill health.

1881- 1885 South Australia experiences a severe drought.

1884 Edmund Jr. and Annie Lewers Cowle are married at St Peter’s Cathedral. William Ranson Mortlock dies and leaves his estate to his son William Tennant Mortlock.


1886 Edmund Jr and Charles increasingly struggle to service their debt and raise credit against the following year’s wool clip to pay their interest bill. They also offer four properties for sale. When Werocata sells for less than anticipated Edmund Jr. transfers Martindale into joint ownership with Charles.


March 1890 The English, Scottish and Australian Bank declares Edmund Jr. and Charles’s account inoperative.

Sept 1890 Martindale Hall is offered for sale.

Jan 1891 William Tennant Mortlock and Rosina Forsyth Tennant marry, her father gives the couple £20,000 as a wedding present/dowry.

March 1891 William Tennant Mortlock and Rosina Forsyth Tennant Mortlock purchase Martindale Hall for £33,000 and redecorate and furnish the house.


1891 William and Rosina also acquire Euro Bluff Station, near Port Augusta. 1894 John Andrew Tennant Mortlock is born.

1896- 1902 William Tennant Mortlock serves two terms in the House of Assembly and is noted for his contributions on pastoral matters.

1897 William and Rosina acquire Warratta Vale Station (southern Eyre Peninsula).

1905 The Kapunda Herald notes the extensive weapons and ethnographic collections acquired by William Tennant Mortlock during his travels.

1913 William Tennant Mortlock dies after a period of ill health.
John who was studying at Cambridge returns home. John decides to live at Martindale Hall with his mother Rosina and together they jointly manage the Mortlock pastoral estate, which encompasses 1,976 square miles of land in South Australia.

1920s Rosina redecorates Martindale Hall.

1926 The South Australian Government considers acquiring Martindale Hall for closer settlement, however, due to costly improvements find it too expensive to do so.

1932 South Australian Homes and Gardens magazine notes the extensive weapons collection at Martindale Hall and identifies both William and his son John as its collectors.


1936 After the death of his brother in Colombo, John and Rosina establish the Ranson Mortlock Trust to fund research into soil erosion and pasture regeneration. 

1940 Dorothy Beech begins working as Ernest Scarf’s secretary, Scarf manages the Mortlock accounts.

1947 Dorothy Beech takes over the management of the Mortlock account after Scarf dies.

1948 John is diagnosed with cancer, he and Dorothy are married soon after.


1950 John Mortlock dies, leaving the majority of his estate (£1,148,124) in trust jointly to the Waite Institute University of Adelaide and the Libraries Board of South Australia. Dorothy is appointed a trustee and is given a lifetime interest in Martindale Hall.

1953 University of Adelaide expresses and interest in taking over control of Martindale Hall.

1959 University of Adelaide proposes creating a research station at Martindale Hall.

1965 An agreement is reached between the University of Adelaide and the trustees of Martindale Hall to enable the University to establish a research station at the property. As a part of the agreement, the University is to maintain the Hall.

1972 Martindale Hall is proclaimed a conservation park.

1979 Dorothy Mortlock dies and the Mortlock estate is divided between the University of Adelaide and Libraries Board of South Australia. Dorothy also leaves a bequest to the University specifically to assist in the upkeep of Martindale Hall.

24 July 1980 Martindale Hall is entered in the South Australian Heritage Register as a State Heritage Place.

1980s University of Adelaide embarks on a rationalisation of the structures at Martindale Hall and the conservatory and garden elements are removed. The Coach House is re-roofed.

1980s-present Martindale Hall is used as a tourism venue and historic house museum.

1986 Martindale Hall and Dorothy Mortlock’s bequest is given to the South Australian Government.

5 Dec 1991 Under the provisions of the National Parks and Wildlife Act



  • LeMessurier Architects (1991), ‘Martindale Mintaro Conservation Plan’ (Adelaide: South Australian Department of Environment and Planning).

  • Elizabeth Warburton (1979), Martindale Hall, (Adelaide: University of Adelaide).

  • The South Australian Government Gazette, 5 December 1991, p.1668.

  • Pioneers Association of South Australia (1948), Pioneers Visit to Martindale Hall, (Adelaide: Pioneers Association of SA).


Newspapers, Magazines, Archival & Websites

  • ‘Advertising’, Register 29 December 1852, p.2.

  • ‘Married’, Observer 4 February 1854, p.5.

  • ‘Marriages’, Register 9 September 1871, p.8.

  • ‘Law and Criminal Courts Supreme Court-In Equity’, Register 6 December 1878, p.1.

  • ‘Advertising’, Evening Journal 3 March 1879, p.2.

  • ‘Advertising’, Observer 18 December 1880, p.18.

  • ‘Mr E Bowman’s Mansion at Martindale’, Observer 25 December 1880, p.32.

  • ‘Mr E Bowman’s Mansion at Martindale’, Evening Journal 18 December 1880, p.2.

  • ‘Fashionable Weddings’, Evening Journal 29 January 1891, p.3.

  • ‘Flocks and Herds Poltalloch Estate’, Observer 9 January 1904, p.13.

  • ‘Martindale’, Kapunda Herald 3 November 1905, p.1.

  • ‘Death of Mr WT Mortlock’, Chronicle 23 August 1913, p.15.

  • ‘Martindale Hall, Mintaro the home of Mr JT Mortlock, South Australian Homes and Gardens March 1932.

  • ‘First Leesees of Crystal Brook’, Laura Standard and Crystal Brook Courier 19 August 1932, p.2.

  • Collyer, HDC (1936), ‘Martindale Hall: smoke room view 1’ SLSA B 46418.

  • Collyer, HDC (1936), ‘Martindale Hall: smoke room view 2’ SLSA B 46419.

  • March, Marian, ‘Historic Country Home’, Advertiser 5 May 1937, p.8.

  • ‘History of Martindale Hall’ [accessed 31 October 2019].

Next pageEdmund Bowman (senior)
- Notes from the book "The Bowmans of Martindale Hall"

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