Martindale Hall Fight

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

Martindale Hall: Fight to keep historic mansion in public hands


Martindale Hall Estate – National Trust’s Vision to create a world class Heritage-based tourism attraction

  • The SA National Trust have  submitted a formal proposal  for Martindale Hall Conservation Park which will  ensure that this magnificent property, gifted to the people of South Australia, will remain in public hands and be accessible to all.

  • Martindale Hall Estate will be a world class tourism attraction expected to attract  more than 100,000 visitors annually and give one of the State’s jewels the prominence it deserves.

  • The National Trust will invest in the site to develop amenities, attractions and events and will preserve the buildings in accordance with the terms of the original bequest to the people of South Australia.

Will you join us to help keep Martindale Hall for the people?

THE National Trust of South Australia has proposed that the Georgian-style mansion and estate in the Clare Valley would

  • become a new gallery space for international and national art exhibitions,

  • feature an adventure playground and

  • feature a re-created 19th century Victorian pleasure garden,

  • and be underpinned by a year-long schedule of events and festivals.

Millie Nicholls and brother George Hawker at Martindale Hall, Mintaro SA
Millie Nicholls and brother George Hawker support plans to keep Martindale Hall in public hands

The Trust also intends opening up the 20ha property to sports such as polo, croquet and clay pigeon shooting and would establish an endowment fund for maintenance and repairs of the 32-room mansion and grounds.

Former Trust chairman Professor Norman Etherington had said the heart of the plan was to maintain public access to the government-owned property while increasing tourism to the Clare Valley.

  • “The State Government has been trying to decide what to do with Martindale Hall and now we have given it the perfect solution,” he said.

  • “We will establish a world-class tourism destination that will give one of the state’s jewels the prominence it deserves and attract more than 100,000 visitors a year, creating a significant boost to the economy,” he said.

  • “We will invest in the site to develop amenities, attractions and events and will preserve the buildings in accordance with the terms of the original bequest (by the Mortlock family) to the people of South Australia.”

Martindale Hall was built for the Bowman family in 1879-1880 and is open to the public for self-guided tours. Further guided tours are available during History Month in 2020.


National Trust SA CEO Dr Darren Peacock, with Morgan Mudge, 18, of Burra
National Trust SA CEO Dr Darren Peacock, with Morgan Mudge, 18, of Burra

Martindale Station was established by the Bowman family as a sheep property. Edmund Bowman built the Georgian-styled Martindale Hall in 1879 at a cost of £30,000.

  • However, Edmund's extravagant lifestyle, combined with the 1880s depression and a fall in the price of wool, meant the family was forced to sell the property in 1891.

  • The property was purchased by William Mortlock and was owned by the Mortlock family until 1950, when it was bequeathed to the South Australian Government.

  • Today, the heritage-listed hall and surrounding land is open to the public for self-guided tours. It boasts 32 rooms and has a 7-roomed cellar.

Mar.22 2020:

Take a Guided Tour of Martindale Hall:

Marvel of the Mid-North


Discover Martindale! Book now and take an expert guided tour with Dr Georgina Downey, an art and architecture historian in 'Mad March' Save $15.00

  • About this Event Martindale Hall, Mintaro is one of the most outstanding of Australia's great historic homesteads.

  • While many pastoralists of the late nineteenth century built ‘instant palaces’ to cement their social standing, few achieved the vision of classical perfection Edmund Bowman did when he built Martindale in 1879.

  • Praised for its excellent workmanship, and innovative modern comforts, it’s a complete, comparatively intact and stunning experience.

  • Practicalities: come via your own transport, we will meet in the Hall foyer which opens at 10.00 for a 10.30 am start. The tour will last approximately 2 hours.

  • You will have the rest of the day to explore the Clare Valley region, taking in the wineries, pubs, and tourist attractions of Mintaro, Auburn, Clare, Burra and Sevenhill.

  • There’s also the 'Magpie and Stump' pub in Mintaro, about 5 mins away from the Hall which does lovely lunches and has a great wine list.

  • Tour fee includes door charge to the Hall of $12.00

Visit the Martindale Hall website for more information.

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