We are now in Hill street, and here I find some lovely old homes, and a cute small Pay Office Cottage.
These two buildings are of slate construction, and were originally owned by the Manager of Mintaro Slate. The property was purchased in 1855 for 30 pounds. The simple square building next door was used as the pay office while he operated the quarry. It still has its original slate chimney intact.
The fence along Hill Street has cast iron rails and the gate posts are made of large slate slabs.
The historic Devonshire house, started out as the Devonshire Hotel in 1856. It was the second pub in town to entertain the bullockies and was so large, it had a shooting gallery and a skittles alley.
The Hotel didn't rely on Bar trade, but accommodation for tired travellers.
The large concert hall was where Pastoralist's, Farmer's and Mining men met, and Agricultural shows were held. No alcohol, just light refreshments and a roaring fire kept the guests warm, kerosene lamps swinging from the ceiling, and rows of candles gave light.
The Hotel gave up it's licence in 1898 and became a temperance hotel, then a boarding house and finally a private home. It now is used as a B&B.
The Magpie & Stump Hotel has been a wild pub in its time. Licensed in 1851, the Pub catered for Bullock and Mule drivers who passed through the town. Nowdays, it is restored like a typical English Pub.
The former Bakers shop is part of the Pub Dining room and features the original wood-fired oven. You can buy a pizza cooked in the town's original baker's oven which dates to the 1850s. Beyond the baker's oven, is a room devoted to the Mintaro Coursing Club which started in 1884. The last live hare was chased in 1986, from then on, a drag lure was used until 1997 when it closed.
PUB OPENS AT...... 11 am daily
LUNCH....Tues - Sun 12.00pm - 2.00pm
DINNERMon - Sat From 6.00pm
Reservations are recommended (08) 8843 9014 as Mintaro is a very popular tourist destination, with many Coaches coming here.
The Teapot Inn, shops and residence were originally part of an early shopping complex, which included a general store, butcher and shoemaker. It dated to the late 1850s, the Mintaro Mews, next door, opened in 1982.
This building was rather pretty, as the Autumn leaves on the glory vine were brilliant colours of red. It looked so inviting!
The Building was built mainly with slate from Mintaro mines and was owned by a Blacksmith. Outside the front entrance, the old stone steps are still there where people used to mount their Horses.
Now, the building is used as a Coffee shop and does meals and you can stay here too, upstairs where the cute attic windows are.
Inside, the building has been lovingly restored.
Opening hours Friday-Monday ....10.00am - 4.00pm
On my walk, I came across three attached buildings. This is where the Carpenter lived and worked. His house and shop were built in the late 1850's and used until the 1870's, when it was taken over and used as a Post Offie and Store. The Mintaro Telegraph, which opened in 1873, operated from the store.
The store is still in one piece, but the Carpenter's shop is now in ruins.
A couple of nice buildings that are joined together, are the Institute  and the Council Chambers . In 1932, the Council amalgamated with the Clare District Council. The two buildings were not always joined together, this only happened in 1942.
The buildings have now been renovated and used for social and cultural activities.
Where do you find it?....
At the historic village of Mintaro!
The Mission Cross, dating to 1881, is situated infront of the plain Catholic Church, "Church of the Immaculate conception", built in 1856.
Next to the Church, is an old cemetery with high grass, in fact, the whole cemetery looks forgotten.
I never expected to find the oldest Jesuit Church in a town like Mintaro!
We are now able to visit the inside of Martindale Hall. This come about, as a William Mortlock purchased the property from the Bowmans in the "great depression" as a wedding gift for his wife . It was a bargain at 33,000 pounds!
It was in this family until the last "Mortlock" died and left no heirs. When the "will" was read, it stated the property be left to the University of Adelaide.
It is now leased privately and is open to the public for viewing, so we decided to go inside and see how these rich Australian's lived back then.
We rang the bell, and soon were in the House. I was very disappointed that NO PHOTO'S WERE ALLOWED, instead, a postcard was given upon entry and a pamphlet.
If you go to the website, they have photo's on there of the inside of the house.
Most of the rooms were open, only some closed because the House is used for accommodation.
We were able to view the many rooms at leisure, no tour guide needed!
There were quite a few bedrooms, dressing rooms, and guest lounge, all located on the 1st floor. These were reached by walking through the Entrance Hall into the Main Hall, which has a black and white marble floor and a carved staircase leading to the first floor.
On the ground floor was the kitchen, Dining room[1890 dining room table], large hall with a beautiful staircase, Drawing room, Smoking room, Billiard room with a full size billiard table , and some other rooms. My favorite room was the "Smoking" room.
All the furniture was shipped from England to here on the Ship "India," in the 1880's.
There is a cellar, but it isn't open to visitors.
I don't think it is as impressive as European Mansions, but it still has plenty of lovely furniture and furnishings, so interesting to see the opulent lifestyle these people lived back then!
Allow at least 1 hour for a visit.....
Toilet block by the car-park
OPEN....Monday to Friday: 11am to 4pm
...........Saturday and Sunday: Noon to 4pm
ADMISSION IN 2012......Adults $10.00.....Children [5-15 years] % 2.50
Concession [students/pensioners/seniors] $7.50
I think Martindale Hall is an unusual sight in Australia, especially here!
To me, it looks like it should be in Europe.
Martindale Station, was the home of the Bowman family in 1841, a huge Sheep Station, where they ran top quality Merino sheep over 11,000 acres. They were very successful, and bought other holdings in the area.
Mr. Bowman drowned in the River Wakefield, and so the holdings and a substansial sum of money were left to the 11year old son. The son, went to Cambridge University, was 21 when he came home and decided to build a Mansion befitting of a "country squire" or "Lord of the Manor."
The Martindale Hall I was viewing, was the one he had built between 1879/80, at a cost of 30,000 pounds. Around the Hall, was a Polo field, Boating Lake, Oval for cricket and a Racecourse.
This certainly was a little part of "England" in the Australian country!
For Bird-lovers, Martindale Hall had quite a few wild Parrot's that had called the Gum trees home.
There were dozens of the salmon pink/rose red breasted, grey winged Galahs settling in the Trees.
Then, in the paddock, feeding amongst the Sheep, were the beautiful Crimson Rosella's.
Part of the 1975 Australian film "PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK" was filmed here. When we went for our look inside Martindale Hall, we saw the "White Room" which was used as Meranda's room in "Picnic at Hanging Rock." I have seen the film and it was easy to imagine the girls in their long white frocks heading into the hall and climbing up the beautiful stairway. It was like going back in time!
If you don't know the story........
It's about a party of schoolgirls from Appleyard College who picknicked at Hanging Rock, near Mt. Macedon in the State of Victoria, on Saturday 14th February 1900. During the afternoon several members of the party disappeared without a trace.......
and so the story evolves..
Mintaro has a heritage walk, so pick up a brochure of the walk, or download one from the listed website.
Walking Mintaro is easy. The Village is small, and it is mainly flat walking. Lots of the buildings are located close together.
I found, a lot of the old heritage buildings are now B&B's. The other old buildings have been made into Arts & Crafts stores, Antiques, Art Galleries and places to eat. The outside of the buildings are still the same, they aren't allowed to be changed when on the National Heritage list.
This sweet Cottage, was one of a few businesses open on a week-day in Mintaro. In fact, in April, it was pretty quiet, we had the town nearly all to ourselves.
Reilly's Cottage is now a Cellar Door/Restaurant.
Hugh Reilly, a shoemaker from Ireland arrived in the tiny township of Mintaro, in the Clare Valley in 1856. He then made himself busy over the next 10 years, converting the stone barn that had been his home, into Reilly's Cottage which served as the local Cobbler's Shop in the centre of the bustling town, which had boomed with the discovery of slate in the area.
The Cottage is restored, and it's here where you can sample Reillys Wines....Rieslings and reds.
Lunch & Dinner is cooked with their own organic vegetables, and they have homemade cakes, desserts and Coffee. The Menu is seasonal and changes regularly to suit the produce available and their specials change daily too!
It has a verandah with tables and chairs, so nice to sit on, especially under the vines on a warm day.
Open 10.00am - 4.00pm for coffee and cake.
Gourmet lunch 12.00pm - 3.00pm
Martindale Hall is an authentic 19th century Georgian Mansion. It was built in 1879 and was actually featured in the Australian film "Picnic at Hanging Rock". It features all the original furniture and fittings and is a nice stopping off point for something a bit different while in Clare Valley (i.e. not for wine).
They also offer accommodation, which would be pretty amazing I should think.