Ayers house, north terrace, Adelaide

Ayers House

Address: 288 North Terrace, Adelaide.

Phone No: (08) 8223 1234.

Bus Routes: 99c.

Official Timings: 10am- 4pm Tue-Fri; 1- 4pm Sat, Sun

Official Holidays: Good Fri, 25 Dec.

ayers house interior, adelaide

Ayers House is one of the best examples of colonial Regency architecture in Australia. From 1855 until his death in 1897, it was the home of Sir Henry Ayers, a former Premier of South Australia and an influential businessman. The original house was quite simple but was expanded over the years with the growing status and wealth of its owner. The final form of this elegant mansion is due largely to the noted colonial architect Sir George Strickland Kingston. The restored house is now run by the National Trust and also incorporates two restaurants. The oldest section is open to the public and houses a fine collection of Victorian furniture, furnishings, memorabilia and art.

The story of Sir Henry Ayers

Sir Henry Ayers (1821-97) was born in Hampshire, England, the son of a dock worker. He married in 1840 and, a month later, immigrated with his bride to South Australia. After working briefly as a clerk, Ayers made his fortune in the state's new copper mines. Entering politics in 1857, he was appointed South Australia's Premier seven times between 1863 and 1873, and was President of the Legislative Council, 1881-93. Among many causes, he supported exploration of the interior (Ayers Rock, now Uluru, was named after him), but is chiefly remembered for his prominent role in the development of South Australia. Characteristics features of Ayers House is listed below

Bedroom

The main bedroom has been carefully restored to its late-Victorian style. Its authentic furnishings reflect the prosperity brought by South Australia's rich mining discoveries in the 1870s.

The Library, furnished with a long dining table, can be hired for functions.

Ballroom

ayers house ball room, adelaide

This intricately decorated cornice dates from the 1870s. It is likely that it was painted by Charles Gow, an employee of the Scottish firm of Lyon and Cottier, who is believed to have undertaken extensive work at the house.

State Dining Room

ayers house dining room, adelaide

Sir Henry loved to entertain, and lavish dinners were often held here. It boasts a hand-painted ceiling, stenciled woodwork and the original gasoliers.

Local bluestone was used in constructing the house, as with many 19th-century Adelaide houses. The north fa├žade faces onto North Terrace, one of the city's main streets.

The Conservatory is based around the original stables and coach house. Now a restaurant, the whole area has been flooded with light by the addition of a glass roof.

The family drawing room, along with the adjacent family dining room, had test strips removed from its walls and ceiling to uncover some stunning original decoration. These rooms have now been fully restored.