Welcome to MARBLE HILL

Follow the journey from Ruin to Restoration


The former Vice Regal Summer Residence of Marble Hill has always enjoyed a “grand and glorious view” over Adelaide and the surrounding Hills.

Built in 1878 in Scottish baronial gothic revival style by Colonial architect William McMinn, it served as a private summer retreat for the Governors of South Australian for 75 years.

On 2nd January 1955 the catastrophic Black Sunday Bushfire swept through the Adelaide Hills, leaving Marble Hill in ruins and the local district devastated.

For the next 60 years Marble Hill remained a ruin. Despite attempts to restore it over the years,  the main building remained with no roof or floor and no protection from weathering and vandalism, so the walls continued to crumble.

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In 2007 the State Government called for expressions of interest in the development of Marble Hill and they received a bold proposal from a local family to rebuild the ruin. A Heritage Agreement was negotiated and in 2009 the 50 acre hill-top property was sold to the Marble Hill Heritage Group. The heritage agreement requires the new owners to rebuild the ruined residence to its pre-1955 exterior at their own cost under the supervision of a heritage architect. They must also protect the residence from bushfire, restore the gardens and open the property to the public several times a year.

The property was badly overgrown with woody weeds, so the first urgent task was removal of blackberries, broom and pine trees to lessen the risk of bushfire and restore the native woodland habitat.
In 2011 a large new building was constructed in the style of a 19th Century Barn using local Basket Range sandstone and Littlehampton bricks. The Barn is used for administration and storage and serves as an undercover venue for Open Days.

Work has now commenced on restoration of the Main Residence, starting with the Tower, which will be re-roofed in copper in keeping with the original architectural plans.

The rebuilding of Marble Hill coincides with the revival of horticulture in the district of Basket Range in the central Adelaide Hills, particularly wine growing. Our not-for-profit Open Days celebrate the local history, promote the local produce and support the local community.

By late 2016 the renovated Stables will re-open as a Cellar Door.

The story of the first 135 years is told in the book "Marble Hill - A Grand and Glorious View"  by Geoffrey & Patricia Bishop. It was launched on 2nd January 2015, 60 years after Black Sunday, and is available for purchase at Marble Hill Open Days and through the East Torrens Historical Society  (http://www.eths.ws)

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