Historical Timeline for Marble Hill

A Summer Residence for 75 years:

1878 – The site for the Vice-Regal Summer Residence was chosen by Governor Sir William Jervois and plans were drawn up by colonial architect William McMinn.

1879 to 1880 – The Residence was constructed in local sandstone with a roof of Welsh slate. Only 26 of the proposed 46 rooms were built, with Stables for 6 horses, Coachhouse & Coachman's Cottage nearby.

1880 to 1955 – As the Vice-Regal Summer Residence for 75 years, Marble Hill was used as a private retreat for 15 Governors and their families. 

1908 – Snowstorms prompted construction of a second Gas House to provide acetylene gas heating as well as lighting.

1912 – The English cricket team helped fight off a bushfire when invited to lunch.

1938 – The Stables were converted to garaging for 4 cars.

1939-40 – Upgrades to the house included 2 additional bathrooms. A model railway track was installed for Sir Malcolm Barclay-Harvey.

1954 – A major earthquake in March caused damage requiring repairs to Government House in Adelaide, so the power supply at Marble Hill was updated from gas to electricity, and the Governor and his family moved to the Summer Residence for the Christmas/New Year holidays.

2nd Jan 1954 – Black  Sunday. Marble Hill was gutted by bushfire. The Governor Sir Robert George, Lady George and their family and staff were lucky to escape with their lives.

A Ruin for 60 years:

1955 – With all buildings on the site reduced to ruins, parts of the main residence were bulldozed and Marble Hill was abandoned.

1960 – The land was used by Dept of Agriculture for bushfire research.

1967 to 1992 – The Marble Hill Ruin was transferred to the care of the National Trust of South Australia.

1973 – The Stables opened as Tearooms and attracted many visitors over the next 20 years.

1975 – The tower was reconstructed and opened as a lookout by the Governor, Sir Mark Oliphant.

1985 – The Country Fire Service (CFS) began using the tower for communications and fire spotting.

1992 – After 25 years under the National Trust, Marble Hill was returned to the care of the State Government through Parks SA.

1994 – Friends of Marble Hill volunteer group was formed.

1998 – A Conservation and Dilapidation Report by Danvers Architects recommended the Ruin be roofed to prevent further degradation.

2007 – The State Government called for Expressions of Interest in the future development of the Marble Hill site.

The Renaissance:

2009 – Marble Hill was sold to Marble Hill Heritage Group under a Heritage Agreement, which defines the owners' obligations to 

  • Reconstruct the Ruin,
  • Maintain the Grounds
  • Allow public access through Open Days, and 
  • Protect the property from Bushfire

2010 – An intensive weed management program starts to restore the property to open woodland with native grasses and wildflowers.

2011 – The New Barn is built in traditional stone and brick, and used for admin & storage. Planting begins for an English style park.    

2014 – Restoration starts again on the Stables and Tower.

2015 – A Book on the history of Marble Hill is launched on 2nd January 2015, 60 years after Black Sunday.