Archives Picture Puzzle is Solved
VIEW OF CORRYTON PARK NEAR MOUNT CRAWFORD
Following publication in 'The Mail' last week of an unidentified photograph of a country residence which had been taken to the Archives by Mr. H. Dingle, of Adelaide, information has come from various people establishine the
picture as a watercolor of Corryton Park, the home of at least two pioneering families near Mount Crawford. Mrs. Florence Gepp, of Kensington Gardens, lived at Corryton Park for many years. She was taken there as a child of two. Her grandfather, Mr. William Rounsevell, purchased the estate from Mr. David Randall, who first established it.
Following George Fife Angas' glow- ing accounts in England of the South Australian Colony, David Randall, who was a wealthy man, got together a company of artisans and shepherds and brought them out to South Australia. Accompanied by his wife, groom, gardener, two maids, as well as a St. Bernard dog, for which he brought a special iron kennel, David Randall, ac- cording to archives records, embarked on the ship Templar on July 24, 1854. He arrived in the Colony exactly four months later. Soon after his arrival Randall pur- chased the home of the manager of the South Australian Co., Mr. William Giles, which was situated in Rundle street. But not for long was he content to enjoy the comforts of "city" life. Randall was a real pioneer and took up about 600 acres of land near Dry Creek. This did not satisfy him, how- ever, and he shortly afterward sold it and took up a large holding at Mount Crawford, in the Barossa Ranges. It was there that about 80 years ago David Randall established the Glen Para estate, which when it passed into the hands of Mr. William Rounsevell, was renamed Corryton Park. BOUGHT IN 1870 William Rounsevell bought the estate in 1870 for £15,000 and went to live at Brighton. He thereupon began a cam- paign for intercolonial free trade. In 1874 Randall went to England and en- deavored to float a £100,000 company to develop the South Australian wine industry—he had planted vines at Glen Para—but while in London he became ill and died. Mrs. Gepp was well acquainted with the Randall family. Long before her grandfather acquired the Glen Para
property she and her parents had often stayed there as guests. She recalls the pioneers' great hospitality and their ef- forts to establish a palatial home on traditional English lines in the new colony. Following the establishment of the Glen Para property the Randalls im- ported a large quantity of excellent crockery and glassware from England, Mrs. Gepp says. It took the goods four months to come out from England on a windjammer and so excited were the Randalls at the prospect of its arriving that David and his wife rode all the way from Glen Para to Port Adelaide to take delivery of it. The goods were loaded on to a bul- lock waggon and sent off to the home- stead. Some time later the pioneer and his wife followed. They caught up with the lumbering bullock team, as it made its way up Trial Hill, near
Lyndoch. At one of the bends in the road over the hill the Randalls were horrified to see the waggon go too near to the side of the road and topple over. Down went all the precious crockery and glasses, smashed to a hundred pieces in the gully below. William Rounsevell carried on the property along the lines set down by David Randall. Mrs. Gepp recalls the hustle and bustle of the grape-picking season when German settlers made their way from Tanunda to Corryton Park to assist with picking grapes and later with the primitive method of making wine. After his death Mr. John Rounsevell, the father of Mrs. Gepp, took over the estate. John Rounsevell made an alteration to the homestead. The picture repro- iduced in "The Mail" last week was undoubtedly painted before his time. He altered the front appearance of the house by adding a large square tower to it. It was John Rounsevell who secured the contract for supplying the Government with sleepers for the con- struction of the railway line from Ade- laide to Port Augusta. To cope with the work he imported machinery and saws from England. Trees on Corryton Park were felled to supply the sleepers. These were cut on the estate and carted by bullock teams to Gawler, from where they were sent by train to the railhead. Corry- ton Park buzzed with industry, and several mills were established on dif- ferent sections of the property. Mrs. Gepp says that the milling ope- rations helped to clear the property and make it possible to establish on it a prize merino stud. Country was also opened up for cattle raising. When John Rounsevell's family came to Adelaide—which was fairly fre- quently as he was a member of Par- liament—Mrs. Gepp remembers that they lived in a double-fronted villa, with a beautiful garden and a fountain in North terrace. She thinks that the house must have stood on the western corner of Bank street and North ter- race, where the Implement Co. build- ing now is. BLACKS TROUBLESOME The villa had French windows, and Mrs. Gepp says that her mother would often be startled when blackfellows wandered up the garden path and peered through the windows. The blacks were troublesome in those times ; but waited for the menfolk to leave the home before they had courage enough to enter the garden. , "As children," says Mrs. Gepp, "we often used to run across North terrace and look through the windows of Par- liament House while a debate was on. My father would become very cross when he saw us and wave to us to return home." After running the estate at Corry- ton Park for many years the Rounse- vell family sold it to Mr. Charles Geb- hardt who lived at Burra. Later it passed into the hands of a Mr. Lille- crapp, and now belongs to Mr. L. McBean, of Mount Pleasant. In a letter to the editor of "The Mail" the Archivist (Mr. Pitt) expresses his appreciation of the assistance given by "The Mail" in tracing the history of the picture. Mr. Pitt states that the photo- graph was that of a painting by Mrs. David Randall. She was a very ac- complished woman and published a book of prose and verse describing in- cidents of colonial life. Mr. Charles J. Coudrey, advertising service manager of Gordon & Gotch (Australasia) Ltd., Sydney, arrived by plane from Sydney yesterday on a short holiday visit.
MR. AND MRS. DAVID RANDALL, pioneer founders of the Glen Para estate. A subsequent owner renamed the property Corryton Park.