Slice of Bowman history up for grabs in Port Wakefield

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The former home of Edmund Bowman is for sale in Port Wakefield.

BEFORE acclaimed Aussie bachelor Edmund Bowman called Martindale Hall home, he lived in this humble Port Wakefield abode.

Built for him by his father and grandfather in the 1850s, the Victorian-style homestead – known as Pareora – is ripe for renovation, after being offered to the market for the first time in 25 years. It is listed with Barry Plant Adelaide without a price guide.

Vendor Wendy Diamond, who purchased the property for pastoral pursuits in 1994, said the home’s rich history had made it an attractive acquisition.

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The former home of Edmund Bowman Jnr at Port Wakefield is on the market. Picture: Tom Huntley.

The former home of Edmund Bowman Jnr at Port Wakefield is on the market. Picture: Tom Huntley.

“To be honest, we didn’t know much about the property when we bought it, they didn’t promote that sort of thing back then,” she said.

“But the history became a big part of it over the years. We’ve come across a lot of people who told us about the Bowmans, and sometimes you even get people who call in, saying their grandparents used to work here.”

According to state government records, the ‘Pareora Run’ was originally taken up by John Bowman and Edmund Bowman Senior under occupation licence during the 1840s, as part of their huge pastoral holdings.

The homestead was built during Edmund Bowman Snr’s ownership of the land, with the original parts believed to have been constructed in the 1850s.

The former home of Edmund Bowman Jnr at Port Wakefield is on the market. Picture: Tom Huntley.

The former home of Edmund Bowman Jnr at Port Wakefield is on the market. Picture: Tom Huntley.

Bowman Snr later died here in 1866 when he drowned whilst trying to cross the flooded Wakefield River.

His son, Edmund Bowman Junior, is said to have owned the property until 1897, during which time the then wealthy bachelor settled at his South Australian sandstone mansion, Martindale Hall – which rose to fame after it appeared in Peter Weir’s 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock.

Selling agent Elesa Wood, who offers inspections of the home by appointment, said interest in the property has been overwhelming.

Martindale Hall, which was built in 1880 by Edmund Bowman. The property was used in the film Picnic at Hanging Rock. Picture: Ros Cannon.

Edmund Bowman riding his horse ‘Powder’ for polo, circa 1904. Photo: State Library of South Australia.

“I’ve been excited about the quick responses I got for this property from buyers and I don’t think it will be on the market for long,” she said.

“Interest so far has come from locals but I suspect we’ll be getting calls from interstate soon, too.

“It’s one of those properties where, when you come up the driveway, you just hold your breath because it’s so spectacular.”

While the property does need some work, Ms Wood said it was ideally located for those seeking a quieter lifestyle close to Adelaide.

Set on 121ha of land, the sale comprises a 12 room residence, with high ceilings, ornate fireplaces, Baltic pine floors and a huge central passage.

The former home of Edmund Bowman is for sale in Port Wakefield.

The former home of Edmund Bowman is for sale in Port Wakefield.

The wrought iron lacework and veranda posts were made by Stewart and Harley at the Sun Foundry in Hindley Street, with the patterns created back in 1897 still being copied by current heritage cast iron foundries around the world.

The outbuildings include a three-bay vehicle shed, a workshop and former stables, as well as a renovated office area

“You could renovate it and run a few cattle, or even have horses, as the property comes with a number of outbuildings,” she said.

“There’s also a sheering shed, which currently has a lease on it, so there’s a bit of a financial bonus there.

“The property is also a gateway to the Flinders Ranges and just an hour’s drive north of Adelaide.”

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