Du Rieu’s Cottage, 13 St Lukes Street, Willunga

Once the home of local coachmen, including William Du Rieu and William Kelton. Originally a four roomed cottage dating from the 1850s with a 2-room extension in the late 1920s.

It was built for William Augustus Du Rieu who lived here with his wife Celia and five sons. William was born in London in 1830, the son of Henry and Lucy Du Rieu. He came to SA with his parents in May 1839 on the ship Planter. He married Celia Rennison in October 1854. They had 5 sons – William Francis (1856), Henry Louis (1858), Edwin Ernest (1860), Herbert Augustus (1862) and Adolph Theodore (1864).

Du Rieu drove William Rounsevell’s first stage-coach, named “Victoria”, pulled by six horses, two abreast. In 1858, the coach left Willunga daily at 6am and returned from Adelaide at 3pm on the same day. William Rounsevell employed William Du Rieu for 12 years on the Willunga routes and presented him with a silver cup when the business was sold to Cobb and Co. William Du Rieu continued to work for Cobb and Co from 1867 and continued with subsequent owners John Hill and Co from 1871 when he became their road manager.

William Du Rieu was said to be a great lover of horses, an expert driver and very popular with travelers. He was regarded as the most celebrated driver in the state, known as ‘The Old Whip’. In later years, William Du Rieu was the publican at the Clare Hotel from 1882 to 1901. He died in October 1916.

In the 1880s, William and Matilda Kelton and 9 their children (8 sons and a daughter) moved into De Rieu’s house. William was coach driver on the Adelaide to Willunga route between 1886 and 1893, working for Hill and Co. Popularly know as ‘Billy’ he drove on many country routes in SA and was one of the first to drive a coach to the Oakbank races.

In the 1920s and 1930s this building was the home of George Hill, descendant of very early pioneers.

This building is on the City of Onkaparinga’s local heritage list (SA Heritage Places database #5516)

References:

R Baxendale & F Lush Willunga Walks Willunga National Trust Willunga 2010 (1989).
South Australin Register 2 September 1858.
Willunga National Trust folder 23-2-1.

Search Our Web Pages