Shop and residence, 3 St Peters Tce, Willunga

An 1840s building of local red bricks made at Atkinson’s Brickyard (one of the earliest industries in Willunga which, in 1840, advertised bricks for sale at £3-5-0 per thousand). Two separate doors at the front, a large shopfront window and a small glass pane cut into the sitting room, to give a view of people coming into the shop, all reflect its original purpose. The slate roof, timber doors and small paned windows remain, and a sensitive red brick addition was built in the 1970s on the eastern side.

The cottage was built in the 1840s by Henry Malpas to be rented out as a shop and residence to settlers wishing to set up business in this prime location next to his General Store and Post Office. The building was on part of Henry Malpas’ allotment (part section 248) on which he had built his store, post office, home and stables. When Henry died in 1910, ownership passed to his son James Stanley Malpas, followed by Godfrey Percy Malpas in 1940.

It has been said that Francis Laufkotter, his wife Emelia and their family, were the original occupants in the 1850s. But it has not been possible to verify this as all available information indicates that the Laufkotter family lived at their store in Hill Street, adjoining the Alma Hotel.

John Welchford, a quarryman, and his family were early tenants of 3 St Peters Terrace, from 1855. While he was working for Richard Hill in 1856 John lost part of his finger when a horse shied as he was connecting a chain attaching it to a bullock-dray. Dr Jay removed the remaining part of the finger whilst Welchford was under the influence of chloroform. John Welchford paid Council rates on the cottage, presumably as part of his rental agreement with Henry Malpas. It was usually described in Council rate books as a ‘house and garden’ with an exception in 1870 when it was described as a ‘shop’!

The Thomas family subsequently lived in the house. John and Fanny Welchford’s daughter, Jane married John Thomas (her second husband) in 1886 and may have lived here until her death in 1920, aged 84. In 1949 Percy Malpas sold the cottage at 3 St Peters Tce, together with the adjoining Malpas home/store, to Michael Rhatigan, a contractor. His wife Eileen was a talented pianist and musician who gave local children piano lessons in the cottage. Wilfred Aldam purchased it from Rhatigan in March 1959, following a subdivision which separated 3 St Peters Tce from the original Malpas land at number 1.

Wilfred Aldam then 3 St Peters Terrace, in April 1959, to Constance Delaney a widow whose husband Andrew had been accidentally killed by a falling tree limb in 1952. It is not known if she lived here during the time she owned it, but the house was reportedly quite run down before being sold to Ashleigh Manley in the 1970s. Ownership then passed to leather craftsman Brian O’Shea in 1980. Helen Seamark has been the owner since 1985.

This building is on the City of Onkaparinga’s local heritage list (SA Heritage Places database #5519)


R Baxendale and F Lush Willunga Walks Willunga National Trust Willunga 2010 (1989).
SAILIS (online) CT 43/127; CT 2008/185; CT 2013/34.

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