Waverley Park Homestead, 23 St Peters Terrace, Willunga

Thomas Smith Kell had established a house and dairy here by 1846, calling the property Waverley Park. The large stone house (now called Waverley Park Homestead) was built in stages by various owners but the original pug cottage remains within the structure. The dairy outbuilding behind the house, with its unique construction of finely cut book-leaf slate, is possibly the only complete example surviving from this earlier period. In 1865, Thomas Smith Kell was one of the first to experiment with growing flax.

Thomas Storey Aldam leased the property in the 1870s. It was sold to John Allen and family in 1879. Allen owned and worked the Delabole Slate Quarry until 1903 and was a leading member of the community, being Chairman of the District Council for a number of years. The picturesque property with two tree-lined creeks had been a camping place for indigenous people of the Kaurna tribe. It later became a popular venue for picnics by schools, Sunday schools, Bands and other local groups.

The Bowling Club opened in 1928 followed by a short-lived Croquet Club, both on land donated by Herbert Allen. In 1949 Allen bequeathed Waverly Park to the residents of Willunga for community recreation. The Willunga Golf Club was formed in 1973 and the course opened in 1976, with an 18 hole redevelopment and subdivision in the 1980s. The District Council of Willunga refurbished the building and opened it as their Council Chambers in April 1996. For about 18 years from the late 1990s the building was leased to STARS (Southern Theatre and Arts Supporters) as an arts and cultural centre.

In April 2023 the Willunga National Trust took over management of Waverley Park Homestead and established an Art Gallery and cultural centre in the building.

This building is on the City of Onkaparinga’s local heritage list (SA Heritage Places database #5460)

References:

R Baxendale and; F Lush Willunga Walks Willunga National Trust Willunga 2010 (1989)
A history of Waverley Homestead STARS Willunga October 2006

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