Saturday, October 31, 2015

Martinsell Estate, Pewsey Vale #Barossa Valley - for sale

This weekend there is a lot of local media around the sale of this Georgian style home at Pewsey Vale in the Barossa Valley, under an hours drive from Adelaide.  The interest stems from Martinsell Estate being a beautiful home in one of the great wine growing regions in the world and the parochial fact that it is the former home of the late Sir Alick and Lady Mary Downer, the parents of Alexander Downer the former Foreign Minister of Australia between 1996 and 2007. Alick died some years ago but Mary only died earlier this year.  In an interesting twist of fate, Alexander Downer is now the High Commissioner in London, a job his father Alick occupied when Alexander was a child. But given Alexander is living in London, they have decided to sell the estate.

The home is set on 77 acres. The property comprises the main house of 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, a 3 bedroom cottage, 12 acres of sauvignon blanc vines and extensive gardens.

Alexander's wife Nicky in the library of the main house. Photo via The Advertiser

The house is decorated  more in keeping with the fashions of the 1950s than today's. Nonetheless, the home is elegant and tasteful.

The kitchen and bathrooms look largely original, or at least little has been done to them since the 1950s. But very clean.

There are a number of outbuildings, including an old apple packing shed, which could be used for shindigs.

photos from

Wondering where the name Martinsell Estate came from, I found that Pewsey Vale is named after the Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire, England and Martinsell is a large hill on the outskirts of Pewsey. So there you go, learned something new.

The estate agents believe 55 Wirra Wirra Road Pewsey Vale could sell for as much as $2million.


  1. Interesting coincidence that you've written about this house - my Mother in Law and I were speculating that perhaps some of the house contents were at the recent local Auction I attended - there were some lovely things. I've seen some of the more substantial pieces at the big Interstate sales (Sotheby's had a couple of paintings attributed as being from the collection of..). Such a beautiful house, and I love that library in particular.

    1. Yes, I noticed some interesting french antiques at a recent small and whitfield auction. A friend kept sending me photos of various items, trying to tempt me. I wonder if it is the same auction you attended? Anyway, there are some nice pieces of art in the Downer home. I especially like what I can see of the portrait of a woman over the fireplace in the library.
      I agree the library is impressive. I especially like the feature of a bookshelf that doubles as a door.

      Thanks for commenting Heidi. As you can see I don't get a lot of (barely any) comments. Maybe because I've only been blogging for a few months, people are still trying to work me out??? Or I could be posting crap. Who knows. Anyway.. love your blog. And re your recent blog on Barbie envy, I also never was gifted a Barbie (in fact no dolls at all) by my parents. I coveted playing with other girls dolls. Love some of Barbie's more classic fashion even today,.. even if it isn't always for me, ...given my body shape ....not to mention age.

    2. Comments will come! In the early days you kind of have to spam all the other blogs with (reasonably thoughtful) comments as they'll then come back and comment (that is supposed to be blogging etiquette). Plus other commenters on those blogs might follow you back to yours if they find your comment interesting.
      I've really enjoyed all your blog posts. Interesting variety of posts, and I'm sure with time you'll get more comments. But I do think it's harder now than initially when blogging started - people are a bit jaded toward bloggers and are thinking that there are ulterior motives (because some have made blogging into a successful -ish career). Every time I recommend something I'll get some anonymous person trying to tell me off for doing a paid post and concealing it or something ridiculous like that!
      As for the auction, there was a French container that S&W did last week - maybe that was the one your friend sent pictures of? The Antique one was the week before, and there were some really good pieces in it.

    3. Thanks Heidi... I guess I've missed the high point of the blogging wave. No matter.. it is fascinating me. And I guess to be honest I did start the blog to give myself a social media presence ahead of my first book being published. However, it has taken on a life of its own and I'm beginning to feel more relaxed about it. What will be will be. Thanks so much Heidi...