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Amazing Castles in Adelaide

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by Dave Walsh (subscribe)
I enjoy writing about Adelaide and its many attractions. If you think Adelaide is boring, the problem is not with Adelaide. Please click the link to Like my articles, and subscribe to see more. adelaideunearthed.blogspot.com.au
Published July 7th 2015
I want one
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Rochester Castle, One of the Haunted Castles in England


There's something inspiring about medieval castles. Their grim grey walls, stupendous size and towering battlements. The foreboding sense of dark history. The romance of Robin Hood.

Haunted castles in England pull in thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. The imposing thousand year old Rochester Castle in Kent is reputed to be haunted by a lady in white. The Tower of London is among the most haunted castles in England, and even Upnor Castle has its own resident ghostly spirit.

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Burnside Mansion - A Man's Home is His Castle


The castles in Adelaide can't really compare in size with the great castles in Ireland and England, but they do exist - you just need to know where to look. Strangely there are probably more castles in the Adelaide Hills than anywhere else in South Australia, although some of the mammoth mansions in Burnside try to keep up with the competition.

While there are mock medieval castles in South Australia, they are mostly pale imitations of those overseas - but they do have their own stories.

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Castles in the Adelaide Hills: Camelot Castle


Camelot Castle
Camelot Castle at Basket Range was built in 1936 with local stone for a wealthy land agent and modelled on Warwick Castle in England. The 5 acre property was called Warwick Park after the owner's boyhood links to Warwickshire UK. Today Camelot Castle is a charming hotel in the Adelaide Hills which is very popular as a romantic wedding venue.

Beach Castle at Sellicks Hill
In the 1950's a 'castle' house was built on the beach at Sellicks Hill at the foot of the ramp. This impressive building was still standing in 1961 when The Advertiser took a photo, which you can see at the State Library SA here.

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White's Castle Aldinga Beach in 1900 (Image Courtesy State Library SA B-55417-63)


White's Castle Aldinga Beach
Also south of Adelaide was White's Castle at Aldinga Beach. It was a 50 foot tower with crenellations that made it look like a fortress, but was actually a flour mill. Apparently it was used to signal ships passing from Melbourne to Port Adelaide to receive news about the price of flour and wheat in the early 1900's.

Graham's Castle at Goolwa
Built around 1870, Graham's Castle was also known as Nelcoongal and Tucker's Folly. It wasn't Tucker's only folly as the former Lord Mayor of Adelaide was later gaoled for defrauding Customs.

Once a conference centre, today Graham's Castle is a private property in Dulwich Close, Goolwa Beach.

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Graham's Castle in Prospect 1849 (Image Courtesy State Library SA B-7076


Graham's Castle in Prospect
This is the only haunted castle in South Australia that I have found, and it had a reputation as being one of the scariest places in Adelaide. However a former Archbishop of Adelaide claimed that Grey Lady who haunted the basement of a house in the grounds of Calvary Hospital was also very spooky.

Graham's Castle was originally known as Prospect House and built by J.B Graham in 1846. It was once described as the city's most haunted residence with at least three ghosts: a woman in black on the stairs, a lady in white near the entrance and a servant found hanged in his room. While Graham was overseas Henry Ayers managed Graham's Castle and advertised it for sale in 1854 in glowing terms for 6,700 pounds - an astronomical price back then.

The unfortunate building was demolished in 1901 leaving only fading memories of the past.

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Castle Keep B&B at Thorngrove Manor


Castle Keep - Thorngrove Manor
Thorngrove Manor is one of the most spectacular of Adelaide Hills castles. Its fairy tale appearance belies the fact that it was built in 1983, but was finished with the finest materials and furnishings. They include 150 year old rare imported stained glass windows and century old chimney pots, enabling this unique small luxury hotel to exude a magical ambience that transports you to a different time. Its B&B is known as Castle keep.

More Adelaide Hills Castles
Carminow near the Mount Lofty summit was built in 1885 for Sir Thomas Edler and was once owned by the Bonython family. It's roof crenellations and turret give it a distinctly defensive castle appearance. You can see a quite recent photo of it here. Thanks Katy for this one.

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Carminow Castle Mount Lofty 1934 (Image Courtesy State Library SA PRG-1211-2-5)


Other Castles in Adelaide
Another Adelaide Hills castle at Paracombe was for sale last year. It comes complete with gargoyles, ornate ceilings, stained-glass windows and battlements. The price was not mentioned in the article.

It's probable that Castle Estate was named after the unique Babbages Castle which once stood in St Marys. Nevertheless it has a truly unusual tale.

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Thorngrove Manor and Castle Keep, One of the Most Unusual Castles in South Australia


Our last of the castles in Adelaide was near Wellington Square in North Adelaide. With battlements and slits in the wall for cannon I think it qualifies too, don't you?
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Why? Learn about South Australia's castles
Where: Adelaide, SA
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Jenny I love road trips too. We should go on one together. I would love to see some of these castles myself. I recently went on a road trip from Geelong Victoria to Lismore NSW and back in 7 days. Oh nice article Dave. I enjoyed it.
by CassandraJoy (score: 3|1018) 1019 days ago
I feel a road trip coming on!!! I'm constantly puzzled that they (the English) refer to many of their castles as 'houses'!!! Here's a link to a review for a tour of such places throughout Europe in 2016...https://www.weekendnotes.com/adelaide-hills-escorted-world-tours-endless-pleasure-travel/
by Jenny (score: 3|1641) 1195 days ago
What a good article!! It's interesting that we see castles built around the world, often with very similar features.
by Kristin Ravelle (score: 2|302) 1194 days ago
Great article Dave. I didn't realise we had so many. And then I thought of one more in the St Kilda Playground !
by Steve Hudson (score: 3|1245) 1195 days ago
Clever article! I've been to a few functions at Camelot, it's great!
by Hayley (score: 3|1016) 1192 days ago
Great article Dave! I really enjoyed and Camelot is on my list! :)
by micke (score: 1|73) 1194 days ago
What about Adare and Mt. Breckan in Victor Harbour?
by sarie (score: 0|5) 1193 days ago
There is also Clifton manor which was the original manor of the 80 acre parcel of land called Clifton which is now stony fell. I was involved in the million dollar renovation about 8 years ago.
by anita (score: 1|10) 1192 days ago
What about Dunluce Castle at Brighton
by amee1 (score: 1|13) 1192 days ago
There's another quite modern one at Panorama.
by tonys (score: 1|15) 1192 days ago
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