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Published July 7th 2015
I want one
Rochester Castle, One of the Haunted Castles in England
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.