Carclew – House


The first house on this site was built by James Chambers in 1840. The expedition led by John McDouall Stuart to cross the Australian continent from South to North left from this site on 25 October 1861. The house was later owned by Sir Hugh Robert Dixon, who demolished the original house and in 1901 built in its place a grand residence he named ‘Stalheim’. The building was designed by John Quentin Bruce, who also designed Electra House and the Grand Lodge of Freemasons in the city.

The building was purchased by the Bonython family in 1908 and renamed ‘Carclew’. The house remained in their hands until 1965 when it purchased by the Corporation of the City of Adelaide. The site was proposed by the Premier Don Dunstan as the location for the proposed Festival Hall before the Adelaide Festival Centre was built on the South side of the Torrens River. After the State Government purchased the building in 1978 it became the home of the Carclew Youth Performing Arts Centre.

Current status and listings

ACH Status:
Heritage Protection:
NTSA Listed, State Heritage Listed
State Heritage ID:

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11 thoughts on “Carclew – House

  1. The good news is that restoration work will soon commence on the perimiter rubblestone walls, that have been in a state of deterioration for some time.
    There is a ghost in the house and I am sure they will be eagerly watching

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  4. Carclew is a peak body operating in the youth arts sector in South Australia. We work with young people aged 26 years and under in three main program areas: providing high quality arts experiences for children and young people, primarily in disadvantaged communities; working with the education sector to embed creativity in schools; and supporting early career artists through funding and professional development to further their practice.
    You can learn more about our organisation at And each year during the History Festival in May, we schedule an open day including tours of the house for those with a deeper interest in its history. You can stay in touch with our activities by joining our email list via our website, or by following us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

    Attached image:

    • Hi Tony, that sounds like a great photo – if you would like to share it in a comment we would love to see it!