Ayers House and former Coach House/Stables and Wall

287-300 North Terrace ADELAIDE

From 1855 to 1897 Ayers House was the family home of notable South Australian colonist Sir Henry Ayers (seven times Premier of South Australia and President of the Legislative Council for 13 years). The house has special associations with both his business and political career and signifies his wealth and status in the social structure of South Australia during that time. It is a grand nineteenth century residential building representative of the domestic lives and accoutrements of the very wealthy in Victorian Adelaide. It is also a reminder of a time when North Terrace was one of Adelaide's premier residential addresses. Constructed in stages between c 1848 and 1876, the house was progressively enlarged and embellished by Ayers, with the final stages being completed to the design of architect G S Kingston in 1875-76. The internal paint finishes of Ayers House demonstrate a high degree of creative, aesthetic and technical accomplishment and are of significance as a likely example of the work of decorating firm Lyon, Cottier Ltd, which had offices in London, Scotland, New York and Sydney. The extensive stencilled and hand finished decoration in Ayers House is probably the work of their employee, Scotsman Charles Gow. Ayers House is one of the few South Australian houses to retain such excellent design and workmanship in internal painted decoration. (Adapted from McDougall & Vines Ayers House Conservation Plan 1999, and Danvers Architects Pty Ltd Conservation Plan 1990)