Grand gates of Martindale restored to former glory
16 April 2018
The entry to Martindale Hall was a hive of activity early this week (Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 April), as volunteers from the Friends of Burra Parks and staff from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke worked together to give the main entrance gates a new lease on life.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Ranger Darrin Bennett said 12 people participated in the working bee, focussing their attention on restoring the old sandstone and steel gates.
“The group spent two days repointing the original stonework, which was severely weathered, with a traditional lime-based mortar,” Mr Bennett said.
“Some of the volunteers and staff involved in the working bee have been trained in artisan stone masonry, so the restoration works completed will help to ensure that the gates will last for many generations to come.”
Friends of Burra Parks volunteer Rodney Rees said participants leave the working bees with a great deal of pride.
“We are passionate about protecting and maintaining heritage buildings and parks across the region; working on the gates at Martindale Hall was a tremendous opportunity to utilise our technical skills and test our abilities, while working on an extraordinarily unique property,” Mr Rees said.
“Over the course of the working bee we explored the main building and saw what our efforts are helping to support; it’s incredibly satisfying to know that due to the restoration work undertaken on the gates, they will be standing strong for many years.”
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Regional Director Trevor Naismith attended the working bee and said the strong relationships developed over time between staff and ‘friends of’ groups continue to prosper through these highly valuable projects.
“The working bee at Martindale Hall was yet another great chance to build new relationships and to strengthen existing friendships,” Mr Naismith said.
“The assistance provided by the Friends of Burra Parks group in conserving this historically significant property will ensure that visitors to the park will comprehend its grandeur from the moment they enter.
“We sincerely appreciate the incredible work that the Friends of Burra Parks group do both within the Northern and Yorke region and across other areas of the state.”
Mr Naismith said the latest volunteer effort at Martindale Hall is part of ongoing conservation work to supplement the maintenance services provided by caretakers Mick and Sharon Morris.
“Mick and Sharon are doing a top job,” Mr Naismith said, “and there’s never been a better time to visit Martindale Hall.”
Martindale Hall Conservation Park is situated near the historic Clare Valley township of Mintaro. The Georgian-styled heritage-listed hall was built by Edward Bowman in 1879 and was later bequeathed to the South Australian Government by the Mortlock Family in 1950.
For information about visiting Martindale Hall, see www.martindalehall-mintaro.com.au.
For information about the Friends of Burra Parks group and volunteer opportunities in the Northern and Yorke region, contact the Natural Resources Centre at Clare on 8841 3444.