Designed by Adelaide architect Eric McMichael, this 1940s house built for the Revd Raymond Cornish and his wife Gwyneth is set in four acres and overlooks one of the most beautiful camellia gardens in Australia.
Gwyneth Cornish had inherited the land from her grandfather Robert Thomas who had come out to South Australia on the Africaine in 1836. He was the co-founder and proprietor of the South Australian Gazette and the Colonial Register, printed the 1836 Proclamation.
The house was named after Stangate, in London SE1 situated at the south end of Westminster Bridge, where the Revd. Cornish was quartered during his appointment as chaplain at St. Thomas’ Hospital from 1923-1939.
Raymond’s sister, Elsie Marion Cornish (1870-1946), regarded as one of Adelaide’s best known landscape gardeners, helped to develop the garden at Stangate House.
The property was bequeathed to the National Trust of South Australia in 1967-1970, and is managed by the Mount Lofty branch, founded in 1964. There has been a written agreement between the Trust and the Camellia Society since 1980 for the Society to establish and maintain a collection of camellias and other plants in the garden.
The gardens at Stangate House have been recognised by the International Camellia Society as an International Camellia Garden of Excellence, one of only 3 in Australia and only 30 worldwide in 2012.