Dimora- House and Fence

Dimora- House and Fence

Harry Lockett Ayers, foundation member of the Adelaide Club, was born in South Australia and educated at St Peter’s College. He and his brother Arthur Ernest carried on their father’s business as H.L. & A.E. Ayers.

H.L. Ayers and his brothers enjoyed the reflected glory of their father, Sir Henry, and were part of Adelaide’s social and financial elite. H.L. Ayers was a founding member of the Adelaide Hunt Club. He married Ada, a daughter of Sir John Morphett, typically consolidating through marriage the Adelaide establishment’s influence. When he died in 1905 his wife commissioned the world-renowned Tiffany Company to design windows (formerly at St Paul’s) as her memorial to him.

By 1867, H.L. Ayers owned the land on which Dimora was built. This extended from East Terrace to Hutt Street. It included Bray House, in which Ayers and his family lived during the 1870s. In 1878 the property was subdivided and John Bray bought the western half.

H.L. Ayers commissioned the design of a suitably grand residence with a large ballroom facing East Terrace. It was built in 1882, and designed almost certainly by William McMinn.

During his brief life (1844-84) McMinn designed several mansions, including Mount Breckan at Victor Harbor; Marble Hill, the vice-regal residence above Norton Summit; Montefiore in Palmer Place; and the home of Frederic Ayers at 21-25 Lefevre Terrace, in association with E.J. Woods. He was also connected with the design of the Supreme Court, the Crown & Sceptre Hotel, and the terrace of shops and dwellings for the South Australian Company in Rundle Street.

Dimora is one of the most highly developed examples of the bay-windowed villa, a much-favoured style in boom-period mansions. The building has been renovated and subdivided for multiple occupancy. The renovators have shown high regard for the fittings and detailing of the well-finished and mostly original interior. Externally the disciplined use of stuccoed detail, combined with simple cast-iron enrichment, is typical of McMinn’s work. This large house of 20 main rooms is still a prominent part of East Terrace, which is still graced by imposing late-Victorian residences.


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The house is significant for it's association with the family of Henry Ayers, and it's contribution to Victorian architecture within the south eastern area of Adelaide.

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Featured in
East End Promenade

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Images of Dimora- House and Fence

  • Dimora - House and Fence, 2014
William McMinn
Building materials
Iron, Cast iron, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.6 Filigree
1882 -
Architecture and design features
William McMinn, Bay window, frieze, stucco
Engineering features
East End
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Harry Lockett Ayers
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, Mansion
AS2482 classification
16010 - House
Public Access
Private residence
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5474/797 F14787 A22
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA registered
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
2.4 City Dwellers: City, state and business leaders
3.1 Economic Cycles
3.1.3 Discovery of Copper
3.1.5 Farming Boom
Henry Ayers
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • Australian dictionary of biography, Vol. 5, 1974, pp.191-2; Bagot, W.H., Foundation members of the Adelaide Club, 1957; Morgan, E.J.R., & Gilbert, S.H., Early Adelaide architecture 1836 to 1886, 1969, p. 55; MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 286/287) A1191/A6, p. 2; State Heritage Branch, File
  • 6628-10760, Dimora. 1984 (CD Ref 1606/75)

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