Rymill House and Coach House

Rymill House and Coach House

“One of the wealthiest business firms in Adelaide is that of Messrs. H. & F. Rymill, land and estate agents. The two partners are reported to be worth a quarter of a million each. Mr Henry Rymill lives at the corner of Flinders and Hutt Streets and the furnishings of his home are magnificent . . . Although very wealthy, neither men are conspicuous on charity lists. Both move in Adelaide’s most exclusive society.” (Quiz, November 27, 1901)

Henry and Frank Rymill bought Town Acre 220 in two transaction, in 1859 and 1861. By March 1860 a cottage for the Messrs Rymill had been designed by G.S. Kingston; nothing of this appears to remain except the boundary walls. Henry bought Frank’s share and later had the cottage replaced by the present building (once known as The Firs), which was designed by John Haslam and built by William Rogers.

The South Australian Register of December 10, 1884, described the new family residence as “one of the best houses in the City, both from its admirably arranged plan and the effective character of the whole four elevations, which are carried out in brown stone with Sydney stone and cement dressings in the Queen Anne style”.

The windows were fitted with sliding shutters and the top sashes were stained glass. Over the main entrance, there is stained glass representing the four seasons of the year. The scientific and hygienic interests of the period were displayed in the sanitary and plumbing arrangements. Much consideration was also given to the latest ideas in ventilation.

Henry Rymill died in 1927 but the family owned the house until 1950. It was then acquired as a training centre by the Post Master General and used as that until 1982.

Although the grounds are in a poor state and the building has suffered from subsidence, it is a very prominent part of East Terrace and one of the most gracious of the residences that once characterised the south-east corner of the city. These qualities are enhanced by its generous siting on land that exceeds one town acre.

The detailing of both the house and coach house is consistent and of a high order. The masonry is of squared, random coursed sandstone with stuccoed dressings. The internal detailing of the house includes elaborate elements such as chimney-pieces, stair hall and stained-glass. The architectural impact of the unusually prominent four main frontages have little or no counterpart in the city.


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Rymill House is historically significant for its association with Henry Rymill. The house is also of architectural significance for it's elaborate detail.

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Featured in
East End Promenade

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Images of Rymill House and Coach House

  • Rymill House and Coach House, 2014
John Haslam
William Rogers
Building materials
Iron, Cast iron, Render, Stucco, Stone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 3.8 Queen Anne
1881 -
Architecture and design features
bluestone foundations, Bay window, quoins, stained glass window, pilsater, parapet, chimney, plumbing
Engineering features
East End
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Henry Rymill
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, Mansion
AS2482 classification
11510 - Business House - Offices
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5518/1 D14079 A10
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 classified
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
3.1.5 Farming Boom
4.3 Development of the Building Industry, Architecture and Construction
4.3.4 Inventions and Innovations
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • Morgan, E.J.R., & Gilbert, S.H., Early Adelaide architecture 1836 to 1886, 1969, p. 41;
  • Quiz, 27 November 1901; South Australian Register, 10 December 1884.

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