In 1857 C.A. Hornabrook took over as licensee of the hotel, which was advertised as suitable “for families, settlers and commercial men”. The hotel was an exceedingly popular venture and in 1868 it was rebuilt for £4000. It was sold in 1875 and Hornabrook and his family went to England. He returned to Adelaide in 1882, his family in 1884. They had a large home on Dequetteville Terrace and in 1889 bought vacant land on East Terrace for a new city residence.
Mrs Hornabrook was a sister of George Klewitz Soward, so when her husband had the new home built in 1891-92 it was designed by his brother-in-law. The architectural firm of English and Soward was then described as “one of the oldest and leading firms of architects in the City”.
Born at Norwood in 1857, G.K. Soward was educated at St Peters and then entered the architectural profession. He was mayor of Glenelg during the 1890s, and from 1902 until 1904 represented the Torrens District in the House of Assembly. His firm designed such buildings as the Advertiser offices, the Blind Institute at Brighton, town halls, and institutes and hotels in Adelaide and principal country towns. Soward was architect for the South Australian Jockey Club and the design for the Morphettville Racecourse structures are attributed to him.
The Hornabrook home was built at a time when the economic depression in South Australia was beginning to bite, but Hornabrook’s successful real estate purchases buffered him against losses. The house, which the Hornabrooks named Eothen, is large, commodious and attractive.
Malcolm Reid, of furniture emporium fame, owned the house for 16 years from 1912-28. During the 1920s it seems that Eothen had to earn its keep as it was advertised by Mrs Parker as “a perfect home for paying guests'. The house reverted to private use, albeit for a public figure, when it was bought in 1928 by Sir John Lavington Bonython.
Sir John’s first wife, Ada Bray, was related to C.A. Hornabrook. She died in childbirth in 1908 and Sir John had been married to his second wife Jean Warren for 16 years when he bought Eothen, which he renamed St Corantyn.
In Australian Homes and Gardens of February 1, 1931, internal photographs of the house record a beautiful residence with elaborate wooden carved archways in the hallway and rooms spacious enough to entertain large parties with ease.
In 1962, after Sir John Lavington’s death, St Corantyn was sold to the South Australian Health Commission and became a Mental Health Services Day Hospital.