New life for Gawler’s house on the hill

Dianne and David Kassebaum have ensured a piece of Gawler history has been preserved. PHOTO: Ellouise Crawford

FROM the moment they first stepped inside Gawler’s ‘Winstowe’ mansion, David and Dianne Kassebaum knew they had found a home.

The couple bought the prominent Finniss Street property 18 months ago, ready to give it the love and attention it deserved and have it restored back to its grandeur beginnings.

“We had looked at this house lots of times when we used to come shopping; we’d drive up the hill and think ‘I wonder what’s in that house, it looks really interesting’,” Dianne said.

“Then it came up for sale, we walked in the front door and that was it – we said ‘this is the house’

“We just loved it.”

The couple has now lived in the house for six months, having sold their Marananaga home and vineyard properties, and said they have been overwhelmed by the support shown from the Gawler community.

“People have been so good to us, from the previous owners, people going past on the street and just knocking on the door, leaving letters of encouragement in the letterbox,” David said.

“They’ve been very welcoming and in fact it’s quite overwhelming actually.

“Obviously this house means a lot to a lot of people in Gawler.”

Winstowe is understood to have been built about 150 years ago by former Gawler Mayor Benjamin Deland, and today still maintains many of its original features.

Grand original finds by the Kassebaums included several fireplace mantels, kitchen wood stove, Baltic pine floorboards in the hall and upstairs bedrooms, pieces of wallpaper, as well as the ‘Winstowe’ name plaque that for many years hung by the front door.

Outside there is iron lacework manufactured by the local Eagle Foundry, and the old horse barn the Kassebaums have had saved and converted into a usable shed.

David, who took on the role of project manager, said the whole house needed to be rewired, the roof and internal ceilings were replaced, carpets removed and floorboards polished, and painting was done throughout.

A brand new kitchen was installed, plus one of the upstairs bedrooms was converted into a spacious bathroom.

“To think what we’ve achieved in such a short time is pretty amazing, I suppose,” David said.

“Everybody we’ve had work on this place has been top notch – we’ve been so lucky and can’t thank them enough.”

Dianne said they are now in the process of finishing off the bottom level of the home, which will include spare bedrooms, a wine cellar and laundry room when complete.

“You’ve got to make it so you’re comfortable to live in it but we wanted to try and make it look like we think it might have looked when it was really grand,” she said.

“We really love it here and love Gawler.”


A look back at ‘Winstowe’

THE house at 13 Finniss Street is believed to have been built between 1869 and 1876, by Benjamin Edward Deland.

Deland was a builder, architect, miller and Mayor of Hamley Bridge, Blyth and Gawler (1885-1886).

In the early 1880s it was bought by John Charles Wilkinson, who was a councillor for five years in Gawler, including Mayor in 1883.

For many years it was home to the family of William Dawkins, who was also Mayor of Gawler, 1908-1909.

Ellouise Crawford


Ellouise Crawford joined The Bunyip in April, 2010, while completing a Bachelor of Journalism at the University of South Australia. Ellouise wrote The Bunyip’s Playford Times before joining the editorial team full-time in late-2011. She now covers the Light Regional Council region and enjoys writing about Gawler’s strong heritage, as well as its many passionate and inspirational residents. Ellouise grew up in Gawler and now lives in Wasleys with her family.

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One Comment;

  1. Dee Cameron said:

    Great job guys ! love watching this house and it’s progress . Dee