Caretakers re-focus on the collection at Martindale Hall.

Presentation of the Martindale Hall collection as an accessible, authentic experience for visitors has kept the new caretakers of the iconic Clare Valley property busy during January.

Open seven days a week from 11am-4pm, Martindale Hall is in the hands of caretakers Sharon and Mick Morris who also operate the nearby Mintaro Maze.

Now that it is no longer operating as a B&B, many of Martindale Hall’s antiques have been returned to their original positions in the grand Georgian-style mansion.

"We’re in the process of shifting furniture back to its original position", said caretaker Sharon Morris. "Advisors are coming out to look at the historical side of things to help us set everything up as it would have been when the Mortlock family lived here."

"The feedback we’ve already received from visitors this month has been fantastic, and they say they just love the way it looks like the family has simply just got up and left for the day", she said.

The grand home, originally built for Edmund Bowman Jr in 1879-1880 and later acquired by William Tennant Mortlock in 1891, boasts 32 rooms including a cellar of seven rooms.

The mansion was surrounded by a polo ground, a racecourse, boating lake and a cricket pitch where the English XI once played, and later featured in the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock.

"It is a fascinating and beautiful part of South Australia’s history and I urge people to come and see and enjoy it for themselves," Sharon says.

Despite continuing confusion over its operating status, the historic mansion has been popular throughout the January school holidays. "We’ve been busy during the holidays despite misinformation on a number of tourism websites," she says.

"Working in conjunction with Mintaro Maze, we’ve been able to offer a discount of $2 off the entry price for people visiting both venues."

Sharon said that there is plenty to see and do at Mintaro. "Pack a picnic and head out to Mintaro where you can easily fill in a day by visiting Martindale Hall, Mintaro Maze, the two wineries in town, Iron Gate Studio Gallery, Magpie and Stump hotel, the gardens and the lovely little playground in the centre of town."

While no longer operating as a bed and breakfast, Sharon said Martindale Hall was still available for special functions such as weddings and parties.

Entry to Martindale Hall is $12 adult, $8 child, and $10 concession. A $2 discount applies to those visiting both Martindale Hall and Mintaro Maze on the same day.

From February, Martindale Hall will be closed on Tuesdays to allow for cleaning and maintenance. For more information visit www.martindalehall-mintaro.com or phone 8843 9012.

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