December 19, 2019

Premium SAHOMES: Historic Highbury homestead

Owned by the Wicks family for more than a century, this early-1900s stone homestead with beautiful acreage is on the market for the first time ever.

In the early 1900s, South Australian nurseryman Leonard Wicks purchased more than 100 acres of scrubland at Highbury for a few thousand pounds.

The land was developed into a nursery and orchard and, in its heyday, the family Wicks employed more than 20 workers.

The original farm has since been subdivided, but the original stone homestead at 11 The Promenade, Highbury – and its grounds of more than an acre – have been well-maintained.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom property is now on the market for the first time. Simon Wicks is selling the family home on behalf of his parents John and Pam, who are in the process of downsizing to retirement living.

“There’s never been anybody else living in the house except a member of the Wicks family, starting back with my great-grandfather Leonard,” says Simon, who grew up in the home.

“It’s one of the area’s original sandstone homesteads. It offers a huge amount of opportunity to upgrade and modernise to a certain degree and could become a magnificent home for someone to raise a family,” he says.

Simon and his brother Tim had a rural upbringing on the property – riding motorbikes on weekends and after school, while working on the 130-acre farm and learning from the various mechanics, fitters and turners in the workshops.

Back then there was only a single-lane road into Adelaide and Simon remembers part of it being dirt road.

“We had an amazing childhood, although it wasn’t an easy lifestyle with a lot of hard work that went along with it, working on the land and learning work ethic. We really did have the best of both worlds.”

Today, the brothers run Wicks Estate Wine at Woodside, with a block of vineyard of similar size to the original farm at Highbury.

“We would love to see somebody buy the property and maintain it in its current form and utilise it as a lifestyle property, albeit there is clear development opportunity with the size of the landholding that goes with it,” says Simon.

The property has attractive views to the hills and Linear Park, and is located about 30 minutes north-east of Adelaide.

With its pitched roof, the expansive outdoor entertaining room makes the most of the view and is perfect for parties, casual dinners and barbecues. There’s also a cellar, gas fireplaces throughout, lead lighting and decorative ceilings, and fully integrated grounds.

The kitchen offers contemporary functionality, with stainless steel Smeg appliances, stone benchtops and glass splashback, and a window that provides a view to the foothills.

In its current form, the home provides comfortable amenities across two levels, although Simon also points out there is space for a swimming pool, tennis court or an extension.

“There’s so much room, it’s really to the new purchaser’s dreams as to what they might make of it,” he says.

“It is emotional to let it go, but it’s surplus to requirements now.”

The sale is being handled by Andrew Welch and Tim Knowling of LJ Hooker.


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