This house, known originally as ‘Eothen’, was built for Charles Hornabrook, a successful hotelier. Eothen was a hugely popular travelogue by A W Kingslake about an Englishman’s journeys in the Middle East published in 1844.
This home was built for Hornabrook in 1891-92 at a time when the economic depression in South Australia was beginning to bite, but Hornabrook’s profits from the hotel trade and real estate investments buffered him from that. It was built by English and Soward then described as “one of the oldest and leading firms of architects in the City”. Their other work includes the Tavistock Building, Beehive Corner Building, Gawler Chambers and the Epworth Building, as well as many other large homes.
Although relatively modern in design, the house retains elements of Victorian Gothic styling. The interior decoration of carved timberwork and stained glass give the house the feeling of an English country manor. Much of the original brickwork and internal detailing remain intact and reflect the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement at the time of its construction.
Internal photographs of the house in Australian Homes and Gardens of February 1, 1931, record a beautiful residence with elaborate wooden carved archways in the hallway and rooms spacious enough to entertain large parties with ease.
Later owners of the house included Malcolm Reid, of furniture emporium fame, between 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 by another public figure, when it was bought in 1928 by Sir John Lavington Bonython, Mayor and later Lord Mayor of Adelaide and owner of The Advertiser newspaper. He renamed the house St Corantyn and lived there until his death in 1960. His wife, Lady Bonython, hosted many social and charitable events in the house.
St Corantyn was sold to the South Australian Health Commission in 1962 and became a Mental Health Services Day Hospital. The house and grounds have since been converted into multiple private dwellings.