Monday, March 23, 2009

It's a Beautiful Day...... why don't you come along with me on my walk. It's late afternoon, so there's plenty of shade & just a gentle breeze. Just remember though that the properties here are on very large parcels of land, so most of the time you can only catch a glimpse of the houses from the road. Off we go, down our garden path & into Braemar Terrace, there's the long side of our place on the right.

Just a few metres along is this new house. It's constructed from limestone blocks with 6 pane windows & has a set of double white Georgian doors with the most marvellous fanlight, very pretty & elegant. A young family with a toddler & new baby live here.

Next comes Hathaway....

.....a little 1930's cottage owned by a lovely elderly couple.

We'll turn into Ayers Hill Road for just a few steps & then down into gorgeous Laurel Road.

Here's one of my very favourite houses!

The entrance to Laurel House which can't be seen at all from the road.

Now we come to Stirling's Jewel in the Crown, the estate of Sir Edward Stirling, the founder of Stirling. Firstly a surgeon, then a politician (fittingly as the father of 5 daughters, he introduced the Bill in State parliament to enfranchise women in South Australia), Sir Edward purchased the land here in Laurel Road & built his wonderful home in 1883. He lived here until his death in 1927.

A close-up of the gate post at St. Vigeans.

Then a little further along & here's the entrance gates to St. Vigeans tennis court.

The easter Lillies are just starting to appear on the roadside.

Then we walk past a heritage plaque noting the history of the Gardeners Cottage which we're just about to come to.

The little stone Gardener's Cottage was originally built for Mr. Douglas Searle the first gardener of St. Vigeans.

The lush green undergrowth growing either side of the road thrives here, fed by the winter creek that meanders through all the properties.

A second driveway leading up to another part of the St. Vigeans estate.

Now we see the entrance to Lower St. Vigeans.

In the early 1900's, a parcel of land was created from the larger St. Vigeans estate, a house was built on it for one of Sir Edward's daughters & so Lower St. Vigeans came to be. There is an amazing pond at the back of the property & a previous Owner, who was a well-known local Caterer, used to do a most marvellous lunch for only 2 people at a time. A table was set on the little pontoon over the water & it felt like you & your lunch partner were a million miles from anywhere!

Another interesting plaque. I can't see the top of this amazing old Oak, I've tried & almost tumbled over backwards in the process!

At the next property this garden rotunda is set right down on road level. I often see the Owner sitting down there in her dressing gown reading the morning paper very early!

Let's stop for a moment & turn back around. There's the gates to Lower St. Vigeans on the bend & that delightful little garden rotunda.

Then around into Birch Road, although I can't describe the house that is Birch Lodge as it is hidden by so much garden & many old trees!

Down this drive sits one of the area's most admired homes. A huge rambling Edwardian villa, complete with terracotta roof tiles & gargoyles. It looks onto a fabulous tennis court & winter creek.

As you may have noticed, many houses have Scottish names. This signifies the links to Sir Edward's Scottish father.

If you close your eyes, you can almost hear the sound of horses hoofs & carriage wheels crunching up this gravel drive a century or more ago!

This carpet of lush ground cover on the verge always slows me down as I pass by. There is a ultra-modern house tucked right up at the back of the block.

These hydrangeas have struggled in the searing heat of our record-breaking Summer, they are usually looking absolutely stunning.

The house up this drive is one of Stirling's oldest, a spectacular early Victorian bluestone mansion.

Another favourite - this house looks fantastic set lengthways against the sweeping curve of the drive.

This old home came on the market last year & I had a nosey. It was awful inside, very neglected & unloved. I hope the new Owners give it some TLC & realise they have what many of us would covet, a true circular drive!

And opposite, this very old historic cottage has just received a shiny new roof. The old one was a very rusty murky green & now it looks like the belle of the ball!

Then back onto Ayers Hill Road. I love this stuning old stone house on the way home, the wide verandahs are so inviting. This family have a tribe of teenagers who are always outside throwing a few hoops or kicking the footy around.

Now along Braemar Terrace again towards home.

And there's Hathaway again.

And Dunbarton Oaks on the corner.

Our neighbour's Prunus tree in all it's Autumnal glory.

Up towards home, with our laurel hedge looking in need of a trim - MOTH says next Sunday's the day!

Up into our country lane with our house on the left & more of our laurel hedge extending up the lane which is a no-through. Right at the end there are massive gates leading to a huge old mansion. The blocks for the few houses in our lane came when this piece of land was sold off from the original estate. Interestingly there's a real mix of architectural styles, spanning from the 1930's at the top of the lane, & finishing with our 1972 'beauty' at the bottom!

And so here we are home again, onto the front path, through the garden & down to the front door.

I hope you've enjoyed your walk around a little part of my world. It's getting late, the shadows are long on the ground, but it's been a lovely way to spend an hour. I try & do this lap briskly at least a couple of times a week, even in the dead of Winter & each time I do I think how lucky I am. I can walk in the middle of the road as there are never any cars & I rarely see anyone else. The beauty of the scenery & the solitude it offers refreshes my soul each & every time.


  1. Just putting my walking shoes on - hopefully I'll be there in time for your next walk. What a beautiful area you live in - thank you for sharing your little piece of heaven.

  2. Hi Millie - I really enjoyed my walk with you! I was very impressed with how green everything seems to be even though we haven't had much rain here in SA. I'm afraid that everything over here is crisp underfoot and brown, hopefully we'll all get some good soaking rain soon.

  3. Thank you Millie for the wonderful tour. You are blessed indeed to live in such a beautiful area with no traffic. Your walks must be delightful. I loved the historic cottages. Thanks, Rosemary

  4. Oh Millie~ Such a wonderful walk about your lovely neighborhood. I could sit outside of the gates and paint those houses- I would love that! I hope you've had a restful weekend- thank you for sharing your little corner of the world- perfection!

  5. Oh Millie! Your neighborhood is GORGEOUS!! I loved this walk, thank you for inviting me along!! This beautiful post makes me realize that the world isn't so big after all- that we are really all connected through our love of home!

  6. What a beautiful place to live Millie - I love all that green! It's just must feel like you have stepped back in time everytime you go for a walk...

  7. Ahhh. I am so homesick now I could cry! I am from the Hills but now reside in New Delhi for the next few years. Ugg. How I pine for my little vineyard and big leafy trees. Your tour has was really a lovely way for me to connect, thankyou. I have fallen for the blog-world and I am forever reading all these great things and think that someone somewhere may just be interested in my own feeble attempts. Is it hard to get the blog running?

  8. Thanks Millie that was great!! Everytime I go to Stirling I always wonder where all the houses are - they're so well hidden, no wonder I don't see them! A beautiful part of our gorgeous city. Thanks Ange

  9. I loved walking with you this afternoon - your neighbourhood is beautiful! I love all the trees & cottages. Amanda x

  10. Being from Adelaide Millie I know you live in avery beautiful part of it.Thanks for the tour

  11. Hi Kati - thanks for your lovely comment! I say go for it - you are having a once in a lifetime experience living overseas, so your blog will serve you well as a diary of your adventures. Personally I would be very interested in reading about one of our own living life in New Delhi. It's not hard starting up, just follow your heart & it will happen. You might be interested in another expat's blog, who blogs from Copenhagen.

    The best way of letting people know about your blog is leaving a comment on your favourites. Traffic will be in small #'s to start with, but you'll be surprised at how fast it will grow. And remember it's not a contest about how many comments you achieve, it's sharing something you are passionate about with like-minded people in a generous & open way. Good luck!!
    Millie ^_^

  12. Thank you Millie for the tour, you are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful area, simply divine!

  13. Hi Millie, I really enjoyed this walk with you. What a wonderful part of the world you live in! All gorgeous houses and gardens - I'm particularly in love with Hathaway. Lee :)

  14. Dear Millie

    What an enchanting part of the world you live in, aren't you so lucky; it really re-enforces my wish to live in the countryside, away from concrete and traffic!

    Thanks v much for sharing :)

  15. My God Millie you live in a paradise! I really enjoyed my walk with you!Tank you very much,now I wait the next!!!!
    Have a nice week, and don't get tired too much on work!!!Kiss Mate

  16. Oh come now!! Im home sick enough without seeing all of those beautiful, familiar images first thing in the morning. You really do live in one of the best place in the world. I dream of being back there some day soon.

  17. Wow, what a dream it must be to live amongst such grace and beauty! I thoroughly enjoyed the walk through your lovely world Millie! Happy Monday :)

  18. Thank you for the beautiful walk! Very pretty!
    I came over from Deb's blog lifescapes.

  19. I love nothing more than going to Stirling for a cruise around the market, brunch at the Organic Cafe, then a tour round the really is a pocket of paradise isn't it? Next time Laurel House goes up for sale, I think I might just have to make it MINE!!!

  20. Hey Millie, do you really have those beautiful lillies growing on the side of the road? lucky you! you could almost imagine Mr Darcy emerging from the greenery, very romantic. Just devine. ..Janet K..

  21. I sure needed that. Please let me know if anything comes available in your neighborhood. I guess I like the torture. I am a real estate stalker, there, I said it. It feels good to get that off my chest, but I think you might have known that already. Have a great day, I know you are going to have a busy week. Love ya, Heidi

  22. Wow! Lady Millie... thanks a million for bringing me with our walk around in your world.

    Everything's gorgeous. Perfect in my eyes. How I wish, we can knock every door and ask them if we can have a peek §:-))

    Silly me...

    Am enjoying the tour and I can go more rounds...still, bout U?

    hugs to both of U n MOTH...

  23. I remember spending some very pleasant days in the Adelaide Hills. Thanks so much for the reminder. It is very green compared to my area of suburban Melbourne!

  24. Wow, Millie. I knew you lived in a a beautiful region, but had no idea just how gorgeous. I love all those houses, driveways, big trees, and interesting signs. It would definitely make a walk round the block more enjoyable! Keep on savouring it for the rest of us please.
    Clare x

  25. What a lovely post. I miss Stirling. My grandfather owned Olivet House for many years until it got too much for him. He and my aunt then bought Hathaway and lived there until their deaths. It was the only way they would be parted from the place.

  26. I live in the village of St Vigeans, Scotland. I did not know there was another St Vigeans. There are families of Stirling still here. The village has a long history and its church predates nearby Arbroath Abbey. The name St Vigian is a latin form of the name of St Fechin or St Feichin. and St Vigean is a corruption of St Vigian. St Fechin was an Irish monk who died in 664. There is no evidence that he ever visited and it was probably some of his followers who took Christianity to this important Pictish site. There are lots of Pictish stones housed in a cottage cottage converted to a museum in the village. See


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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