Ayers House is the last of the grand mansions of Adelaide's North Terrace boulevard.
Ayers House is named after its original owner Sir Henry Ayers, distinguished politician, financier and Premier of South Australia, who lived in the house with his family during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Originally it was known simply as 288 North Terrace. Constructed of local bluestone, the design of the house is attributed to Sir George Strickland Kingston, architect of the colony and the man responsible for the design of many a grand mansion and public building. The museum began its life as a small nine-bedroom brick cottage built by William Paxton – a chemist and early Adelaide entrepreneur. Henry Ayers expanded the house in several stages with the final stage completed around 1870. Ayers House today stands as a prime example of colonial architecture and that’s before you even step inside. The interior contains many important decorative features including the ornate painted finishes and examples of trompe l’oeil on the walls and ceilings of all rooms. The State Dining Room offers visitors a moment to reflect on the life of a prominent man and to imagine the splendour of dining in such an ornate setting. Invited dignitaries would certainly have felt themselves a distinguished guest.
Visitors can explore the museum and learn about the social history of the period and life for Ayers House occupants both “above and below” stairs.
The museum is easily reached either on foot or by bus. The free City Loop 99C Bus stops at bus stop R2 100m from the main gate. Ayers House also has an on-site car park for those traveling by car. Parking ticket purchase is required.