The History of Kingsford
Kingsford The Barossa has a rich heritage dating back centuries. Pastoralist, Stephen King, commissioned the two-storey, Georgian-style sandstone house in 1856 – it’s thought that the stone transported from Edinburgh as ship’s ballast. Every chapter of their intriguing story since speaks volumes about the character and timeless charm of the historic homestead.
To explore Kingsford’s history in more detail, please visit here.
Pre-1836, before British settlers arrive to survey and fence what they consider 'terra nullius', the Wirra people walk and hunt on these lands, as they have for thousands of years. They call the area 'Mincalta'.
In 1838, Lincolnshire man Stephen King boards the ship Orleana and sails for South Australia, a convict-free colony where settlers are granted land and the freedom to worship. King acquires a parcel of newly-sectioned land north of the Para River where he runs 3,250 sheep. His first house was built on a small area to the west of the property.
Enjoying new-found status and success, King commissions the construction of a substantial two-storey house made of sandstone in 1856. He calls it 'Kingsford', meaning 'King's crossing'.
The late 1860s drought forced King to sell the property. It was acquired by John Howard Angas, the son of South Australia's founding father, George Fyfe Angas.
Matilda King, the daughter of Stephen King who founded Kingsford, was a pioneer in her own right. She was one of the first women to paint South Australian native flowers and helped establish the Adelaide Botanic Gardens.
Frederick Scarfe occupied the property in the late 1800's. The property changed hands several times, bought by individuals and syndicates who persevere with livestock and crops.
Originally built in 1856, the Stonemasons worked hard to build the original Homestead. The property has seen many important trades who have worked extremely hard to shape the property into what it is today.
The Fotheringham family occupied the property from the 1940's up until 1999. The convivial septuagenarian Tony Fotheringham remains a close friend of the Ahrens family and occasionally visits to share his Kingsford passion.
The year was 2000 and Channel Nine, then owned by Kerry Packer, acquired Kingsford after long-term owner Tom Fotheringham had sold the property to the SA Government, who used the property as a Montessori preschool. Filming on 'Drovers Run' continued for seven years and produced a total of 224 episodes viewed in over 41 countries.
The Ahrens family purchased the property in 2009, and performed a substantial and lengthy renovation to a property left in neglect. A boutique luxury accommodation venue was opened as 'Kingsford Homestead' in 2012. The name paying tribute to it's predecessors.
In 2020, a new era of Kingsford was brought to life. Stonemasons from South Australia came together to pay homage to all that was done in 1856, without the tools and gadgets of today. A major extension of Kingsford began including wine vaults, lodge, bars, conservatory, new suites and a Kegelbahn bowling alley.
Kingsford The Barossa
The physical transformation of Kingsford is extraordinary, and each person that returns from a visit, gushes at and praises what has been achieved. The name change from Kingsford Homestead to Kingsford The Barossa is equally as profound. For it is a statement of the pride the Ahrens family has for the region that is their home.