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Liebelt House 



 The Liebelt House was located in the former- Friedrichstadt now ‘Jurlique’ Lavender Farm - off River Rd nr Hahndorf. It was ecorded in 1974/75 and is now demolished.

The footprint of this simple cottage was  10.85m x 5.36m that is , almost excactly 2 squares next to each other measuring 5.36m x 5.36 each suggesting that its builder knew about good design principles and geometric proportions.

A 1 m wide door was located slightly off centre leading to the central brick-paved hall and kitchen ahead. This was a common German House plan with slight variations to those built at other Friedrichstadt locations, as well as all of the four Paechtown Houses and Wieth’s House (also known as the Hoffmann House) on what is now the Beerenberg property.

Wall construction was Fachwerk where every (approx. 150 x 150) square piece of redgum was identified using carved Roman numerals. Thus, every post, nogging and brace had an identification number to assist with on-site assembly. All timber connections were achieved using master-crafted joints which were then tightened by Stringy Bark dowels.

The Liebelt House has the most exuberant timber display in Australia. Although a relatively small house, it has 4 braces on the principal façade.

The less than 1m2 spaces between the timbers were filled with brick on the gable ends and limewashed mud on the long elevations. The plaster was applied to straw woven between sharpened timber staves which in turn were wedged between the lower groove and upper chiselled or augered holes. 

Roof consisted of a series of trusses spaced approx. 600 (2 feet) apart securely braced and battened to take timber shingles. The corrugated iron was a later addition. Boards wrapped in straw and clay (known as Lehmwickel literally mud-wraps) were wedged Between the bottom chords of the roof trusses and once the final layer of chaff/mud mix was applied over the whole area formed a sturdy attic floor. The attic was an extension of the floor plan where goods were stored, cottage industries were carried out and ‘that’s where the boys slept’. Access to the attic was via an internal steep stair next to the entry door. In other houses an external gable stair was also used.

A return verandah seemed to have been part of the original construction.

Windows and doors were expertly made by a local Joyner.

Hearths and chimneys were soft-fired clay bricks.

A later lean-to addition at the back incorporated a large stone fireplace for the kitchen and dining areas as well as a step-down cellar.


Lothar Brasse  B.Architecture & Heritage Consultant