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Commercial Realestate, 17 Ravenswood Lane, Balhannah.

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News 2022

A stunning homestead in Balhannah has been spectacularly updated throughout, and offers scope for further transformation if desired. 

Richard Crowley bought the 1853-established Ravenswood from Justice Bruce Debelle 11 years ago, attracted by its location and potential. 

“I remember Bruce saying there were only about 200 truly great properties in the Hills and this is one of them – it’s got spectacular views and I fell in love with it,” he says. 

Largely renovated when he bought it, Mr Crowley has since made further improvements to the property, which offers three dwellings over its more than 40ha – the main home with three bedrooms and a study; a separate dwelling with two bedrooms and a living room; and guest accommodation featuring a bedroom, a living area and a studio – plus numerous outbuildings. 

“It’s a fantastic entertainer – we’ve had numerous parties here over the years,” he says.

“It’s the ultimate lifestyle property and is wonderful year-round. It’s a wonderfully versatile property too – because it’s on two titles I was always tempted to split one off and build a modern home up on the hill with spectacular 270-degree views, and that’s something the next owners could do. It would be the ideal place for a resort or glamping accommodation.


“It has so much potential.”



Adelaide Hills local wiki

A little bit of Hahndorf “Paech” family history ... by Gail Grivell


My name is Gail Grivell [nee Paech] and I am a fourth generation member of family who have lived in Hahndorf

My paternal grandfather (Louis Alfred Paech) was the 12th of 13 children of J.W. Paech & J.L. Paech of “Ravenswood”, Hahndorf. 

My grandfather married a Caroline Mathilde Bom (of Danish descent) who was the daughter of Mads Carl Bom (a sculptor and monumental mason) whose cottage and workshop was situated at 48 Main Street (next to the leathersmith shop). 

Many of his works appear in the Hahndorf Cemetery.  This business still continues to this day – five generations later – as Schubert & Sons in Flinders Street, Adelaide.

 My grandparents took over the farm at Ravenswood and brought up their ten children there (my father, Eric, being the 8th child).  Four of these brothers, one being my father, carried on this farm work for many years.  As we know, times were tough and hard work was the only way to survive.

People were “tough” then, also.  I can recall my father telling me that he had all of his top and bottom teeth taken out at the age of 14 years. He rode his pushbike some 4 kilometers to the Hahndorf Inn (where the Dentist consulted), had them all out in the chair – and then rode back to the farm.  Maybe Scotch was the anaesthetic!!!!  Dad was a very keen sportsman (a Mail Medallist in football).  He held quite a few positions of office in the community.

On my maternal side of the family, my grandmother (Adelheid Friedchen Augusta Henningsen) – born in Hahndorf - was one of 12.  Her father & mother (Marcus & Catharina), both Danish, travelled to Australia on the “Procida” (the same ship and at the same time as Sir Hans Heysen).  It was interesting to know that Marcus made clogs and sold them in the shop in Hahndorf (now the Kaffe Haus).  The soles were carved out of well-seasoned poplar wood, the leather was obtained from the Mt. Barker Tannery, Catharina would cut out the leather, make the staples and then the leather would be nailed to the poplar soleAddie (as she was known) mentioned how life was extremely hard.  (She was confirmed in St. Michael’s Church – in German – whilst the language spoken at home was Danish!!).  The husband of one of her sisters died leaving eight children so 3 of these children were taken care of as well.  Their home had only four main rooms, dirt floors, the mattresses were made of straw and their bed covers were old coat pieces joined together.  Nanna made an extra room for the house by dividing it with bags that she had sewn together.  Her sewing skills may have been learnt whilst working in the clothing factory in Hahndorf, making army uniforms for the soldiers.

Eight hugh loaves of bread were made each week (hops and potatoes used as the rising agent).  The butcher called once a week and a four-quarter of beef cost one shilling and sixpence (15 cents).  Jam was a luxury. They ate water thickened with flour, sprinkled with a little sugar and a little milk quite often.  Addie went out to work at a young age as a Nanny.  She married Len Keefe, an Irishman, at 18.  He was a milkman at Pt. Adelaide, then took on a greengrocery round and shop at Norwood.  Following this, they moved back to the original Henningsen home at Hahndorf with three little girls (3 in 3 years) so that Nanna (Addie) could look after her aged mother.  Len then worked as a Watkins salesman in the Adelaide Hills (for some 33 years) and was well known as the popular MC at the country dances.  He loved fishing and duck shooting.  Nanna made many beautiful eiderdowns out of the duck down.  She knew how to make something out of nothing.  She made all the girls clothes - even soled their shoes!

Nanna lived in three centuries (which is very unusual).  She saw Halley’s Comet on two occasions.  At 91 she was the matriarch of five generations.  She saw so many remarkable changes and inventions – the radio,  electricity, telephones, Televisions, aeroplanes, cars, housing and healthcare – but noted that peace and a better world does not come from inventions, but from people who:

care for each other; aren’t judgemental - and are constant.
These are the peacemakers – the builders of families

Nanna was well-known for her community work – and her baking of pasties and German yeast cake.  She passed away at the age of 103 (and a half!), still of sound mind.  She loved her family, a good laugh, test cricket – and disliked uncooked veggies (and ladies in slacks!!).

My mother, Alice Paech, Addie’s eldest daughter, carried on the cooking tradition – being a well known cake decorator and Dad was a very keen exhibitor at the Adelaide Show, winning many prize tickets.  When Alice was in her 80’s (and partially blind), she wrote the history of the Hahndorf Football Club.  She kept a great record of history – both family and community - and was skilled on the computer – which at first she was too frightened to touch!  

A  lady who cared for all and was loved by everyone.