Mendelsham “Stonehenge” Robe Terrace Medindie
Designed by iconic South Australian architect; John Quinton Bruce for Fred Scarfe, A Director of South Australian department store icon, Harris Scarfe’s, ‘Stonehenge’, as the building was named, is a beautiful building located just north of Adelaide on Robe Terrace at Medindie.
Often it is reported that Frederick Norman Scarfe, former Mayor of Kensington and Norwood is the man who had the building erected, but by the time it was built, Frederick was a very old man. Frederick George Alexander Scarfe is the man who built the impressive house, he was a director of Harris Scarfe’s at the time, and a very wealthy individual.
The building consists of 15 main rooms and includes a gracious reception hallway and a sweeping grand staircase. There is also a ballroom, a formal lounge-room, a library and a formal dining room, plus five bedrooms and a wine cellar.
The house was often featured in local newspaper stories as Mr Scarfe would host events at his home. Scarfe was well known for throwing grand balls and parties, in which Adelaide’s elite would gather.
In 1919 Frederick Scarfe sold the house for an impressive sum, citing in advertisements that he found the housekeeping tasks laborious, with it being such a large manner. Scarfe was not keen on paying maids or cleaners.
During the 1930s the home was owned by and lived in by Mr Ernest Jolly, his wife Evelyn and two sons, Derek and Dennis. Jolly was a well-known for importing and racing thoroughbred horses. The Jolly’s were high-society members, and their functions were often reported in local newspapers.
In 1994, The Adelaide Advertiser (April 24th, 1994) published a story about the house featuring a local businessman, Tony Syrianos, who had purchased the manor for $1.2 million dollars. After the purchase, the businessman out that the house is haunted by a young lady.
The spirit of the young lady appears in an upstairs bedroom known as the Blue Room. It has been stated that she only appears during the hours of 11pm and 5am. She is said to walk from the Blue Room, to a bathroom, sometimes with the variation of walking up or down the extravagant staircase. She is dressed in a white nightgown with an overly frilly neckline.
The haunting of the Robe Terrace Manor (called Mendlesham
on the show) appeared on 1990s television show “The Extraordinary” (episode
38). In the show, Mr Syrianos claims he is terrified of the ghost, and won’t
enter the house at night. O the show they describe the spirit as being aged
between fifteen and twenty years of age, with shoulder-length hair.
Another witness reported a foul smell emanating from the Blue Room, doors slamming, windows opening and closing, and cold spots in the room. All these events occurred when the room was redecorated.
Another witness, returning from a party reported all the paintings flying off the walls, and lights turning on by themselves.
It is thought the spirit is that of a young girl who died in the house from the effects of tuberculosis around the 1920s, when the disease was making itself felt in North Adelaide.
Allen Tiller ALIAtech, DipFamHist is Australia’s most
recognised paranormal investigator,
eminent paranormal historian, and star of the international smash hit television show “Haunting: Australia”.
Allen is also the founder of Eidolon Paranormal, South Australian Paranormal and the author
of book and blog, “The Haunts of Adelaide: History, Mystery and the Paranormal”.
Allen was awarded the 2017 “Emerging South Australian Historian of The Year Award” as presented by The History Council of South Australia. Employed as “Historian in Residence”
in 2016/2017 with the Adelaide City Council Libraries and employed by the City of Port
Adelaide Enfield Council to write the popular, “Ghosts of the Port Self-Guided Walking Tour”
You can find Allen online at:
This story was unpublished but written for MEGAScene Issue 20 2020
© Allen Tiller