Pago is a deeply private retreat; a sanctuary in the heart of the village of Middleton. It is a place for restoration, recovery, reconnection and exploration. – Each of the 4 king-size bedrooms have their own ensuite bathroom, created within the old Middleton stables. They nestle around a large swimming pool and spa in an acre of private garden. – Built in the 1850’s from local stone and handmade red bricks, these 4 rooms have been restored into luxurious, private rooms that allow you to unwind and retreat.
Historical image: State Library of South Australia – B 1500
The stables, that we have now converted into a retreat, are nestled in the private 2 acre garden of The Mill at Middleton. Hidden away behind the Mill, with their own private entrance, the 4 rooms and shared living area are made of limestone and bluestone course-work with hand made red brick quoins.
The earliest European inhabitants of the Fleurieu Peninsula were connected to the Whaling industry in Encounter Bay. Further recognition of the region’s agricultural potential became obvious and by 1838, farming land was opened up across the Penisula. The first farming settlement in this area was at Yilki, and included a productive farm with a dairy, malting house and stockyard. By the early 1850’s the town also had a school, customs house and the first mill built in the area. Further along the coast, Port Elliot and Goolwa were established in the early 1850’s. Goolwa was Australia’s first inland port. A narrow guage railway was built between Port Elliot and Goolwa in 1854. This horse-drawn train system was a significant industrial and agricultural development for the state. The mill was located close to the railway to provide easy access to the river port of Goolwa and the jetty at Port Elliot. The flour that was ground at the Mill was then transported to Port Elliot and loaded onto ships bound for international ports.
(Source; South Australian Heritage Council)
We have been living and working from the Mill since 2006, raising 4 children, painting, making wine and spirits, and enjoying gatherings with friends and family.
The Mill is still our family home and we love living here. In 2017 we began the slow and delicate process of rebuilding the original 1850’s stables, fernery and barn in our 2 acre garden. This required shoring up the old red brick and stone walls, putting on new roofs, creating windows, laying under-floor heating and concreting the dirt floors. Literally every aspect of these buildings needed attention and renovation.
We could see that to truly restore these buildings to a high level of quality would take a lot of time – and investment. And so we made a decision to create a sanctuary, where warmed concrete floors and heavy curtains, a 15 metre pool and a deep bath, would bring a beautiful retreat ideal for guests to experience deep restoration and recovery.
We continue to work on restoration of the 1850’s buildings.
~ Sam Harrison and Rose Kentish