Paringa Hall at Somerton was the home of my great great grandparents James Francis Cudmore (1837 – 1912) and his wife Margaret née Budge (1845 – 1912).

The house was built between 1880 and 1882.The architect was Edmund W. Wright who had designed the Adelaide Town Hall in 1863, the Adelaide Post Office in 1866, and the South Australian Parliament House in 1874. (Sullivan, Christine, ‘Wright, Edmund William’, Architecture Museum, University of South Australia, 2008, Architects of South Australia: [])

The Hall was named after Paringa Station on the Murray River close to  Renmark which was acquired by James’s father Daniel Cudmore in 1858 and transferred to James in 1859. That property was 260 km north-east of Adelaide and 4km of Renmark. The name is said to be an indigenous word for land or place at the river. (“Paringa Station, Murray River.” Treasures of the State Library. Government of South Australia, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <>)

James and Margaret died within four months of each other in 1912. The house was sold to the Marist Brothers in 1914 and was converted to a school.
I visited the school while on holiday last week in Adelaide and staff at the school made me very welcome. I was shown around the house which is very well cared for and much appreciated. They also gave me a booklet on the history of the house written in 1997 by their late archivist, Brother Columbanus Pratt, and the Friends of Paringa Hall.

Stately Homes of Adelaide. (1928, December 15). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 14. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from
James and Margaret are buried in St Jude’s cemetery at Brighton.

DEATH OF MR. J. F. CUDMORE. (1912, August 17). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 3 Section: THIRD SECTION.. Retrieved February 16, 2014, from