Henry Ayers: the Man Who Became a Rock

Cover Henry Ayers: the Man Who Became a Rock
Genres: Nonfiction

'The most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen.' With these words the explorer William Gosse expressed the awe he and many others have felt at the natural phenomenon of Uluru. The first white person to reach the central Australian monolith, he gave it the name 'Ayers Rock'. But who was Henry Ayers, the man whose name is forever associated with Australia's most recognisable natural icon? And why should he still be remembered today? Although the rock now carries its ancient indigenous name, Uluru, the name of Ayers is still linked with the the Rock's 'discovery' in 1873. Indeed, 'Ayers Rock' is one of the most famous natural wonders on earth and, despite its remote location, attracts over 400,000 visitors each year. This book, the first biography of Henry Ayers, focuses attention on the complex character behind the name and examines all aspects of his life - from his humble origins in the naval city of Portsmouth in southern England, his migration to Australia and his career as a m


iner, businessman and eventually as Premier of South Australia - a post to which he was elected seven times.
It provides a fascinating insight into Australian history through the life of a man who was consistently in the upper echelons of influence and authority in colonial society and whose legacy lives through his association with the most famous and recognisable natural feature of his adopted country.

Henry Ayers: the Man Who Became a Rock
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Guest 24 days ago

Ayers House Museum.
Ayers House is named after its original owner Sir Henry Ayers, distinguished politician, financier and Premier of South Australia, who lived in the house with his family during the latter half of the nineteenth century. Originally it was known simply as 288 North Terrace. Constructed of local bluestone, the design of the house is attributed to Sir George Strickland Kingston, architect of the colony and the man responsible for the design of many a grand mansion and public building. The museum began its life as a small nine-bedroom brick cottage built by William Paxton – a chemist and early Adelaide entrepreneur. Henry Ayers expanded the house in several stages with the final stage completed around 1870. Ayers House today stands as a prime example of colonial architecture and that’s before you even step inside. The interior contains many important decorative features including the ornate painted finishes and examples of trompe l’oeil on the walls and ceilings of all rooms. The State Dining Room offers visitors a moment to reflect on the life of a prominent man and to imagine the splendour of dining in such an ornate setting. Invited dignitaries would certainly have felt themselves a distinguished guest.

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