The Bishop's Story
The property at Bishops Adelaide Hills has been owned and operated by the Bishop family for over 135 years. The original holding of 162 acres (Section 257) was purchased from the Crown in 1871 by James Bishop - a free settler from Somerset, England - who migrated to South Australia in 1849 and took up land at Norton Summit.
James' youngest son - Charles Henry Bishop - was the first family member to live on the property from 1882, and the main homestead Tetratheca was built by his son - William James Bishop - in 1920. Tetratheca remains the home of William's son - Douglas Alan Bishop - to this day.
With a high winter rainfall, deep rich soil in the valleys and permanent springs feeding the creeks year round, the family prospered and the property now spans over 300 acres. Early last century, the well drained slopes and fertile gullies grew a variety of labour-intensive crops, including apples, cherries, vegetables, berries, nuts and flowers. Some steep hillsides were planted with pines but most were left as bushland.
Tetratheca (named after a wild flower native to the Adelaide Hills) was famous for its Cherry Blossom Festivals and the collection of conifers and oaks in the homestead gardens with the conifer collection being noted in the Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens.
After the devastating Black Sunday Bushfire in January 1955, apples and cherries became the main orchard crops and further bushland was cleared for pasture to run sheep for fat lamb production.
Today the property is focussed on cherries and cattle, and the original cottages built in former times to house workers have now been restored to provide luxury guest accommodation. The rough roads, hewn out of the steep slopes with hand tools over a century ago to provide access to all arable parts of the property now serve as private walking trails for guests.
Basket Range lies in the catchment area of the River Torrens, making it unlikely that the region will ever be more closely settled.