Lovers of weekend drives to the countryside beware. It’s not gravel roads, detours, or a remote breakdown you need to worry about. It’s the lure of the country life, and an irresistible tug at the heart that could end up costing you big time. So it was for Jan and Craig Cock, who live in an old cheese and butter factory in the pretty little enclave of Blakiston in the Adelaide Hills.


“One Saturday in April 2002 we were looking for a cottage in the Hills from which Jan could sell furniture etcetera,” Craig recalls. “We saw the for sale sign, inspected and fell in love with the building … its charm, history and magic. It was much bigger than what we planned on, but we loved it.”


A character-filled stone building, a sprawling seasonal garden and an historic ambience were just too hard to resist, and now, the couple wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else. They describe their home, nicknamed The Creamery by former owners, almost as if it has a life of its own, a personality. And with its long and intriguing history, the old factory has plenty to say. It was built in 1892 by a cooperative of local dairy farmers to help capitalise on emerging technologies of the time that paved the way for mass production and fledgling butter exports to Britain. Originally a place where farmers would meet to share their lives, and deliver their milk, it became the centre of the community. Those pioneering farmers built their factory out  of red sandstone and, almost 125 years later, it’s a choice Jan and Craig are thankful for.



“The 18-inch-thick walls take a very long time to heat up in summer,” Craig says. “Conversely they retain the heat from the large wood combustion heater in winter.” Those thick stone walls are also the most likely reason the old factory building survived an arson attack in the early ’80s. Abandoned and derelict at the time, it was an easy target, and afterwards was branded a ruin in a local history document. A few years later, however, the factory’s long and arduous resurrection as a private home began. Four sets of owners since, it has found its place at the centre of Jan and Craig’s lives and their never-ending stream of visits from friends, as well as their five grown children and partners and 10 grandchildren.


The original story was published in Australian Country issue 19.7. Read the full story every time when you subscribe to our magazine here.

Click here for more home and interior stories.

Words Kirsty McKenzie
Photography Ken Brass

More Like This

Embrace Winter Comfort: Introducing OZ Design's 24 Collection

Embrace Winter Comfort: Introducing OZ Design’s 24 Collection

OZ Design’s Winter 24 collection has arrived, bringing with it a sense of comfort and relaxation that is sure to enhance […]

The Great Ocean Road’s Greatest Stays

The Great Ocean Road’s Greatest Stays

The Great Ocean Road is famous for the 12 Apostles and iconic rugged coastline, but there’s a whole lot more to […]

The Blooming Legacy of Treloar Roses

The Blooming Legacy of Treloar Roses in Portland Victoria

Just outside Portland Victoria, at the edge of the great ocean road, sits approx. 50 hectares of paddocks that are quilted […]

A Rising Phoenix: Rae and Guy spent 15 years developing their garden in the NSW Mid-West

The spectre of the bushfires of summer 2019 looms large over the garden at Keewaydin, the home of Rae and Guy […]

What Goes Around: Susan Duncan has learnt that the secret to life is as simple as surrounding yourself with good people

If the accepted wisdom about adversity revealing a person’s true colours is correct, Susan Duncan’s bushfire plan delivers the full rainbow. […]

On the bright side: Find a work-life balance in Victoria's high country

On the bright side: Find a work-life balance in Victoria’s high country

Find a work-life balance in Victoria’s high country: when Matt and Britt White decided to return to Australia after years living […]

A bed and breakfast with warm tones and wooden features, Hospitality Haven: Creating a home away from home for visitors to India

Hospitality Haven: Creating a home away from home for visitors to India

Creating a home away from home for visitors to India, as Caroline Gabriel recalls returning to India at the end of […]

Light and airy contemporary living space in Victoria's picturesque Hepburn Springs.

A New Stage: Aussie actor transformed a cabin in Victoria

Aussie actor transformed a cabin in Victoria Hepburn Springs, Hannah Fredericksen is not normally one to sit still. She chases her […]

Follow Us on Instagram