Rechner Cottage Conservation Association

Architecture & Design

Rechner Cottage Stabilisation Project

Built in mid-1800s, Rechner Cottage at Light Pass is a valued reminder of our heritage and the architectural technique of fackwerk. it’s condition has deteriorated and without action it might be too late to save!

Days Left

Rechner Cottage in Light Pass reminds us of the architecture of early settlers whose hard work and enterprising spirit lay the foundations of the beautiful Barossa Valley.

Pastor Julius Rechner built the cottage for his father in the mid-1800s. He purchased ten acres of land from George Fife Angas for whom he had worked for several years. The cottage is located on part of this land behind the Strait Gate Lutheran Church.

Julius was the teacher at Immanuel Lutheran School at Light Pass and was later approached to become the Pastor of the newly formed Strait Gate Lutheran Church. A third room was added to the Cottage to hold services for this newly formed congregation, prior to their church being built.

Renowned heritage architect, Sam Hosking from Hosking Willis will be undertaking the work required to stabilise the Rechner Cottage. Funds are being sought to cover this work which we hope to have completed by May 2019.

The language and customs of our ancestors might have died out but the architecture of the Rechner Cottage helps us to understand their lives.

Constructed in the technique known as fachwerk the cottage preserves the tradition of the “barnhouse” where living area, stable and storage area were all housed under the same roof.

European settlers relied heavily on locally available building materials and in country areas a technique called “pug” was used. Tree branches, not carpentered, but just cut to the correct length were put together to form a frame.

A mixture of straw and clay (mud) was packed (pugged) between these wooden slats. When dry, a paint mixture of lime and water would create a seal. It has hand axed door frames and roman numerals on the timbers.

The Rechner Cottage is a valued reminder of our history for future generations. The condition of the cottage has deteriorated and without action it might be too late to save!

Your donations will ensure that there is immediate action to stabilise the cottage, with improved drainage and replacement of some timber work. This will protect the cottage from extreme weather and subsidence.

As part of this project, Sam Hosking, Heritage Architect, will produce detailed drawings, architectural plans, a budget and timeline for future conservation of the Rechner Cottage.

Live Projects


Projects Funded


As a group we are committed to gathering the history and telling the stories of early Lutheran settlers in Light Pass, Barossa Valley. A mid-1800’s community, centred around Pastor Rechner and the Strait Gate Lutheran Church, are of cultural and heritage significance to the social fabric of South Australia. An original cottage made of traditional ‘pug’ construction stands at Light Pass and will be conserved to highlight the lives of Pastor Rechner, his family, the congregation and surrounding communities. The Rechner Cottage is of architectural significance as a rare example of house and barn co-habitation that brings to life the cultural practices of early settlers.


Stuart Rechner


Marcia Hills


Ron Rechner


Jenifer Cleland




Peter Grope


Barbara Selvay


Steven Vorthmann