"Mon Repos" was built on the Thornhill
Estate Southampton, England, by H.W. Small of Bitterne for Bert &
Nance Hinkler in 1925.
Bert Hinkler applied for the usual
housing grants available at the time and the Southampton City Council
approved the construction on a substantial parcel of land, part of the
old Thornhill Estate quite close to Bursledon Road, a main Southampton
thoroughfare. The site was secluded with large oak trees growing within
the vicinity. It was, however, very close to Bert Hinkler’s workplace,
A.V. Roe's Experimental Works at Hamble, where Bert was chief Test
Pilot from 1921 - 1926.
Nance was a keen gardener and soon the
area became a haven for Bert Hinkler’s many friends, including Roy
& Mary Chadwick, Roland Bound an
aeronautical engineer and Basil Henderson also an aeronautical
engineer. Jim Laver, Bert’s long time friend and former work mate, was
also a frequent visitor to "Mon Repos".
Bert Hinkler planned most of his long
distance solo flights from "Mon Repos", including the 1927 London -
flight and his most renowned achievement in 1928, the first solo flight
from England to Australia. Planning was
also undertaken for his epic flight, the great South Atlantic crossing
The secluded fields surrounding "Mon
Repos" were also the location for certain tests carried out on the
"Ibis", Bert Hinkler's dream machine, and it was a common sight to see
Bert in his Riley motor car towing the "Ibis" from "Mon Repos" to
Hamble for some weekend work and testing.
Following Bert’s tragic death on Mt.
Pratomagno in Italy on January 7, 1933, "Mon Repos" was indeed a
sad place, but Nance continued to live in the residence until 1952 when
it became council property. In June 1974 a historic marker and plaque
were unveiled at the house on Thornhill by the Mayor of Southampton Cr.
L.F. Goater. This marker now proudly stands alongside the
relocated "Mon Repos", the Hinkler House Memorial Museum in
The Egans, the last of many families to occupy "Mon Repos", vacated in December 1982 and it stood awaiting the wrecker’s hammer through the winter months of that year and the early part of 1983.
Click here to read more about the re-location of Hinkler House.