Kirkendale is situated on grounds that were part of the Highfield Estate. 134 acres were purchased in 1850 by Edward Drew, (1805-63) an ironmonger. He built Highfield House (originally Fairside) a large stone house of about 20 rooms with cool cellars, used in summer for living and sleeping in.
They grew apricots, and had a 2 acre vineyard. The house still stands today. At the eastern end of Inverness Avenue are remnants of Gleeville farm and small village established in 1838. Edward Gleeson, a settler with capital accumulated in India, sailed from Madras with his wife, two children, brother, Indian servants, purebred Arab stallion and a wooden house of six rooms. The crops grown there were wheat, barley, oats and later olives were introduced in about 1864.
He was the listed owner of substantial livestock and a flourishing small village with numerous dwellings, stable, outhouses and a 120ft well. In December 1840 he celebrated his success but soon afterwards his fortune changed and he then made the move to the mid north and founded the town Clare. Samuel Davenport took over ownership of the Gleeville homestead but he seems to have leased it out most of the time. John Cleland (1821-1901) arrived in South Australia in 1852 and moved into the Gleeville home.
He took a keen interest in the local environment and was made trustee for Beaumont Common striving to keep it close to its natural state. He was also involved with local wildlife reserves and had a keen interest in the local fauna and flora. (The Paddocks Beneath-Elizabeth Warburton)