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All Stories: 204

South Australia’s Legislative Council was originally a board of four that served to assist the Governors of the time. A 1842 act of British Parliament increased this to seven, with further restructuring arriving in 1850 as the introduction of…

The Mortlock Wing is a stunning example of Victorian library architecture, and with its shelves lined with beautiful old tomes and volumes still evokes the tradition of lending libraries that in the first years of the colony was one of the only…

The dream of opening a Botanic Garden in the city can be traced as far back as Colonel Light. It would take nearly two decades for this idea to be realised with the 1954 establishment of the Garden at its current position just outside the square…

Colonel Light imagined the city would have a botanical garden, but after a number of unsuccessful attempts, it was finally established in its current location in 1854 on the northern side of the city grid.  The gardens followed European models such…

Piltawodli, located to the northern bank of the Torrens River, opposite the Adelaide Gaol on the current site of the North Adelaide Golf Links is an important site in the history of relations between Kaurna people and European colonists.  The site,…

The story of the Park Lands and Light’s plan for the City of Adelaide is a changing one.  Some marvel that a town plan made 180 years ago can still be relevant today and question slavish adherence to it.  And yet, Adelaide is recognised as one of…

Rymill Park in the eastern Park Lands is an example of a well-used recreation space.   In the post war period, beautification works created an ornamental lake and rose gardens, as well as playgrounds and picnic facilities.  The park is named after…

The elm carriageway in the South Park Lands is something of a lost treasure, but one well worth discovering, particularly in autumn.  It reflects the work of John Ednie Brown (1848-99) a passionate advocate of tree planting in the mid-nineteenth…

Veale Gardens, in the South Park Lands, is a fine example of mid-twentieth century thinking about gardens and public space.  In 1957 Bill Veale (1895-1971), the Town Clerk (chief administrator) of the City of Adelaide returned from a study tour…

Whitmore Square is the only one of the five city squares in Colonel Light’s original plan to retain its original configuration and use.  The others have been bisected by roads or tramways and reshaped to accommodate modern traffic.  Whitmore…

Victoria Square was the largest of the six squares and the centerpiece of Light’s plan, originally named ‘the Great Square’ by him.  Covering eight acres, Light imagined that it would become the commercial hub for the settlement.  In the…

Elder Park is one of the city’s favourite public recreation spaces, but had less appealing beginnings.  What is now the tranquil Torrens River Lake was once a highly variable waterway prone to flash flooding. Until the establishment of proper…

Light’s original plan imagined a cathedral in the centre of his main grid, in what became Victoria Square, named for the young British queen who came to the throne in June 1837, just three months after Light completed his survey. Augustus Short…

Montefiore Hill was named after Jacob Montefiore, one of the Colonel Commissioners for South Australia. It provided an anchor point for Light’s plan and offered a commanding view over the scope of his survey.  It has been suggested that he stood…

What is now the Torrens River separating North and South Adelaide in Light’s Plan was, at the time Europeans arrived, an abundant source of food for the Indigenous Kaurna people who occupied the area known as Karra Wirra Parri.  The river was most…

Light commenced his survey for Adelaide on 11 January 1837 at the North West corner of his central grid, now the intersection of North and West Terrace.  Of the 1042 town acres that he surveyed 700 make up the central city grid (originally called…

Colonel William Light (1786-1839) was appointed as Surveyer-General by the Board of Colonisation Commissioners in 1836.  Light’s military service had given him experience in surveying; he was widely travelled and also a skilled artist.  He had…

Harry Lockett Ayers commissioned the design of this suitably grand residence with a large ballroom facing East Terrace. It was built in 1882, and as almost certainly designed by William McMinn. Harry Ayers, foundation member of the Adelaide Club, was…

Cartref was built in 1882 for Joachim Matthias Wendt, a silversmith and founder of one of the most prominent jewellery firms in South Australia. Wendt came from Holstein, part of Denmark at his birth in 1830. After the Prussian invasion of 1848…

It is not clear why the Wesleyan Manse was built except that it was used as extra accommodation for the Wesleyan clergy of Pirie Street. These were uncertain times in which to build. During this period there were also moves to unify three…

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