This modest house is a rare and important example of a prefabricated building brought to the colony in its earliest years. It was made by Henry Manning of London, a notable maker of “portable colonial cottages”.
As early as 1825, the Quakers in London began sending prefabricated meeting houses to Friends in outposts of the Empire. At their 1839 annual meeting, they decided to send one to the young South Australian colony. South Australian colonist and Quaker John Barton Hack had already imported two of Manning’s cottages and knew they were good quality.
In October 1839, the wooden framework, verandah, iron pillars and 3300 slates went by ship to South Australia. Arriving six months later, they were taken to this site on Pennington Terrace. The building was up by June 14, 1840.
Not all the members approved. By 1863 they were discussing whether to alter or replace the building. Luckily, it has survived.
It is now one of the oldest religious buildings in the city. The pews, also made by Manning, are believed to be the only furniture of his that still in existence.