St Paul's School

This was once the day and Sunday school of St Paul’s Anglican Church. It is an important example of early schools run by religious denominations in the city. Before 1875, children were not required to attend school in the Colony of South Australia. For poor children living in the city, the opportunity to gain an education was often not available to them. For many years, Reverend Alexander Russell held St Paul’s Sunday school in the classrooms at Pulteney Street School. In the early 1870s, it was decided that a building should be constructed to house both St Paul's Sunday school and a new day school for the poor children living in the Eastern Adelaide community.

E.J. Woods was commissioned to design the new school in 1872. The Gothic style of this building is very similar to the Christ Church Schoolroom in North Adelaide, which was also designed by Woods. Once completed, the new school included two classrooms, one on each floor. By 1874, 110 young students were enrolled at the school.

Reverend Russell was well known for his work with the city’s poor, and it was said, “no one has done so much to draw all classes of the community together, to make rich and poor feel that they had one strong bond of union”. In 1886, he tragically died from a fall on the stairs in Adelaide Town Hall.

Additions to the school were undertaken in 1887, 1891 and 1896 to accommodate the growing number of students. The 1896 renovations included a new classroom at the rear of the building, and Reverend Russell’s wife laid the foundation stone in honour of her husband.

The school was eventually closed, and the building became a hall for church and community events. In the 1920s meetings for the fraternal organisation, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffalos were also held here. In 1950, the building was sold to Hamilton Laboratories.

Images

St Paul's School

St Paul's School

The Gothic style of the building is symbolic of its religious affiliations with the former St Paul's Church. It incorporates Glen Osmond stone, and red and white brick dressings. | Creator: Photograph by Jessica Cronin View File Details Page

Reverend Alexander Russell

Reverend Alexander Russell

It was reported that hundreds of city residents lined the street to watch the funeral procession for Reverend Russell pass by in 1886. | Source: State Library of Victoria, http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/258268 | Creator: Alfred Martin Ebsworth, 29 June 1886 View File Details Page

St Paul's Church and Rectory

St Paul's Church and Rectory

The school, along with St Paul's Church and Rectory, was once part of the wider St Paul's Anglican Church complex on Flinders Street. The former 1860 church is now the St Paul's Creative Centre, and 1863 rectory is the new home of the Jade Monkey, a live music venue. | Source: Photograph by Jessica Cronin View File Details Page

Governor Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, c.1895

Governor Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, c.1895

Many notable South Australians were part of St Paul's congregation, including Sir Henry Ayers, Governor Sir James Ferguson and Governor Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. Governor Buxton's daughters were Sunday school teachers for some time at St Paul's School. | Source: State Library of South Australia, B5990, http://images.slsa.sa.gov.au/mpcimg/06000/B5990.htm View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

“St Paul's School,” Adelaide City Explorer, accessed May 29, 2017, http://adelaidecityexplorer.com.au/items/show/129.
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