Southwest Corner

In the 19th Century, the southwest corner of Adelaide was a working class area. It was mainly residential, but essential trades such as blacksmith shops also thrived. Pubs and social clubs for men, as well as various places of worship served a multicultural community.

This trail will give you some insight into the southwest community's living conditions in the 19th Century. It traces the work of benevolent associations established in the area to support the local population. It also looks at the social organisations and clubs people belonged to, and the development of public schools designed to improve quality of life for children living there.

The "hidden" Elder Hall

Elder Hall is a surprising find on this quiet street dominated by the rear walls of the contemporary high-rises on Grote and Franklin streets. While far less well known than its namesake on North Terrace, this smaller Elder Hall is special. It is a…

Vardon and Sons Printing Works

This modest brick building on Grote Street alongside the arched entrance to Chinatown is easy to miss. Semi-industrial buildings like it were once found throughout the city. But as businesses moved further out, many of their former premises were…

Advanced School for Girls

This is the site of the former Advanced School for Girls. It was the first secondary school the colonial government established, and the first school for girls who wanted to study past primary level. A state school for boys did not appear until…

Training School for Teachers

The South Australian Education Act of 1875 made education compulsory in the colony. As more students enrolled in primary schools, there was a growing need for trained teachers. This building was constructed for student teachers by architects Brown…

Model School

The Model School was an early attempt to standardise education in South Australia, before the passing of the Education Act in 1875. In the early 1870s the government introduced legislation that would ensure children in the colony could get a…

The Oldest Blacksmith Shop in the City

The large chimney peeking out on the right-hand side of this building is a remnant of its unique past. This is the oldest surviving blacksmith's shop in Adelaide. It is a rare example of a once-important trade. The large population of the southwest…

Prince Albert Hotel

The Prince Albert Hotel shows how drinking establishments developed in the southwest corner in the very early days of the colony. Built in 1854, it has strong connections to South Australia’s early German community. The name honours Queen…

Dunmoochin

This cottage you see was built for John Griffin and his family in 1857-1858. In 1890 his son Martin, a saddler and collar maker, took over ownership of the property with his sister Mary. The cottage remained with the Griffin family until 1914. A…

Sturt Street School

One of four model schools in the city, the Sturt Street School was built for children living in the southwest corner. Like the Model School on Grote Street, it was designed to give new teachers a chance to train in a classroom. The large two-storey…

10 Maxwell Street: A tight squeeze

This very small building is the city's narrowest home. It is just over two metres (eight feet) wide. In the first decades of the city's establishment, there was little control over land and building size. This house was built in 1880- a year before…

Princess Elizabeth Playground

In 1927, the Duke (later King George VI) and Duchess of York visited Adelaide on a royal trip across Australia, which included the official opening of the Parliament House in Canberra. Funds were leftover from events held during the royal visit, and…

Draper Memorial Church Manse

The Draper Memorial Church on Gilbert Street was built in 1869. It commemorates the life and work of Methodist Minister Daniel James Draper. Draper, his wife and 244 passengers had tragically drowned three years earlier, in January 1866 when their…

A 'Stockmen's Haven' in the City

Missionary and evangelist William Hugo came up with the idea of a bushmen's club after worrying about pastoralists visiting the city and "leaving their money on the counter till it was all spent" in the pubs and hotels.He was supported by prominent…

Adelaide Mosque

This prominent structure on Little Gilbert Street is the oldest Islamic mosque in  Australia. It is one of the few structures left that show the Muslim community's important contribution to South Australia's colonial era. Before motor vehicles…

St Luke's Church and Former Rectory

Due to the growing population in the southwest corner, in 1853 the Anglican community decided to build a new church that could seat 450 in Whitmore Square. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts provided the land.The Bishop of…