Stella Bowen: 'Decorous games' at Bishop's Court

Some of Stella’s earliest recollections were of playing with the Anglican Bishop’s daughter at her home, Bishop’s Court, on Palmer Place in Nortrh Adelaide. "When I fish into my memory between the ages of six and twelve, I land such small fry of trivial happenings that I am in two minds whether to dish them up or throw them back into the waters of oblivion." Luckily, she decided to share them.

This grand home was built in the early 1850s for the Anglican Bishop. Over the years it was renovated and expanded to accommodate various bishops and their families.

The Bishop when Stella played there was Bishop John Harmer. Bishop Harmer arrived from England with his wife and daughter in 1895. One of his first tasks was to oversee the completion of the nave of St Peters Cathedral and the construction of its twin towers and spires.  

Stella and her brother often played with Bishop Harmer’s daughter at Bishop's Court. "We all played decorous games in the garden," she wrote. "I can remember many teas at Bishops’ Court, an imitation Gothic building, which had a lovely musical-box with dancing sailors hidden in a dark corner under the staircase, where a spike in the carving had a potato stuck upon it, to protect our young heads."



41-50 Palmer Place, North Adelaide