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9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street

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by Graeme Fanning (subscribe)
I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at
Published July 2nd 2017
Carrington Street - something for everyone
Another of the east-west facing streets in the city of Adelaide, which runs from King William Street down to East Terrace is Carrington Street, believed to be named after Lord Carrington, who had a merchant and banking background. One of Carrington's nephews, John Abel Smith MP certainly had a connection to the establishment of South Australia, having known Robert Gouger, the Grotes, William Whitmore, Colonel Robert Torrens, John Lefevre and a close confidant of Edward Gibbon Wakefield.

It is therefore believed that Smith would have recommended that Carrington Street be named after his uncle. Smith was on a Select Committee established by the British Government to investigate the economic crisis of 1840 which hit South Australia badly. Through his banking connections, Smith helped South Australia remove all the debt owing to the British Government.

Carrington Street, being close to the various law courts in the southern section of Victoria Square, houses quite a few legal chambers, together with a mixture of businesses, terrace housing and workers cottages.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Typical Worker's Cottage

Here are 9 discoveries I found in my wanderings:

1. General Havelock Hotel

The General Havelock Hotel or the "Havey" as it is known to regular patrons, has been around since 1873 and is one of two of the oldest pubs in the south-east corner of the city of Adelaide. The other is the Arab Steed, on the corner of Hutt Street and Gilles Street.

It was named after Sir Henry Havelock, a British General who had led a force to relieve the Residency at Lucknow besieged by 60,000 rebellious Sepoys during the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The verandahs and balconies were added to the hotel several years after its establishment. The frontage nowadays has an art deco look, dating back to the 1930's.

The bistro offers lunch and dinner, the former being convenient with its 12 pm to 3 pm timeslot, which is great for those of you who may end up having a late lunch. There's nothing worse than rocking up later to a place for lunch and finding it has stopped serving after 2 pm. Even better on weekends when the kitchen is open from 12 Noon to 8.30 pm/9 pm.

If you only feel like a light meal, prices are around $14 and include either a Salmon Bruschetta, a Chicken Wrap or a Vegetarian Wrap. For something a bit more substantial, prices vary between $21 and $38 for mains, and pub classic meals around $20/$21.

For the sweet tooth, desserts will set you back between $9 and $19, an example being Chocolate and Bailey's Tart served with whipped cream and berries for $10. There is even a good kids menu, which will cost you $9 for mains.

The Havey also prepare some mean cocktails, one of them being Gunner's Apple Pie, which comprises Gunnery Spiced Rum combined with a mix of Irish Cream, Cinnamon, Vanilla Apple and Chai. Cocktails will generally cost you $20.

Also for that next big function, the Havey caters for groups from anything starting at 50 people right up to 200. Every Saturday night they also host Naughties Night, with music from that era and specials including $5 pints of beer, $10 - $12 Vodka, Spiced Rum and Tequila as well as two pints and two parmas for $35.

The General Havelock can be found at 162 Hutt Street on the corner of Carrington Street, and is open for dinner as well as lunch right up to 8.30 pm/ 9 pm or for a drink or catchup until 1 am.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
General Havelock Hotel

2. St John's Spiritual Church

Adelaide and South Australia have seen the rise of non-denominational churches of recent years, St John's being a Spiritual Church holding both regular Sunday Services as well as regular groups meeting for developing Spiritual/Psychic Mediumship, Meditation and Healing.

For $15 if you are interested you can undergo a Spiritual Healing Reading which will take around 25 minutes. All proceeds go to local community charities as well as the upkeep of the church.

On Thursday evenings fortnightly you may be interested in attending a regular meditation circle, which only asks for a donation of $5 and starts at 6.45 pm for 7.00 pm kick-off.

The church also runs regular Psychic and Healing Fairs. The church can be found at 271 Carrington Street.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
St John's Spiritual Church

3. Hurtle Square

Hurtle Square, or Tangkaira (in the Kaurna language), of which Carrington Street runs along the edge of, has had various make-overs throughout its history, like the other 5 squares in the city. At one time it was filled with a mixture of Moreton Bay Fig trees, Norfolk Island Pines, White Cedars, Kurrajongs and Cassia trees.

By the turn of the twentieth century, many of these trees were decaying and dying, which led to many being removed and replaced with couch grass lawns. In 1902 Hurtle Square was labelled the dirtiest square in the city. The 69 Moreton Bay Fig Trees had prevented light from reaching the grass, not to mention its constant dropping of leaves and figs. Many were at that time removed completely.

In 1909 Hurtle Square was invaded with tram tracks which remained until most of Adelaide's tram lines were ripped out in the late 1950's.

One of the interesting art pieces in the square is a work entitled "Untitled" which was added in 1994 as a memorial to John Jefferson Bray, who made high contribution to the State in areas of Law, Literature and Scholarship. Bray lectured for many years at the University of Adelaide in Jurisprudence, Legal History and Roman Law and was also Chief Justice at the Supreme Court and one time Deputy to the Lieutenant-Governor of South Australia.

Bray was also a renowned poet and one of his poems graces the memorial erected in Hurtle Square, nearby to where Bray once lived. The poem is entitled " Address to the Pigeons in Hurtle Square", a light-hearted reference to his interactions with them on his regular walks through the square. The memorial was originally erected with an accompanying fountain, however erosion was occurring of the artwork on the surrounding tiles, hence its lack of operation today.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
John Jefferson Bray Memorial

4. Free Bike Hire

One of Adelaide's many highlights and boons for tourists and locals alike is the availability of free bike hire, and the city being flat really lends itself to bike riding around our streets.

There are various depots available where the bikes can be picked up from ( in fact 21 alone in the CBD and North Adelaide), one of them being Bicycle SA in Carrington Street.

Not only are their daily free bike hire options but also Bike SA offer a range of hybrid and off-road bikes available for multi-day hire. Overnight hire will cost you $25 and works out cheaper the longer you hire the bike.

During non-daylight saving time, the hours of Bicycle SA for picking up or dropping off bikes is between 9 am and 5 pm 7 days a week. Bicycle SA is located at 53 Carrington Street in the city.

By the way, if you are an avid bike rider, or perhaps thinking of reducing our carbon footprint by taking up regular riding, then becoming a member of Bicycle SA will give you benefits such as comprehensive personal accident and public liability insurance, discounted fees to all of Bike SA's events and courses, and up to 10% discounts from supporting bicycle and outdoor stores. The membership cost starts at $80 individual per year.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Free Bike Hire Facility

5. Saracens Head Hotel

The Saracen's Head started life as an inn in 1850 and was re-named the Carrington Hotel in 1929 and then finally back to the Saracen's Head Hotel in 1978.

The good thing about this pub is that it caters for people with varying appetites, from those who only want a light meal to the more sumptuous and substantial.

Entree size meals will set you back anything from $12 to $25 dependent upon your selection. The Saracen's Head also do Pizzas, Classic meals and Large Plates. Prices for pizzas are between $19 and $24, for Classic Meals from $20 to $26 and for large plates from $26 to $38. One of their large plate meals comprises a 300g Sirloin, French Fries with french butter for $34.

It is located at 82 Carrington Street and is open for lunch Monday to Friday 12 pm - 3 pm, and Saturdays from 12 pm - 11 pm and Sundays from 12 pm until 8 pm. For dinner, the pub is open Monday to Wednesdays 5 pm - 9 pm, Thursdays and Fridays 5 pm - 11 pm, and Saturdays 12 pm - 11 pm and Sundays 12 pm - 8 pm.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Saracen's Head Hotel

6. Earl of Aberdeen Hotel

The Earl of Aberdeen Hotel was originally built in 1879/1880 on the site of another old hotel, the Devon Arms which had been erected in 1850 at a location which served along the route of a major coach route from Mitcham to the city. In fact in the 1850's the original pub was the first major hotel passed on the way to the city from Mitcham.

The Earl of Aberdeen was built onto in 1924 and today is known as one of Cooper's Alehouses, officially opened in 1987 by Dame Edna Everage.

Upon perusing the menu, the mouth waters with their range of culinary temptations. How about their share plates which vary in price from $7 - $12? Or perhaps a grazing board at $29 which consists of Proscuitto, Ciabatta Crostini, Pear, Parmesan and Rocket Salad, Cherry Tomatoes, Stuffed Green Olives, Mini Bell Peppers, Cornichons, Pate, Grilled Baby Burt Cheese with truffle infused honey as well as Char Grilled Chorizo.

The Earl also specialise in wood fired bread, as well as their well-renowned wood fired pizzas (from $15 to $24). The Classic menu which includes Steak Sandwiches, Lamb Yiros and Salt and Pepper Squid will cost you between $21 and $24.

If they aren't a big enough selection there is always their burger range, schnitzels, char-grill and Chef's choice menus.

The Earl of Aberdeen (aka Cooper's Alehouse) is located at 316 Pulteney Street (on the corner of Carrington Street) and is open 7 days a week.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Earl of Aberdeen Hotel

7. Albert Terrace

As you wander down Carrington Street you will notice a good mix of terrace houses and workers cottages mainly from the 1870's/1880's. One of the most imposing and said to be the largest Victorian Terraces ever built in Adelaide dating from 1880, is Albert Terrace. The nine two-storey terrace properties were built to a design by renowned architect Daniel Garlick for a draper, Charles Wylde.

By the 1960's like many residential properties in the CBD, the terraces had deteriorated into slum-like conditions. In 1965 the buildings were purchased by AMSCOL (Adelaide Milk Supply Co-operative Limited) and used as offices and storage by them right up until 1982.

It wasn't until the 1980's that the complex once again became residential with the original verandah and balconies being restored.

Albert Terraces are near the corner of Frome Street and Carrington Street at 204 - 218 Carrington.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Albert Terrace

8. Springhill Lodge

Springhill Lodge, nowadays split into private units, was built in 1897 for a Doctor Alexander Paterson, a Scotsman who in the 1860's became resident Medical Officer of the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum. By 1870 Dr Paterson not only had responsibility for the Lunatic Asylum, which was located on the eastern edge of the Botanic Gardens, but also the Adelaide Gaol and country hospitals, as well as being Colonial Surgeon right up until his retirement in 1896.

After Springhill Lodge was built, Dr Paterson continued to operate in a private capacity from the property and in 1913 the site was bought by YWCA to provide hostel accommodation. By the late 1920's a wing had been added to the house consisting of 25 single and double bedrooms, bathrooms and box room, with wide balconies for "sleeping out". The money for building the wing was contributed by Dr Joseph Verco, who had been responsible for Adelaide's first skyscraper in 1912 on the corner of Stephens Place and North Terrace (the Verco Building).

In 1984 the original residence was sub-divided into flats or units. The property can be found at 416 - 420 Carrington Street.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Springhill Lodge

9. Club Braggs/Sandford House/Public Schools Club

On the corner of Carrington Street and East Terrace lies a former historic home built by the Bragg family, which was only occupied by them for a 10 year period from 1899 until 1909. The Braggs were renowned in that both father and son won the joint Nobel Laureate Prize for Physics in 1915 for their work with X-ray crystallography. During World War One, Bragg Senior was occupied with problems of submarine detection and Bragg Junior with sound-ranging for artillery in France.

Bragg Senior had married Charles Todd's (renowned for organising the laying of the Overland Telegraph between Adelaide and Darwin in the 1870's) daughter and there is a significant plaque acknowledging Todd's laying of the foundation stone of the property.

The house was later owned by Sir James Sandford, a merchant and politician, who had taken over his family's company after 1906, which specialised in importing agricultural machinery and general merchandise from Britain. As president of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA in the early 1920's it was said that Sandford's will and optimism led to the society establishing spacious grounds at Wayville in the 1920's. (Having moved from the old Exhibition showground site on North Terrace).

The Adelaide Public Schools Club moved in around 1960, having been established since 1928 and still operates today at the property.

What you may not know is that the public is able to drop in for a coffee or a meal for lunch or dinner, with lunch specials menu prices ranging from $16 to $18 for non-members and main lunch and dinner menu from $24 to $40 also for non-members. Club Braggs or the Public Schools Club is located at 207 East Terrace and is open at varying times, enquiries which can be made by ringing 8223 3213.

9 Notable Discoveries on Carrington Street, Adelaide
Club Braggs

What an interesting mix of discoveries to be found down Carrington Street in the CBD of Adelaide.
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Why? An opportunity to try some historic pub food and refreshment as well as find some heritage properties
When: Any time of the year
Phone: 08 8203 7203
Where: Carrington Street, Adelaide SA
Cost: Dependent upon your plans
Your Comment
Some intriguing stories, thanks Graeme. You motivated me to hunt down a photo of Hurtle Square when it was almost a forest:
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11307) 1296 days ago
I love the free bike hire around Adelaide, such a great idea for a day out riding.
by Hayley Sayers (score: 1|87) 1297 days ago
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