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16 July 1929 Colonel Light’s Survey

 16 July 1929 Colonel Light’s Survey       

A bronze tablet on a granite obelisk on the corner of North and West Terraces was unveiled on 16 July 1929 to commemorate the start of the surveying of the city of Adelaide by Colonel William Light on 11 January 1837. This is just opposite Town Acre Number 1 on part of which now stands the Newmarket Hotel. Light completed the preliminary survey of the 1042 acres in the city of Adelaide in two months, despite problems and the shortage of assistants. Adelaide south had 700 one-acre lots with the city streets and squares in a grid-pattern; Adelaide north contained 342 one-acre lots, the two parts separated by the River Torrens.

Light finished the survey of the new city by the middle of March and the Town Acres were allotted to preliminary purchasers - those who had bought land before leaving England - by ballot, while the remaining acres were sold by auction at prices ranging from £2 4s to £14 14s.

Light envisaged a cathedral would be built on Victoria Square, but of course this did not happen. Government House was also placed in a different position than in Light’s original plan. The parklands surrounding the city separating the city from its suburbs are regarded as one of the city’s best features and a perennial memorial to Light.

R.M. Gibbs, A History of South Australia, Balara Books, 1969, pp35-6.

D. Pike, Paradise of Dissent, Melbourne University Press, 1957, p.174.

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