professional historians australia (south australia)
Home > On this day > June > 29 June 1869 St Peter's Cathedral

29 June 1869 St Peter's Cathedral

 29 June 1869   St Peter's Cathedral

The foundation stone for St Peter's Cathedral was laid on St Peter's Day, 29 June 1869, by Bishop Short in the presence of more than 1000 people.

On 9 August 1862 land on the corner of King William Road and Pennington Terrace was purchased for £1052 10s as the site for Adelaide's Anglican Cathedral. This was after disputation over the Cathedral acre in Victoria Square, which was originally granted by Governor Gawler, and confirmed by Governor Robe in 1848, was held to be not a legal entitlement by the Supreme Court, because the judges found that the Square was 'for the use and recreation of the public of the City of Adelaide'. 

The first section of the cathedral, the sanctuary, choir and transepts and the first bay of the nave, were consecrated on 1 January 1878, although the first service was held in the unfinished building on 29 June 1876. The original architect, William Butterfield, intended the neo-Gothic church to be built in brick, but stone from Tea Tree Gully and Murray Bridge was substituted. Further work was carried out in the 1890s with donations from, amongst others, Sir Thomas Elder and Robert Barr Smith, both Presbyterians. The towers and spires, soaring to 168 feet, were dedicated on 7 December 1902. The eight bells in the western tower, dedicated on 29 June 1947, are the finest and heaviest ring of eight bells in the southern hemisphere.

T.T. Reed, A History of the Cathedral Church of St Peter, Adelaide, 1969.

Tags: St Peter's Cathedral