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Suburb History

12 Feb 2013 Golden Grove 0 Comment

From a handful of villages, the City is made up of 28 suburbs. These suburbs include Banksia Park, Dernancourt, Fairview Park, Gilles Plains, GoldenGrove, Gould Creek, Greenwith, Gulfview Heights, Highbury, HoldenHill, Hope Valley, Houghton, Modbury, Modbury Heights, Modbury North, One Tree Hill, Para Hills, Redwood Park, Ridgehaven, St Agnes, Salisbury Heights, Surrey Downs, Tea Tree Gully, Upper Hermitage, Valley View, Vista, Wynn Vale and Yatala Vale.

Many are named after the properties of early settlers such as Golden Grove. Some have aboriginal origins, Yatala and Para, while others have a story to tell eg: Hope Valley. Below you can discover how the names orginated for 12 of our surburbs.


Fairview Park

Fairview Park is the descriptive name given to the 80 acre subdivision set out in 1963, with most housing being constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. The suburb’s name comes from that of the original housing estate. Fairview Park today is a well established residential area that has experienced a small decrease in population from 1996 to 2001.

Gilles Plains

Gilles Plains is named after South Australia’s first Colonial Treasurer, Osmond Gilles. Osmond Gilles (1788-1866) was born on 24 August 1788 in London. He owned a sheep station adjoining the Torrens River. Early in 1838, this station was the furthest station in the colony from Adelaide. He invested a large amount of capital in the colony and introduced Saxony and Merino sheep into South Australia.

Golden Grove

The suburb Golden Grove has taken its name from the property name owned by Adam Robertson. When the people of the locality decided to establish a school for their children, Adam Robertson presented them with an acre of land and granted permission for the school to be named Golden Grove. Although no township of Golden Grove existed, it was extended to the local area, when the local post office was opened in 1859. Golden Grove House and farm were sold in 1930. A sand mining company bought much of the estate in 1972. A study in 1962 predicted a housing boom in the Golden Grove area. In 1973 the South Australian Land Commission began to acquire land for housing and in 1983 Delfin was selected to work with the South Australian Urban Land Trust to develop the area. In 1985 the first bulldozers moved in. More than 200 allotments were sold in one week. The last allotment was sold in 2002.


Greenwith is named by Thomas Roberts. Thomas was a Cornish miner who was engaged by the South Australian Mining Association to open up mineral sections along the River Torrens. He worked at the Greenwith mine, 5 miles south of Truro in Cornwall, before arriving in South Australia in June of 1839. He named his new property Greenwith Farm.


This area was settled ten years after the valley sections on the north and south were settled. In the 1850’s this area became known as Highbury. The largest landholder was Stephen George Dordoy who named the property. The Dordoy family may have had some connection with a Highbury in north London, but Highbury may also be a descriptive name of the area.
The name Highbury became attached to the area in 1857 when Herman Friederich Koch, who built the first hotel at Hope Valley, the Bremen Arms, constructed another hotel and named it the Highbury Hotel.


Highercombe was named after George Anstey’s original family home near Dulverton, Somerset. Today’s Highercombe Golf Course is sited on the part of the Highercombe Estate that was nearest to Anstey’s house. The Highercombe Estate was established in 1840 when George Anstey purchased sections 5514 and 5517 of the Special Survey on the Little Para (240 acres).
Anstey began building his home at Highercombe in 1841. By 1853 it had grown to sixteen rooms. In 1857 George Marsden Waterhouse, who was to become the Premier of South Australia, purchased the property. Waterhouse sold the property to John Baker in 1866 who gave it to his daughter, Mary Anstice Baker, as a wedding gift when she married Sir Robert Dalrymple Ross. In 1896, 655 acres of the estate were subdivided and sold. After the death of Sir Robert, the property was sold to Lorenzo Charles Goodwin who in turn sold it to Don and Ern Chapman in 1925. The house was burnt out in a fire in 1929(?). Don Chapman later rebuilt it on a smaller scale. Anstey was responsible for creating the dam at the Highercombe Golf Course and planting many of the trees in the area. The Highercombe stables, which were built by Lady Ross, have been renovated and are now the golf clubhouse.

Hope Valley

Hope Valley was the earliest of the settlements in the present day City of Tea Tree Gully. It grew haphazardly, rather than as the result of deliberate planning. Some semblance of a township began to emerge early in the 1840s when Jacob Pitman sold a few allotments of the 80 acre section (Section 824) he had owned since 1839. William Holden purchased one of these allotments in 1841. Holden opened a store and butchers shop on Grand Junction Road near present day Valley Road. William Holden is credited with naming Hope Valley. In 1842 he returned home from Adelaide, to find that his home and shop had been destroyed by a bushfire. The details about this incident vary, however, the common theme seems to be one of hope – either, that instead of feeling despondent Holden felt hope, or that hope was all he had left after the devastation.


Houghton was the first village in the Tea Tree Gully region. John Richardson laid it out in 1841. Richardson came to South Australia in April 1838. He was a sharebroker, land agent and surveyor. By June 1840 he had acquired 600 acres of the Little Para Survey (an area encompassing present day Paracombe and Houghton). Section 5519 of this land consisted of 80 acres of hilly countryside, which was of little use for farming. Richardson subdivided this into fifty allotments and a village common, of some 10 acres. By 1844 most of the allotments had been sold and the village had a blacksmith, a storekeeper, a chapel and a public house.


The village of Modbury began to emerge in 1857-58. Up until 1855 Main North East road ended at the junction with present day Blacks Road. Travellers then went north along Blacks Road to Grand Junction Road or along present day Lyons Road to Hope Valley. In 1855 Main North East Road was extended to the present intersection with Grand Junction Road and then in 1856 it was further extended to the present day intersection with Golden Grove Road. This extension of Main North East Road passed through the farm of Robert Symons Kelly (owner of sections 841 and 842). Kelly, while initially unhappy to have his farm divided, sought to turn the situation to his advantage by encouraging the development of a settlement on his property. (There was no formal subdivision into a township). Ludwig Koop opened a blacksmith’s shop in 1857. A public house was built in 1858. This was named the Modbury Hotel. This was the first use of the name Modbury in the area (Robert Symons Kelly was born in Modbury, Devonshire). Modbury changed very little during the first half of the twentieth century – in 1957 there were only 62 houses in the area. This situation changed rapidly during the 1960s, which saw extensive subdivision of the area.

St Agnes

The suburb of St Agnes takes its name from the vineyard established on part of section 5485 by Dr William Angove in 1889. Angove named the vineyard St Agnes sometime prior to 1897 – the 1897 St Agnes Claret was the first wine identified by the St Agnes name. Two possible reasons for choosing St Agnes as the vineyard’s name have been put forward. One is that the vineyard was named after a mining village called St Agnes, which was near Camborne, William Angove’s birthplace in Cornwall. The other is that the name was chosen because of its association with Saint Agnes, the patron saint of purity – many South Australian wine makers were using the names of saints on their labels at the end of the nineteenth century.
Clay mining was an important industry in the St Agnes area prior to suburban development. Much of section 846 was mined for clay by the Whiting family and the Adelaide Pottery Company. The clay was used for drainpipes and, in the case of the finest quality, for the manufacture of jugs, basins and ‘toilet sets’.

Wynn Vale

Wynn Vale was named after the wine makers S. Wynn & Company. During the 1950’s they operated vineyards on the ‘Modbury Estate’, which fronted what was then Yatala Vale Road.
In 1972 the government, under the leadership of Premier Donald Dunstan, established the South Australian Land Commission to acquire land for future building allotments. On the 17th of October 1974, 390 hectares of land in the region had been acquired by the S.A.L.C. Although a serious blow to local winemakers, the acquisition allowed housing development to eventuate, including the Golden Grove Development.

Yatala Vale

Yatala is the name applied by the Weira group of the Kaurna Aborigines to the area north of the Torrens, extending from Port Adelaide to Tea Tree Gully. Yatala literally means “water running by the side of a river”. It was a favourite name with the authorities as far back as 1836 and was applied to a hundred, an electoral district, a government schooner, the labour prison and a paddle steamer.

School information for Golden Grove area
Preschool information:
Keithcot Farm Children Centre 82512700; Wynn Vale Community House Kindergarten 82890139; Greenwith Kindergarten 82897696; Golden Grove Kindergarten 82892788

Primary Schools: Greenwith Primary School 82898100; Our lady of Hope School 82898344; Golden Grove Primary School 82893137; Wynn Vale School 82890270

High Schools/ Colleges: Golden Grove High School 82826400; Gleeson College 82826600; Kings Baptist Grammer School 82890222; Pedare Christian College 82801700; The Heights School 82636244

Sporting Clubs
Golden Grove Football Club 0401227079; Modbury Jets Soccer Club 0431942031; Tea Tree Gully Golf Club 82519200; The Golden Grove Central District Baseball Club 0429708709; Tango Netball Club 82640341; SA District Netball Association 0418847507; Fancy Foot Dance Academy 0403220049

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