Bishop's Court and Stables

Bishop's Court and Stables

Bishop’s Court, Christ Church and Rectory form one of the most revered groups of heritage items in Adelaide. Bishop Short expedited the construction of all three buildings, and brought plans for them from England. However, contemporary reports tend to credit their design to the hands of Henry Stuckey and William Weir (see Christ Church).

On January 9,1851, the Bishop’s son laid the foundation stone of the Episcopal Residence, Bishop's Court. The South Australian Register reported that “Mr Stuckey, the architect ... exhibited the plans for the proposed building, a chaste design in the Tudor-Gothic, but by no means an ambitious structure for an episcopal palace.”

Stuckey's obituary notice in the Observer of June 7, 1851, described him as highly talented with a refined taste: “To him we owe some monuments of a style of architecture hallowed and endeared to us by the most sacred and heart soothing associations. The Collegiate School of St. Peter, the fittings of the Apse of North Adelaide Church, show high capacity in the loftier branches of his profession; while the designs of Hindmarsh, Port Lincoln, Clare, Penwortham, Port Adelaide Churches, the parsonage of Christ Church and Bishop’s Court (new residence of the Lord Bishop) exhibit both taste and skill in the application of very common building materials to the production of exquisite architectural effects.”

Due to Stuckey’s death, Edmund Wright probably supervised the final stages of erection of Bishop’s Court by T. Long. Erection of the building was slow because of the exodus of labour to the Victorian goldfields. For a time the walls of the original central section of the building remained without a roof until Bishop Short raised a loan to cover the cost of roofing. Part of the building was consecrated in 1852. It has since been considerably extended.

On the Bishop’s return from England in 1854 a subscription was raised in the diocese to add the rooms at the west end of the building so as to make it habitable for him and his family. A dining room and bedrooms were subsequently added, completing the bishop’s idea of a “good decanal residence”. Later, rooms to the west were added, and in 1912 the chapel and entrance porch were added to the north face to the design of G.K. Soward. The roofing of slates has been replaced by corrugated galvanized iron.


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Bishop’s Court remains in very good order and is one of the most prominent features in this area of special character. The use of Tudor Gothic elements such as four centre arch-headed windows, transom windows, large and exposed chimneys, and the dominance of gable forms within a steeply pitched roof, all contribute to the distinctly ecclesiastical and English appearance of this group of buildings. Bishop’s Court, as befitting its status, is grander than the nearby rectory. It is remarkable for the assemblage of various extensions under differing roofs to form a homogeneous architectural composition.

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Images of Bishop's Court and Stables

Henry Stuckey
T Long
Building materials
Stone, Limestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.11 Academic Gothic
1851/01/09 - 1852 

Additional Works

Dining Room and Bedrooms added

Construction commenced
Construction completed

Chapel and Entrance Portico added

Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
Henry Stuckey, Tudor Gothic, Arch Windows, gable, corrugated galvanised iron roof
Engineering features
Upper North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Bishop Short
Original occupant
Bishop Augustus Short
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, House
AS2482 classification
16010 - House
Public Access
Exterior only
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5141/71 D37134 A7 CT 6033/30 D37134 A8
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State Heritage listed
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
NTSA classified
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
3 Developing a City Economy
3.1.4 Discovery of Gold in Victoria
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


Further reading

  • ACA, Assessments, Smith Survey
  • 1880; Goodhugh, South Australian illustrated and commercial almanac for
  • 1852; Jose, G.H., Annals of Christ Church, 1921; MLSA, Church News, 9
  • October 1896, Historical photographs (Town Acre 743); Observer, 7 June
  • 1851; South Australian Register, 10 January 1851.

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