Buffalo Cottage

Buffalo Cottage

In 1852 this cottage stood on 4¼ acres of land owned by George Stevenson, one-time private secretary to Governor Hindmarsh. These acres of land (town acres 991, 992, 965 and 966) contained the once-famous Stevenson’s garden which, with Hack’s Echunga gardens, were highly important in the propagation and establishment of new and exotic plants in the young colony. An article in the South Australian Register of November 16, 1839 illustrates Stevenson’s level of expertise and the nature of gardening in South Australia at this time.

Stevenson’s association with this land began on December 23, 1837, when the four town acres were granted to him. A mortgage to Edward Stephens taken out on March 10, 1840, indicates impending improvements to the property. It is probable that part of the present Buffalo Cottage was completed by 1842, for its small-scale representation on the Kingston map is virtually identical with that included in the Smith Survey and today it remains recognisably similar. It is of note that even by 1880 the four town acres still had not been subdivided; two were in fact noted as “Chinaman’s Garden”.

The buildings, of limestone brick and pug (pisé), are indicated as stone and brick in the Smith Survey, yet the Kingston map shows them as constructed of pisé. The almost identical plan form would, however, indicate a high degree of historical continuity. The structure displays pioneer building techniques and is one of the few buildings in the city to retain its roof cladding of rolled sheet iron, dating from 1872 (possibly indicating a later date for the front wing). Although a distinctive element on Finniss Street, it makes little contribution to the streetscape because of its location behind a high fence.


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This site is significant for it's association with George Stevenson and it's role in developing the City of Adelaide.

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Images of Buffalo Cottage

Building materials
Brick, Stone, Limestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1852 -
Architecture and design features
rolled iron sheet roof, pug
Engineering features
Lower North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
George Stevenson
Original occupant
George Stevenson
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 5543/687 F183807 A535
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
2 Peopling a city
2.2.1 Early Colonial Settlement
Governor Hindmarsh, garden
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


Further reading

  • ACA, Assessments, Smith Survey
  • 1880; Kingston Map 1842; MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre
  • 966). South Australian Register, 16
  • November 1839

External links

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