House at 156 Kermode Street, North Adelaide

House at 156 Kermode Street, North Adelaide

In 1879 one of the “more conspicuous buildings put up during the year” was the impressive house erected for Reverend Osric Copeland. It was described as being of two storeys with about nine rooms, and costing about £1800. The architect was Thomas Frost, the contractors J. King and Son. Frost also designed Whinham College at the corner of Ward and Jeffcott streets and the villas in Barnard, Molesworth and Hillstreets for the City Land Investment Company, and worked on the construction and extensions to Brougham Place Congregational church. Because of this association Frost he this house as Copeland was pastor of the church from 1877 to 1884.

The South Australian Register of September 8, 1923 described Copeland as “a thoughtful and poetic preacher, a faithful pastor and the loving friend of the poor. He was largely instrumental in the formation of the fellowship at Meningie that took place in 1882”. The impetus for the house’s construction was probably his marriage, which took place in September 1879, when his stipend was increased from £500 to £600. Copeland was very actively involved in the public questions of the day, such as the removal of the opportunities for vice, especially drinking and gambling. He led a crusade against the latter: the totalizator had been introduced in 1879 and the volume of gambling had increased. Copeland and Conigrave (a church member) and other leading Congregationalists were successful in having the totalizator abolished, but as their influence waned, it was reinstated in 1888. By then Copeland had moved on to Melbourne.

The building was later used as a girls’ school known as Creveen, started by Miss Rita Cussen in 1910. Additions were made in 1915-16 when Creveen became a secondary girls’ school under the guidance of Miss Kathleen Cussen. It was closely associated with the Church of England, religious services being held regularly at Christ Church (across Palmer Place) with the rector acting as school chaplain: “By 1922 the school was in a very flourishing condition and was considered one of the most influential schools of its type in South Australia . . . the enrolment had grown to 125 scholars .. . For the next decade, the school continued to hold an honoured place in the educational life of the State.”

The school was, however, badly affected by the Depression, enrolments dropped, and it was closed at the end of 1934.


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Apart from its historical associations, the distinguished design of the house gives it special prominence in Palmer Place and Kermode Street. The unusual plan form makes excellent use of the corner site. The design features crisp stucco work combined with squared sandstone.

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Images of House at 156 Kermode Street, North Adelaide

Thomas Frost
Building materials
Stone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1879 -
Architecture and design features
Thomas Frost
Engineering features
Lower North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Osric Copeland
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, House
AS2482 classification
16010 - House
Public Access
Private residence
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5787/866 F183400 A128
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
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
4.4 Residential Development, Building Types and Living Conditions
4.4.1 Subdivision and Residential Development
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Smith Survey 1880; Morgan, E.J.R., & Gilbert, S.H., Early Adelaide architecture
  • 1836 to 1886, 1969, p. 101; North Adelaide
  • Congregational Church, Our first century
  • 1859-1959, 1959, pp. 12-13; PRO, Nicholas, R.J., ‘Private and denominational secondary schools of South Australia’, University of Melbourne, 1951, p. 219; South Australian Register, 2 January 1880, 8 September 1923.

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