House at 240 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide

House at 240 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide

Jeffcott Street was such an important thoroughfare that houses and other buildings were built there as early as the 1840s and 1850s. Large sections of upper North Adelaide lay otherwise vacant until as late as the 1880s.

This is one of the most interesting of these early buildings. It was built for a W. Gibbings in 1856. The scale of the original section facing Barton Terrace and its alignment with the pavement (part of the house is entered directly from the street) reflects its early date of construction. The building’s irregular appearance and different ceiling heights indicate the piecemeal growth typical of many early buildings.

Judging from the Smith Survey, the building probably reached its present form by 1880, if not by 1874. Despite additions over 20 to 30 years, it is consistently constructed of limestone rubble with brick dressings. Those on the Jeffcott Street frontage are notable for their moulded caps, hoods and gauged arches.

There is no information about the first owner, W. Gibbings, but soon afterwards the house was sold to Frederick Simeon Carus Driffield. His family was associated with it for more than 40 years, from 1860.

Driffield was a prominent businessman who was secretary of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society and later secretary of the Chamber of Commerce. He was born in Lancashire in 1825 and travelled to South Australia in 1849. Soon after his arrival, he, his brother and James H. Parr built the Knowsley flourmill near Woodside. In 1851, Driffield took off to the Victorian gold fields in the hope of clearing his increasing debts. His ventures at the Ovens diggings were successful and soon after his return to Adelaide he became secretary of the Agricultural and Horticultural Society, in 1856, and then moved into finance.

In recent times the building has been converted for use by the South Australian Chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and subsequently as the Greenhill Galleries.


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This house is historically significant due to it's very early construction, and also it's reflection of the residential trend on Jeffcott Street at the time.

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Images of House at 240 Jeffcott Street, North Adelaide

Building materials
Stone, Limestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1860 -
Architecture and design features
brick detail
Engineering features
Upper North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Frederick Driffield
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Dwelling, House
AS2482 classification
11500 - Business: Commercial/Retail
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5126/995 F102903 A7
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
3.1 Economic Cycles
3.1.4 Discovery of Gold in Victoria
3.4 Manufacturing
3.4.1 Milling
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments, Smith Survey 1880; Loyau, G.E., Notable South Australians, 1885, p. 37;
  • Observer, 22 June 1889.

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