North Adelaide Primary School

North Adelaide Primary School

The Education Act of 1875 dissolved the Central Board of Education and created a Council of Education with power to establish and maintain “public schools”. Tynte Street School was designed in 1876 during this period of change, and the design and aesthetic were linked to other such “Model Schools”, especially the one in Grote Street. E.J. Woods was the architect for both buildings and most of the other early state school buildings. His designs reflected the importance given to education during this period by scale, Gothic design and detailing.

The new model school for 800 children was designed around February to April 1876, when an architect from the Victorian Education Department, Edward Davies, was appointed to the Colonial Architect’s Department in anticipation of an upsurge of school building works as a result of the Act of 1875. During the Christmas period of 1875-76, the president of the new Council of Education, John Hartley, made a dash across to Melbourne, where he procured plans and specifications of Victorian schools from the Education Department to help speed up the planning and design process to cope with the sudden urgent need for new schools in South Australia.

Woods’ design for Tynte Street School is remarkably similar to the Victorian school of Buninyong, (designed by W.H. Ellerker, 1874) but with subtle differences to suit local conditions and traces of Woods’ design of 1873 for the Grote Street Model School.

Built with the same internal plan as Grote Street Model School, it accommodated separately boys, girls, infants, babies, masters and mistresses, with three of the 12 classrooms being 50 feet in length. Brown and Thompson were the contractors, for £7900. The intended verandah on the facade facing into Tynte Street was omitted. The building was constructed of bluestone with brick quoins and hipped roofs, with a carved wooden bargeboard to the gable that was once adorned with an elegant bell tower.

In 1909 alterations were made. Some of the original double but narrow arched windows were altered to create more light for the classrooms. During this period the Grote Street School had similar alterations. These particular windows were attractive but useless for making the most of natural light. In some cases the arched frames became rectangular, but this has not detracted from the overall Gothic-derived appearance of both school buildings.


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The North Adelaide School enhances the streetscape of Tynte Street, where residential, commercial and institutional properties are in proximity in the manner of a village high street. The schools integrity is high as alterations and additions have not detracted from its original appearance.

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See also

Images of North Adelaide Primary School

Edward Woods
Brown and Thompson
Building materials
Brick, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.11 Academic Gothic
1876 -  

Additional Works

Alterations to windows to allow more natural light

Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
quoins, cupola, bargeboard, gable
Engineering features
Upper North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Government of South Australia
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Education, School
AS2482 classification
14050 - Primary School
Public Access
Opening hours only
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5503/849 F183712 A440 CT 5988/447 F183713 A441
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 registered
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
5.2 State Government
5.2.1 Creating State Government Institutions and Facilities
7.1 Schools
7.1.3 Primary and secondary schools
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • Barcan, A., A history of education in Australia, 1980, p.134; Burchell, L., Victorian schools,
  • 1980, p.99; Department of Housing and Construction, Plan room, HD817, HD1448-1455; Illustrated Adelaide News, October 1877 (lithograph); MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 867); PRO, GRG 18/1/5.1.1876, 18/1/1.2.1876, GRG 24/4/20.12.1875,
  • GRG 38/16/2 - Record Book of School Buildings, GRG 50/1/8/14.2.1876; South Australian
  • Register, 1 January 1877.

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