Scotch Thistle Hotel

Scotch Thistle Hotel

The original Scotch Thistle Hotel was owned by William Field. In 1852, the first deliberations of the newly recreated Municipal Corporation were held there. The hotel faced Kermode Street, which was then a major thoroughfare. Field had a new hotel constructed in 1880 due to the shift in importance to John St (now King William Rd), which had been created to connect King William Road, via Poole Street, (now King William Road) to O’Connell Street.

William Field was a typical small businessman made good, and the Scotch Thistle was but one of his several investments. He was a butcher by trade, arriving in South Australia in 1839 and setting up shop in Melbourne Street in about 1840, later becoming a city councillor. He bought a cattle station in the far north but made a loss. He retired from the butchering business in about 1860, but retained ownership of the hotel until his death on October 19,1896.

A tender notice for the rebuilding of the Scotch Thistle was placed in the South Australian Register, 12 February 1880 by the architects Baver and Withall.

The new hotel was built at the same time as the rebuilding of the Commercial Hotel in Tynte Street (now the North Adelaide Hotel), also by Baver and Withall. Both are good examples of the architecture of the boom period and the significance of hotels in the community life of 19th-century Adelaide. The Scotch Thistle, later renamed the Cathedral Hotel, remains a strong visual element contributing to the character of North Adelaide.


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The hotel is historically significant as being part of the trend that saw the majority of Adelaide pubs being rebuilt during a boom era.

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Images of Scotch Thistle Hotel

Baver and Withall
Building materials
Brick, Iron, Cast iron, Render, Stucco, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.6 Filigree
1880 -
Architecture and design features
balustrade, spandrel, column
Engineering features
Lower North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
William Field
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Commercial, Hotel
AS2482 classification
10510 - Hotel - Motel - Inn
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5527/736 D42639 A100
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
3.5 Commercial, Marketing & Retail
3.5.5 A City of Pubs
4.7 Memorable Development Eras
Municipal Corporation
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments, BSO, drawing file 43 (1923); MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 703); Morgan, E.J.R., & Gilbert, S.H., Early Adelaide architecture 1836 to 1886, 1969, p. 94; Morphett. G., Reminiscences of Charles E. Field, 1944; Observer, 31 October 1896; South Australian Register, 12 February, 1880.

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