Springhill Lodge

Springhill Lodge

Springhill Lodge was built in 1897 for Dr Alexander S. Paterson, who was born in Edinburgh in 1833. After graduating from medical school there, Paterson became a ship’s surgeon and then went to the Ovens goldfields in Victoria. He became resident medical officer at the Yarra Bend Hospital for the insane, where he established a sound professional reputation. In 1867 he was appointed resident medical officer of the Adelaide Lunatic Asylum, then at the eastern end of the Botanic Gardens.

In 1870 Paterson was gazetted colonial surgeon with responsibility for the Lunatic Asylum, the Adelaide Gaol and the country hospitals. He resigned in 1895 because of failing health. The Observer of January 11, 1902, described him as an authority on insanity in all its phases. He kept in touch with the progress of mental science in other countries and often provided expert evidence in the criminal court.

Dr Paterson was a prominent member of the Central Board of Health, the Medical Board, and the Australian branch of the British Medical Association. When he retired from government service he continued in private practice in a limited capacity from his Carrington Street residence Springhill Lodge, designed by Edward John Woods.

In 1913 the YWCA bought Springhill Lodge to use as hostel accommodation. It decided to buy such a residence “within one tram section of the city”. The Blue Triangle of June 1929 stated that “The choice fell on the residence of the late Dr. Paterson, in Carrington Street, a fine house, modern, standing in an acre of ground, with a garden and tennis court. The cost of the house and grounds was £4,500, and a wing was added, consisting of 25 single and double bedrooms, bathrooms and box room, with wide balconies for sleeping out. The cost of this wing seemed prohibitive, but thanks to the generosity of Dr. J.C. Verco, who promised £1,000 if the buildings were opened free of debt, the wing ... [would be] built.”

The additional hostel-type accommodation provided at the rear resulted in minimal impairment to the original residence, which in 1984 was subdivided into flats.


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The building is an important example of a “late” villa. It was built at a time when asymmetrical plans and complex roof forms and flamboyant joinery typified South Australia’s contribution to the Queen Anne style. The internal and external detailing, including well-constructed brick walling, and sandstone and polychrome brick dressings, are especially interesting.

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Images of Springhill Lodge

  • Springhill Lodge, 2014
Edward Woods
Building materials
Brick, Stone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
3 Federation Period (c. 1890–c. 1915), 3.8 Queen Anne
1897 -  

Additional Works

Extra Wing Added

Bought by YWCA to be used as hostel
Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
dressings, Bay window, timber balcony
Engineering features
South East Corner
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Dr Alexander S Paterson
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 5135/684 D23578 A3 CT 5139/285 D23578 A2
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
3.1.4 Discovery of Gold in Victoria
3.6 Professional Services
3.6.2 Early Hospitals and the Medical Profession
Mental Health Science
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments; MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 432); Observer, 11 January
  • 1902; Pascoe, J.J. (ed), History of Adelaide and vicinity, 1901, p. 507; Stewart, V., 'A history of the Adelaide Young Women's Christian Association, 1879-1939', Hons. history thesis, Flinders University, 1985; Woods Bagot Architects, Historical architectural plans; YWCA, The Blue Triangle, June 1929, p. 14.

Further reading

External links

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