Supreme Court Hotel

Supreme Court Hotel

This building, adjacent to the courts complex and opposite the Sir Samuel Way Building, is a significant element of Victoria Square.

The first hotel in this vicinity was called the Rainbow and was immediately east of this building. It was licensed in 1853 and was for many years associated with publican William Sowter.

The hotel changed its name in 1875 to the Supreme Court Hotel. By this time, the South Australian Company owned the site, which Sowter leased. In the late 1870s, Sowter also leased the property to the west (the site of the present building), and in December 1880 agreed to spend £2000 during the following 10 years erecting “good and substantial buildings of brick or stone” approved by the South Australian Company.

Although his lease was only for 10 years, Sowter soon carried out his. Architects English and Soward designed the new Supreme Court Hotel in July 1880 and by 1881 the present building had been built.

The hotel traded until 1970 when the building required considerable upgrading. It became an office of the Courts Department until a fire destroyed much of its interior.

Despite the Adelaide City Council considering a proposal to demolish this building in 1977, it was renovated by a company of barristers (Rumpole Pty Ltd). They renamed it Jeffcott Chambers in memory of South Australia’s first chief justice, who led an eccentric and notorious life until he drowned in 1837 at the Murray Mouth.


show more


[edit | edit source]

The building is historically significant for its association with the South Australian Company and the colony’s boom period.

Connects with

Related places
Related people
Related organisations
Related events
Related things

See also

Images of Supreme Court Hotel

  • Supreme Court Hotel, 2014
English and Soward
Building materials
Render, Stucco, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1880 - 1881
Architecture and design features
Engineering features
South West Corner
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
William Sowter
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Commercial, Hotel
AS2482 classification
14560 - Law Courts
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5430/571 F38124 A10
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
3.5 Commercial, Marketing & Retail
3.5.5 A City of Pubs
4.7 Memorable Development Eras
South Australia Company
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • The text in this Information Sheet was copied from the Heritage of the City of Adelaide: An Illustrated Guide, (1996).

Further reading

External links

Something to add or share?

blog comments powered by Disqus