Victoria Park Racecourse - Grandstand

Victoria Park Racecourse - Grandstand

Horse racing was conducted on the east Park Lands from the 1840s. This structure dates from the early 1880s, the period of the establishment of several cultural institutions on North Terrace and the expansion of the Botanic Gardens, the opening of the Zoological Gardens and the creation of the Torrens Lake, all of which did much to enliven the appearance and improve the quality of life in Adelaide.

The old course was renamed Victoria Park in 1897 in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. An earlier grandstand with a substantial masonry base and side walls survived until at least the 1880s close this historical grandstand. About 1890 it was replaced by one situated further to the south, and by 1912 an additional grandstand had been built.

The present grandstand was erected in response to the rivalry that then existed between the “old course” and the racecourse at Morphettville. It also had to satisfy the agreement between the Adelaide Racing Club and the Adelaide City Council that the trustees of the club were bound to spend £2500 on the erection of a grandstand.

In April 1882, architects Bayer and Withall for the Adelaide Racing Club forwarded to the Adelaide City Council plans for a grandstand in excess of £3000 in value. When constructed, the council reported that the lessees were to be congratulated for providing such an ornament to the east Park Lands. The grandstand still retains its ornamental function dominated by extensive use of cast-iron, the delicacy and intricacy of which contrasts well with the massive bluestone base. The stand, originally symmetrical about the gabled main entrance over the present trainers' box, was enlarged some time after World War I, and these extensions were carried out in total sympathy with the original section, using ironwork of identical design by Forwood, Down and Company, and A.C. Harley.


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The grandstand is an important example of the use of cast-iron in a non-domestic situation, its significance being enhanced by its association with the development of the “old course”. The design of the main entrance with complex double curved match boarding is distinctive, as are the staircases leading from ground level to the original seating above. Although additions have been made at the rear, the integrity of the structure remains high.

Connects with

Related places
Related people
Related organisations
Related events
First horse races
Related things
Featured in
East End Promenade

See also

Images of Victoria Park Racecourse - Grandstand

  • Victoria Park Racecourse - Grandstand, 2014
Ernest Bayer, Iron Work by Forwood Down & Co, Latham Withall
A C Harley
Building materials
Brick, Iron, Cast iron, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890)
1882 -  

Additional Works

Extended Sympathetically

Construction commenced
Construction completed
Architecture and design features
Ernest Bayer, Iron Work by Forwood Down & Co, spandrel, balustrade, column
Engineering features
Precinct Parkland Name
Victoria Park / Pakapakanth
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Adelaide Racing Club
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Recreational, Sport
AS2482 classification
17010 - Stadium - Grandstand
Public Access
Opening hours only
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CR 5999/492 H105100 S6016
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 classified
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
4.7 Memorable Development Eras
6.2 Recreation and Entertainment
6.2.5 Sport
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Annual report 1912, p. 112, Digest of Proceedings, 30 January 1882, 24 April 1882, Historical photographs; Adelaide Racing Club, Victoria Park Adelaide, South Australia, The course of natural beauty; centenary, 1871-1971.

Further reading

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