Wesleyan Methodist Church Hall, North Adelaide

Wesleyan Methodist Church Hall, North Adelaide

This hall was built to complement the work of the Archer Street Wesleyan church, and stands as the only survivor of the complex. The style of the hall was in keeping with the role and status of the Archer Street church, although this was at variance with the usual style of Methodist church building, which was usually modest and plain.

Arnold Hunt wrote: South Australian Methodism, especially Wesleyanism, had its princes and its pulpits. Pirie Street held pride of place, closely followed by Archer Street, North Adelaide.

Wesleyan Methodism was by far the most numerous and influential of the Methodist movements to be established in South Australia. Formally established first in the Pirie Street church in Adelaide, the church had its first main branch in North Adelaide, initially in Kermode Street, then in Archer Street. A capacious building seating more than 1000 was built in 1856 in Archer Street and for more than 50 years “this was one of the grand places of Methodism, with a large congregation and a number of wealthy members ... the mother church of Wesleyanism north and west of the city ... as far north as Gawler”.

Wesleyanism’s financial resources increased considerably during the 1870s and 1880s, enabling congregations to build new churches and halls. Archer Street further benefited from the fact that several of its members were prominent in Adelaide’s commercial world, the new hall being a visible sign of their contribution to Methodism.

The hall was erected as a church school in 1882-83 to complement the adjacent church both in style and function. It has overtones of the Gothic Revival. The building represents the eclecticism of this period and is notable for the distinction made between the facade in quality sandstone ashlar, and the rear wall carried out in bluestone rubble. It was designed by Daniel Garlick and built by William Bundey.

The church itself was less adaptable, the original massive building, no longer needed by diminished congregations, was demolished and replaced in 1964.


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The former hall is of distinctive scale and style, with a location on the street alignment that makes it a major streetscape element, and also separates the visually and historically significant eastern section of Archer Street from the less cohesive western portion.

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Images of Wesleyan Methodist Church Hall, North Adelaide

Daniel Garlick
William Bundey
Building materials
Render, Stucco, Stone, Bluestone, Sandstone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.12 Free Gothic
1882 - 1883
Architecture and design features
quoins, arch
Engineering features
Upper North Adelaide
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Wesleyan Methodist Church
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Religious, Meeting place
AS2482 classification
11510 - Business House - Offices
Public Access
Opening hours only
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5901/894 F39107 A120
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
6.3 Worshipping
6.3.2 Church schools
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • Hunt, A.D., This side of heaven,
  • 1985, pp. 88, 131; Jackman Gooden Architects, Historical architectural plans; MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 822).

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