Gawler Town Hall Murray Street 89
|Also known as:||Town Hall|
|Address:||89 Murray Street|
|Town or Locality:||Gawler|
The Town of Gawler was incorporated in July 1857 but it was not until 1868 that Council began to discuss the need to build a town hall. As with many things that are done in Gawler, only after years of controversy was a site chosen and the building constructed. The first offer of land (in 1868) was from John McEwin, the proprietor of the Prince Albert Hotel in Murray Street. He offered to donate land next to the Hotel which would have been suitable for the institute, town hall, council chamber and council offices. Council rejected his offer (which came with the condition that a building to the value of £5000 be erected within three years), resulting in a no-confidence motion in Council and the eventual withdrawal of the offer.
The matter of the location of the town hall was again considered in 1872 (a site on Lyndoch Road), 1873 (within the northern market allotment) and 1875 (another site on Lyndoch Road). At a meeting of ratepayers, the majority voted for the northern market option but when a legal opinion was sought, it was discovered that the trust deed conveyed to council in 1864 prevented anything other than a market to be built on the land.
In 1877, the southern market allotment which was owned by Council was proposed as a suitable site to build the town Hall. This was rejected and an alternative site on the Park Lands opposite walker Place was given consideration. General agreement could not be reached and another poll of ratepayers resulted in the majority voting for the purchase of land in Murray Street, next to the Gawler Institute. A designer and builder were engaged and a contract signed for completion of work within seven months of the commencement date of 1 January 1878.
James Martin (Mayor of Gawler at the time) laid the foundation stone on 16 April 1878. The grand opening created much excitement in the town. The Governor of South Australia, Sir William Jervois, officially opened the building on 20 November 1878.
Source: Historical Pamphlet, Gawler Town Hall
For more photographs relevant to the Town Hall click here.
Early Town Clerks of Gawler
1857 - 1881 John Rudall
1881 - 1914 Samuel Bruce Rudall
1914 - 1923 E.A.Smith
1923 Allan Bawman Grace [Relieving]
1923 - 1954 Frederick James Richards
1954 - 1981 Arthur Ronald Warhurst
1981 - Robin D. John
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