Grange, formerly a village separate from Adelaide, is now one of a number of seaside suburbs to the north of the city, along the beautiful coast of Gulf St Vincent.
Once one traverses a small amount of vegetated sand dunes one gets to a beautiful white sand beach. Bring your own shade, sunscreen and lots of water. There are ample access points along the esplanade and there is direct access from the small commercial part of Grange by the jetty.
Grange is named after the 1841 cottage of the same name, owned by famous Australian explorer Captain Charles Sturt.
In the 1870s, 380 acres of land, owned by Sturt, was secured by speculators Frederick Bucknall and Arthur Harvey.
They, via their Grange Land & Investment Company (later Grange Railway & Investment Company), set about developing Grange as a seaside resort. To that point its rich alluvial soils had only attracted farming folk to the area.
Development as a resort was slow due to lack of reliable transport links with Adelaide.
This soon changed and a horse tram service via Henley Beach commenced in 1882 and a railway service via Woodville commenced in the same year.
The Company also built the jetty (1879), the hotel (pictured above) and the Marine Residences. Original plans were to build 24 residences. As it happened only eight, those you can still see today, were built.
These three story terraces, extremely rare in Australia, were modelled on similar residences popular in British seaside resorts such as Brighton at the time.
The terraces, designed by architects Bayer and Withall, were built between 1882 and 1883 using stone thought to have been ballast carried by sailing ships. One of the first residents of the “Marines” was Arthur Harvey, joint owner of the Grange Land & Investment Company, who lent out one of his rooms to the Anglican church for services until a church was constructed in 1885.
As you can see from my pictures the terraces are well preserved and retain most of their original features such as a corrugated galvanised iron roof, rendered brick chimneys and beautiful balconies decorated with cast iron balustrades, columns and lace.
These luxurious terraces are sought after homes and rarely change hands. In 2012 it is thought that No 1 (the one originally owned by Arthur Harvey) sold for $2.45million. They cost £1,050 when built in 1883.
The picture above(from the State Library of South Australia) is of the terraces in 1910.
Significant private development ensued and today Grange is a popular, though quiet and peaceful, resort with sufficient remnants of early streetscape to provide interest, in addition to the obvious beach and coastal walk/ride attractions. There are sufficient eating options here with Henely Beach, about 2.5kms walk away – a lovely coastal walk – providing additional options.
Make a day of it and visit both!
An easy excursion from Adelaide City Centre. If you have access to a bicycle you can take it here on Adelaide Metro train service which in any event provides the most direct and fastest (25mins) public transport service to Grange from Adelaide Railway Station.