Town Plan

Colonel William Light 1786 - 1839

The Laying Out of The Adelaide ParkLands

The dark green round the Town I proposed to the Resident Commissioner to be reserved as Park Grounds
Light's comment on his map 'The Port And Town Of Adelaide'
dated 7th February, 1837.

This action was in response to Light's Instruction No. 17 from the Colonization Commissioners issued 9th March, 1836:-

When you have determined the site of the first town, you will proceed to lay it out in accordance with the "Regulations for the preliminary sales of colonial lands in the country." You will make the streets of ample width, and arrange them with reference to the convenience of the inhabitants and the beauty and salubrity of the town; and you will make the necessary reserves for squares, public walks, and quays.

The City was to be divided into 1,000 Town Acres.
Under Instruction No. 18, Country sections were to be 134 acres each with a reserved road adjoining each section. This road had to be a minimum of 66 feet wide (see Instruction No. 19).

It will be noted from Light's Plan on the previous page, that he laid out the Race Course - 'The Old Course', now known as Victoria Park.

The actual designing of the size of a capital site and seat of government; the provision of the "Park Lands" for the health and recreation of the citizens; the reservation of public land along all waterways, was an initiative of the early founders of the colony going back to the 1820's and earlier.

Robert Gouger on
The Site of Adelaide & The Park Lands

The town itself, besides the streets, squares, and public walks, occupies 1,000 acres, 300 of which are on the north side of the Torrens, the name given to the river dividing Adelaide.

Around the town is a park 500 yards wide, retained for public walks; and in various parts of the town are six squares, besides some unequally-sided pieces, caused by the unevenness of the locality, and which are intended to be made, some time or other, ornamental Places.

Ten acres of land, close to the town in a very beautiful position, and abutting on the Torrens, are reserved as the government domain; and upon these the government-hut is now standing.

Some land is set apart for a botanical garden, and this comprises slopes of almost all available inclinations and aspects; this again abuts upon the Torrens, and is about a quarter of a mile west of the town.

The sites of a hospital, public cemetery, government stores, and schools, are placed outside the town, but on the park-land; and those of the public offices of the government, such as the colonial secretary's office, land-office, &c. are in the middle of the town.

For the selection of this delightful spot, the plan of the town itself, and the arrangement of the public buildings, the province is deeply indebted to the highly cultivated taste of Colonel Light.