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Adelaide’s Disappearing Suburbs

Did you grow up in an Adelaide suburb that no longer exists? It might have been Finchley Park or Washington Gardens or perhaps Little Chicago or Sassafras. Adelaide has lost many suburbs over the years when the name is changed, for one reason or other, or the suburb is swallowed up by a larger suburb.

An Early Gregory's Road Map of Adelaide Suburbs including Kinedana and Coham Gardens

An Early Gregory’s Road Map of Adelaide suburbs including Kinedana and Cobham Gardens

When a large area of Glen Osmond was still a vineyard, where Glen Osmond Rd meets Cross Rd, there was a suburb called Woodley, which was the original vineyard for Woodley Wines, makers of the Queen Adelaide range of wines.

Woodley disappeared as a suburb probably in the 1950s and the grapevines eventually gave way to housing development. Woodley’s Cellar Door finally closed some time in the ’80s and the label was taken over by Seppelts.

Suburb and town names are changed for any number of reasons, including cultural and even political.

During World War I, all names of Germanic origin were changed to British sounding names and Germans living in South Australia were put into camps for the duration of the war. Kaiser Stuhl (king’s seat) in the Barossa Valley became known as Mt Kitchener and Hahndorf became Ambleside. Thankfully they were restored years later.

In the early 1960s, many smaller suburbs were swallowed into larger suburbs as the PMG Department (now Australia Post) prepared to launch postcodes in Australia for the first time.

Running through the names of suburbs that are now completely gone is fascinating.

Some names have remained as an oval, a shopping centre, park or even a railway station.

There was a Highbury that adjoined Prospect. Rosebery was a suburb near Walkerville, Cowandilla was once Cowandillah, Gaza became Klemzig, and adjacent Cullford is gone.

Darley, Sydenham, Charlesworth Park and Meadowside were just past today’s Paradise and Newton.

Graymore, Glenbank, Grovene and Helmsdale lay between the airport and Glenelg.

This house once in Finchley Park is now in Magill

This house once in Finchley Park would now be in Magill

Burford Gardens was out past Dry Creek, probably related to the local soap manufacturers, and we had a Windsor and a Durham.

Former subdivisions around Blair Athol included Dingley Dell and Pendleton. South of Gepps Cross and west of Main North Rd were the partly developed Bosworth Park, Enfield North and Enfield North Extension.

Northgate was created in the 1920s and Olive Farm lay on the east side, south of Clearview.

Grangeville became Seaton Park and then just Seaton, Paradise was Sydenham, Plympton was Grosvenor Park and Beaumont was once known as Sunnyside.

Years ago, if someone had built their house in Edwardstown East, a few years later the same house would have had an address in Colonel Light Gardens then later it would have changed to Daw Park.

Finchley Park, which I mentioned earlier, was a small area between Arthur St, Magill, and St Bernards Rd and is now integrated into Magill.

There is still a small shopping centre there called Finchley Plaza which, remarkably, has kept its name long after the suburb disappeared.

Little Chicago became Kilburn, Paringa Park is now Somerton Park and Kircaldy is now Henley Beach. Hollywood and Cottonville were on Goodwood Road

There are some great names lost, such as Sassafras, now Ottoway, Twickenham and Twickenham Gardens, now West Richmond, Tam O’Shanter, now Regency Park and Elgin, which has now become Woodville Park.

58 Responses to Adelaide’s Disappearing Suburbs

  1. Ron Wilton November 17, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Vermont was swallowed up by South Plympton. Vermont Girls High School lasted another 30 years though until it was closed down and became a college.

    • Sue February 12, 2017 at 4:21 am #

      It was VGTHS – Vermont Girls Technical High School. Never was it a High School.

      • Elaine king November 30, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

        Back in 1991 I took my youngest 2 show off my tech high school…it was mostly gone except 4 the main brick building. The yard was reclaimed as a retirement centre .. I was broken.. I believe boys went there also.. I was at by The btwn 1960 n 1962

      • Liz April 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm #

        Yes it was. It changed to a high school when boys were allowed to attend. This happened in the last year I was at school.

    • peter July 3, 2020 at 1:39 pm #

      Ron I live in south plympton and would love to have it cahnged back to vermont? any thoughts?


      • Alison May 1, 2021 at 4:12 pm #

        Hi Peter

        My partner and I have just bought the Waterhouse Corner property. Any chance you know if the colours on the outside are roughly original?? Looking at turning the outside back to more of original look (awning def replaced down the track!)

      • Ron December 10, 2023 at 10:28 pm #

        Yes it would be great to have the original name of Vermont! I’m with you Peter. Sorry for the delayed reply; I’ve just stumbled on this blog. Forgot that I had made the comment.

  2. Andrew Reardon November 17, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    I see with interest that the suburb I grew up in, Mitchell Park, was once called Burbank. Recently returned to look at the old neighbourhood to find the semi-detached houses of Bradley Grove all gone and replaced with yuppie-ville housing and the almond orchards and grape vines my bothers and I and our friends raided each year replaced with government buildings and car parks. The price of progress is high and at times necessary, but once in a while it would be nice just to leave things as they were so our grandkids can understand how we grew up.

    • Steve Bartholomew November 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

      All of that area has now changed – the old Drive Inn was a great haunt and the train station used to be much more obvious – and of course the huge Chrysler (then Mitsubishi) plant was a great employers in the early days.

  3. John Wark November 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    … and we lived in Goodwood Park

  4. Carolyn Brock November 17, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    i remember living in finchley park when I was 2 years old playing in the vineyards then moving to kurralta park when I was 5 years old i was born in 1946

  5. Ian Southam November 17, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Maybe someone can verify if this is correct? I grew up in the suburb of Glengowrie and have now lived 50 years here. When replacing the original carpet in the loungeroom of my home in the late 90’s I found the original delivery tag underneath. The address was the same however the suburb was called Beaconsfield.

    • John August 13, 2021 at 2:02 pm #

      That is correct Ian

  6. meredith November 17, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    White Park which comprised three streets surrounded by Kooyonga Golf Course became part of Lockleys.

  7. David November 18, 2014 at 12:24 am #

    Hi Bob
    You never did reply if you were the Bob Bryne that worked at Whyala Post Office back in the 1960’s

  8. Wayne Rosser November 18, 2014 at 4:16 am #

    You mentioned Gaza but did you know that the adjacent suburbs were named Kobandilla and Cullford?

    According to the 1929 Adelaide street and suburb guide, along the coast you had the suburbs of Marino, Seacliffe, Brighton, Somerlea, Somerton, New Glenelg, Glenelg, West Beach, Greymore, Henley Beach, Grange, Tennyson, Southend, Balmoral, Mellor Park, Glanville, Largs Bay, Austral Brindisi, Portsmouth and Outer Harbour.

    Other interesting names of suburbs are Cottonville, now subsumed by Westbourne Park. Panchito Park, now part of Glynde. Brooklyn and Blackpool could be found next to Osborne when Osborne was only a single block of streets.

  9. Ron Hammat November 18, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Hi Bob. I worked at Whyalla in about 1963 and I remember you as well. You were doing some work with the local radio station part time if I remember correctly. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then!

  10. Steve Bartholomew November 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    Ballara Park was the place all our letters were sent – forced then to use the suburb name – Warradale. Went to Paringa Park Primary School (still there) along with lots of interesting people.

  11. Mal Jurgs November 18, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    I thought that Klemzig was the original name which was then changed to Gaza during WW1 and then changed back sometime later.

    • Peter coster July 19, 2016 at 6:49 pm #

      Noticed your post. Klemzig was in prussia when the so called germans came across to sa. Klemzig pryssia had a name change(i forget which now) in poland. Some of the so called germans had polish surnames when they came to sa. All part of history. Manfred von richthoven the red baron of ww1 fame was born in poland even though he is getman prussian

    • Mike Micanopy December 15, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

      That’s true. Many footballers and Adelaide Turf cricketers will know of the very powerful Gaza sports club on North East/OG roads at Klemzig.

      A great aunt of mine lived at Corryton, which is now part of Kensington Gardens.

      My great great great grandfather was one of those original Germans from Prussia. He came out in 1837 on a ship called the Solway, which was commissioned by the South Australia Company. They landed first on Kangaroo island and started a short-lived settlement at Reeves Point. That part of Prussia (Pomerania) is now part of Poland.

  12. Peter November 19, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Used to live in Minchinbury Terrace “Oaklands Estate” now known as Marion.

  13. Helen November 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Challa Gardens exists only as a school & hotel now.
    Change of house no, street name & suburb had to all be notified in one year’s Christmas cards with the notation that we hadn’t moved!. A bit like losing one’s (residential) identity

  14. jannett m collins November 23, 2014 at 11:18 pm #

    I used to visit my grandmother in Holland Street Southwark now known as Thebarton.

    • Sue August 26, 2015 at 11:53 am #

      Was doing some family research and was looking for a family who lived in Holland Street, Southwark and learned that it is now Thebarton from your post. The Cave family lived at No. 17 Holland St., and are most likely related to me. Can you help at all with this?

      • Brenda May 18, 2017 at 2:03 am #

        Sue, any idea of Christian names for the Cave family? My mum may know of them.

    • Brenda May 18, 2017 at 2:02 am #

      Jannett m Collins – what was your grandmother’s name? My mum lives in Phillips St and has been there since the age of 2, she may know of them. I grew up in Phillips st.

  15. hank duyverman November 24, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Then there was Reapham Gardens on Irish Harp Road – now only remembered through the Reapham Hotel on the renamed Regency Road. And Mireen, a small locality on Daws Road west – not only remembered from a small shopping complex.

  16. JP December 5, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    In 1970 as a boy my parents opened a bank account for me when we lived on Marion Road in “Harcourt Gardens” … this later became Ascot Park when we moved away in 1974 …

    • Peter coster June 9, 2016 at 8:59 am #

      Hi jp. I lived in in alldridge ave plympton park(was called brayville). I had abank account which the branch was in harcourt gardens. I thought harcourt gardens became south plympton. Regards peter

    • Kym Merrifield November 20, 2018 at 11:17 am #

      Hi, I used to live in Nelson Street, Harcourt Gardens. Walked to Ascot Park Primary before Forbes Primary started. I think that our area of Harcourt Gardens became South Plympton.

  17. trish dixson August 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

    Hi Bob

    I know its not actually Adelaide bu have you ever heard of a suburb in SA called Vallyn Park -possibly close to Springwood in the Onkaparinga Valley area.

  18. Peter coster April 23, 2016 at 12:00 am #

    I lived in plympton park for many years but beleive it was called brayville. Bray street was the next street over. The subarb of forbes was a short walk away but became south plympton. Forbes shopping centre and forbes primary school are nexto each other

  19. Denise July 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

    I was born in Kelmscott which later became Rosewater Gardens then Rosewater East.

    • Steve Wescombe February 27, 2023 at 2:05 pm #

      I lived in James Street Rosewater which was once Kelmscott (now a street)

  20. Denise July 16, 2016 at 10:14 pm #

    My grandfather has birth certificates in three suburbs Kingston (was New Kingston) now Gillman, Yatala and Rosewater. All have postcodes 5013

  21. Roger October 21, 2016 at 5:57 pm #

    I remember as a young boy my parents receiving letters addresses to them as being in Halton Gardens which had already been subsumed into Kensington Park. My understanding is that the proliferation of suburban names in Adelaide was due to the LTO requirement for a name when a new sub-division plan was lodged by a developer. This was then used to attract buyers. Out of interest, Halton Gardens was probably named after the property on Burnside Road – now part of Glynburn Road – named Halton Brook – when the land was subdivided in the 1920’s.

  22. Paull October 22, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    As a boy my early years were in Penryn although I remember mum often giving our address as West Richmond. Ours was (still is) the 2nd last house that planes fly over as they are coming in to land.
    We moved out of there when Ansett and TAA got their first jets, headed off over to Kings Park and spent the rest of my growing years listening to the trains at night climbing the hills for the run to Melbourne and down in the morning
    Is Penryn still Penryn?

  23. Paull October 22, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    Dad was a painter so I heard many of the names mentioned in household discussions

  24. J. A. Garrett October 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    Does anyone have any more information on Northgate and where its original name came from?


  25. Mike Micanopy December 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm #

    Well into the 70s, and maybe later, the number 26E bus still went to “Graymore”, long after that suburb was officially listed. It’s Glenelg North now.

    “26E Graymore, via Stonehouse Avenue and West Beach Rd” Terminus at Kibby Ave & Goldsworthy Cres.

  26. Glenn Woodley December 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    The Pearce Airforce Base in WA was established in 1920 when the commonwealth Government purchased a land mark farm
    Woodley’s Orchard Estate

  27. Diane Rae March 2, 2018 at 9:10 pm #

    I use to live in Dunleath,exit tram at helmsdale near grovene. I think its sad these names were changed to alter history. Also moved to Golflands now glenelg north. How boring is this name?

  28. Diane Rae March 2, 2018 at 9:11 pm #

    Fond memories

    • Darryl June 23, 2018 at 8:32 pm #

      I was brought up in Dunleath Gardens but it became Glengowrie during the amalgamation. The neame of Grovene the local tram stop also disappeared at the same time. I would like to know when this was but I cant recall the actual date. I also remember when our phone number was x4*** before it became 94*** then 954*** then 2954***!

  29. Helen Knight September 3, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    I was born and raised in south richmond, it was renamed marleston in the 1970s

  30. Bernie September 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm #

    I was born at Yard’s farm (once part of Ridley’s farm) on Blight Street, Brompton Park. Which was absorbed by Ridleyton.

  31. Gordon Phelps March 14, 2019 at 8:16 pm #

    My parents built a house at
    1 Peak Street Brayville Adelaide around 1954
    I have a photo of me sat outside .. I would have been one years old
    Dads name Jim Phelps

  32. Ann Rowe April 3, 2019 at 7:19 am #

    Can you please tell me if there is a reason Cumberland Park used to be called Hollywood.
    I grew up in Caulfield Ave Hollywood in the 1940s

  33. Jemma Edmonds June 27, 2019 at 10:43 pm #

    Does anyone remember Thebarton Primary School, or attended?

  34. karen Hughes October 7, 2019 at 10:52 pm #

    Does anyone remember a small winery near South Plympton? And an old factory on the corner of marion road and Thomas street South Plympton?

  35. Lisa Ward April 19, 2020 at 10:35 pm #

    I lived in morphettville 47 denham ave .
    We use to hang out local corner shops it had a little supermarket on the corner a deli and small post office then butcher shop its was a great hang out.
    Went to morphettville primary school.
    Then football club across my house and the playground.
    Its was a very nice area to live in.
    Good old days

    • Sue August 16, 2020 at 7:21 pm #

      Must have been a while back… did you go to Glengowrie High?

  36. Sue June 16, 2020 at 8:33 pm #

    I lived in Stuart Rd Harcourt Gardens, which became part of South Plympton.

    • JT May 26, 2024 at 9:19 pm #

      My Nan lived in Stuart Road , South Plympton. Number 13.
      My mum (Connie) and auntie (Pat) grew up there – both now sadly deceased – my mum only in the last 18 months.
      My great grandmother had a house on Marion Road between Stuart Rd and Raglan Avenue, that house was either right next door to Bob Jay T-Mart or one house North of that.
      Apparentluy before the depression they owned pretty much the whole block behind that Marion Road house.
      Mum and Auntie both went to Vermont Girls.
      We used to live on the flats on the corner of Daly Street and Marion Road – I went to Harcourt Kindy in the park just off Towers Terrace and started school at Forbes.
      I can remember getting the Harcourt Gardens bus. I can’t remember if “Harcrout Gardens” was just the destination or the name of bus company. I can remember a Coles bus company in the area too, so maybe Harcourt Gardens was the destination. I reckon the bus colours were light and dark blue – double blues, which was also the colours of Edwardstown footy club as well as Sturt.

  37. Wayne Paterson November 13, 2021 at 3:44 pm #

    I lived at 12 fort rose ave gleneagles now Seaton park in early 60s area was not far from Shandon drive in

  38. Steve Wray July 31, 2022 at 9:10 pm #

    I remember Paringa Park and we had friends at Kirkcaldy, which had a train station.

    We lived in Warradale Park, which was absorbed into Warradale, as was Ballara Park, which was north of Warradale Park and north of the train line. This was long before the horror of the giant Marion shopping center. That was never needed: you could go downtown to Rundle STREET, which was exciting and had all you need.

    In Warradale, we had a nice “Trust” house. Like all the houses there, it had a huge back yard with almond, peach and apricot trees from when the area was an orchard. When we moved in, in 1954, Sunshine Avenue dead-ended at a grape orchard owned by Hamilton’s winery.

    We had a nice little grocery store nearby on Morphett Road, in the “Serv-Wel” chain, accompanied by a greengrocery (that sold fireworks), a deli and a butcher’s shop, and a payphone that took four huge pennies for a call.

    Our house was demolished (in the eighties, I think), and THREE new houses were crammed onto the plot. Horrors.

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