Building the Bell Towers

The See of Adelaide was constituted in June 1847. As there was no cathedral, Trinity Church on North Terrace was denoted as the pro tempore Cathedral Church. Augustus Short, first Bishop of Adelaide, held the first ordinations there on Saint Peter's Feast Day (29 June) in 1848. When Adelaide was surveyed by Colonel William Light, over a decade before, land in Victoria Square had been set aside for public use. Bishop Short obtained a land grant in the square from Governor Robe in March 1848; the grant was registered on 23 April 1851. By late 1849 a subscription was bringing in funds for construction of a cathedral on the now cleared site. Around this time the legality of the land grant began to be publicly questioned. It was argued that the area was a public reserve and the Governor had no power to issue such grants. To resolve matters Bishop Short, supported by the Synod, took the matter to the Supreme court. The judgment in June 1855 confirmed that the grant was invalid and construction could not proceed.

Bishop Short purchased just over an acre of land, at the corner of King William Road and Pennington Terrace North Adelaide, on 8 August 1862. He reported in 1868 that the funds gathered were sufficient and announced to the Diocese's Synod of his decision to begin construction of a cathedral. Building began in 1869 an it was consecrated as St Peter's Cathedral on 1 January 1878.

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