Extract from “Settlement to City” by Ian Auhl
The three main early sources of stone, both for quarrying and building were at Glen Osmond, Dry Creek and Tea Tree Gully.
Many of the finest mid-Victorian public buildings had their origins in the quarries from this district. Although the quarries at Glen Osmond supplied more tonnage of building stone to the city, this was more likely to be used as undressed rubble, where as the Tea Tree Gully freestone was often reserved for the main facades and ornamental dressings of buildings. Occasionally, where design rather than economy was the main object of a public building, it was built almost entirely of freestone from Tea Tree Gully.
Three such buildings were the Adelaide Town Hall, The General Post Office, and the Supreme Court in Victoria Square, all completed between 1863 and 1872.
Freestone dressings for many other notable buildings which have become part of Adelaide’s heritage – St Peter’s Cathedral, St Francis Xavier’s, Stow Memorial, Flinders Street Baptist, The Mitchell building of the university of Adelaide, Scots Church, North Terrace – came out of the same quarry.
The Glen Ewin supplied most of the freestone and the quarry consisted of some 20 acres of section 5640 at Upper Hermitage belonging to Mr George McEwin. The site was acquired from McEwin by Messrs English and Brown in 1856. The Government opened quarries on Dry Creek in 1850, where it reserved a section of 160 acres ‘containing a supply of the best quarries.