Grenfell Street

Grenfell Street (34.924°S 138.602°E / -34.924; 138.602) is a major street in the north-east quarter of the Adelaide city centre, South Australia.[2] The street runs west-east from King William Street to East Terrace. On the other side of King William Street, it continues as Currie Street. Its intersection with Pulteney Street is encircled by Hindmarsh Square.

Grenfell Street

Grenfell Street, looking east from Gawler Place
West end
East end
General information
LocationAdelaide city centre
Length1.0 km (0.6 mi)[1]
Major junctions
West endKing William Street
East endEast Terrace
LGA(s)City of Adelaide
Corner Grenfell Street & Hindmarsh Square, looking south-west

A dedicated bus lane runs the whole length of both Grenfell and Currie Streets, limiting private vehicles to one lane for most of its length, and carrying nearly all bus traffic traversing the city in an east-west direction. At the eastern end of Grenfell, a dedicated bus track carries buses across East Terrace into the O-Bahn tunnel under Rymill Park.


Grenfell Street, 1930s

Grenfell Street was named after Pascoe St Leger Grenfell, a Cornish businessman and member of the South Australian Church Society. His significant donation of an acre of land on North Terrace was used for the construction of the Holy Trinity Church — one of the first churches built in the city.[3] Grenfell also donated another 40 acres (16 ha) of country land for the use of the church as glebe lands. This land later became the suburb of Trinity Gardens.

In July 2012, dedicated bus lanes were introduced along the full length of Grenfell Street in both directions, in operation from 7am to 7pm each weekday. When operational, taxis, cyclists and emergency vehicles are also able to use the lane, but private vehicles can only travel up to 100 metres (330 ft) in the bus lane.[4][5]

In December 2016, after the O-Bahn extension tunnel was built underneath Rymill Park at the eastern end of the street, buses formerly routed along North Terrace were permanently routed along Grenfell (although they had been temporarily diverted from North Terrace via East Terrace, since construction of the Botanic Line of the Adelaide trams had begun in early October that year).[6] After this, nearly all buses travelling in an east-west direction across the city use Grenfell.[7]

Central Hall/ Queen's Hall/ Embassy Ballroom

Central Hall, at no. 102a Grenfell, was built by a Mrs Phillipson, of Glenelg, for the use of the Adelaide German Club (Allgemeiner Deutscher Verein) in 1894, opening in June of that year.[8] It was subsequently used for a variety of community events (many unrelated to the club), for around 20 years. Charles Cawthorne took over the lease and reopened it Queen's Hall on 7 August 1915. Its use turned to performances, mainly concerts, operas, dramas, and fundraisers for World War I, and it also hosted occasional variety shows. Its use as a theatre diminished from 1923, and by 1929 it was operating as a dance hall. The building was partially destroyed by fire on 4 November 1929, and it fell into disuse until it was refurbished and reopened in 1933 as the Embassy Ballroom, which had an Art Deco facade. In the 1950s it was converted into a cinema, first called the Plaza Theatre and renamed Paris Cinema in 1965. It was later demolished and Regent Arcade built on the site.[9][10][11]


Grenfell Street runs from King William Street to East Terrace. It is one of the intermediate-width streets of the Adelaide grid, at 1+12 chains (99 ft; 30 m) wide.

On the other side of King William Street, the western continuation of Grenfell Street is Currie Street, named after Raikes Currie, a member of the South Australian Association and South Australian Company.[12]

The section of the street which runs parallel to Rundle Mall (west of Hindmarsh Square) features many retail outlets, as well as the southern entrances of many of the arcades, side-streets, and eateries of the mall. Office buildings and night spots also populate the street. The eastern end is occupied on the south side by the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, an art and cultural museum also used as a venue for the Adelaide Fringe and other events, and on the north side by the East End Markets redevelopment.

Heritage-listed buildings

E. S. Wigg & Son stationers and adjoining buildings in Grenfell St, Adelaide, 1922
Adelaide Electric Supply Co. power station, East Tce, c.1926

On the corner of Grenfell Street and East Terrace there is the old Grenfell Street Power Station building. Much of the building now houses the Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, facing Grenfell Street, which was heritage-listed on the SA Heritage Register in November 1984,[13] while the old converter stations face East Terrace. There is an "Historic Engineering Plaque" on a ground level plinth just east of the north-east corner of the Tandanya building, which was dedicated by the Institution of Engineers, Australia, the Electricity Trust of South Australia and the Adelaide City Council on 6 April 1995.[14]

Other heritage-listed buildings in Grenfell Street include:[15]

The Griffins Hotel, built in 1886, is on the corner of Grenfell Street and Hindmarsh Square; its address is 40 Hindmarsh Square.[20]

Junction list

Adelaide city centre00.0King William StreetContinues as Currie Street
0.20.12Gawler Place
0.550.34Pulteney Street
0.750.47Frome Street
1.00.62East TerraceContinues as the bus-only O-Bahn Busway tunnel under the Adelaide Park Lands
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

 Australian Roads portal


  1. Google (1 June 2022). "Grenfell Street" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 1 June 2022.
  2. 2003 Adelaide Street Directory, 41st Edition. UBD (A Division of Universal Press Pty Ltd). 2003. ISBN 0-7319-1441-4.
  3. "History of Adelaide Through Street Names - Streets Named on the 23rd May, 1837: Grenfell Street". Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2009.
  4. Installation of bus priority lanes Grenfell Street, Currie Street & East Terrace Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure May 2012
  5. Adelaide bus lanes Australian Bus issue 53 September 2012 page 6
  6. Siebert, Bension (8 December 2017). "Hundreds more O-Bahn buses to hit "deteriorating" Grenfell St". InDaily. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  7. Brennan, Ben (18 December 2017). "Confusion reigns as bus routes change". adelaidenow. Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  8. "S.A. Allgemeiner Deutscher Verein". Evening Journal (Adelaide). Vol. XXVI, no. 7381. South Australia. 15 June 1894. p. 3 (Second Edition). Retrieved 10 January 2023 via National Library of Australia.
  9. "Theatres/Venues 4a: Adelaide". Australian Variety Theatre Archive. 18 April 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  10. "Queen's Hall in Grenfell Street (1933)" (photo + caption). State Library of South Australia. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  11. "The Embassy Ballroom, Grenfell Street, 1935" (photo + caption). Flickr. Retrieved 10 January 2023.
  12. "History of Adelaide Through Street Names - Streets Named on the 23rd May, 1837: Currie Street". Archived from the original on 6 May 2009.
  13. "Heritage Places 241-259 Grenfell Street Adelaide". SA Heritage Places Database Search. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  14. Institution of Engineers, Australia. SA Division. Engineering Heritage Branch (17 July 1996). "Historic Engineering Marker at the Grenfell Power and East Terrace Converter Stations (Issue 2)" (PDF).
  15. "Heritage Places: Search By Keywords - grenfell AND adelaide". SA Heritage Places Database Search. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  16. "Wiggs' Building - 63-69 Grenfell Street ADELAIDE". City of Adelaide. 19 August 2020. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  17. City of Adelaide. "Wiggs Building, 63-69 Grenfell Street" (PDF). Heritage of the City of Adelaide.
  18. Stewart, Hannah. "Crown and Anchor Hotel". SA History Hub. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  19. "The Crown & Anchor Hotel". Adelaide City Explorer. Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  20. City of Adelaide. "Griffins Head Hotel" (PDF). Heritage of the City of Adelaide. Retrieved 6 June 2022. The text in this Information Sheet was copied from the City of Adelaide Heritage Study, October 1990, Volume One, part of a review of the City of Adelaide Plan 1986-1991.
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