The History and Architecture of Trinity Church

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 01/25/2017

Reading time: 3 mins

The Holy Trinity Church sits on the North Terrace in Adelaide City, bringing an impressive architectural slant to the surroundings.

The Anglican church is the largest in terms of attendance in the South of Australia, and offers four busy services every Sunday as well as various other meetings throughout the week.

The History of Trinity Church

Trinity Church is different to the majority of other churches in this part of Australia. This is as it still retains elements of the earliest surviving Anglican church building in the South of the country. You can see this particularly in the William IV window that arrived in Adelaide in 1836.

The church has a unique story, and was built in three parts. Initially the church was a prefabricated building, that was to sail over from England. However, the building acquired damage while sailing to Australia.

Instead, it was agreed that it would be built with stone and in, 1838, Governor Hindmarsh laid the very first foundation stone. The church itself opened later that year and quickly became a landmark. It’s most defining features, a “peaked cap” top tower and the Vulliamy clock made it a unique addition to the newly settled Adelaide city.

In 1844, six years after it was originally built, the church was closed for repairs. During this time, the clock was removed to keep it safe, while the entire body of the church was re-built and re-roofed. It was during this stage of development that the church lost its “peaked cap” before it re-opened again in 1845.

Four decades after the original build, a proposal was put forward to rebuild. With the backing of a little money construction was to start in 1878. Nothing happened, however, until the mid-1880s when the congregation met. They rebuilt the church to the early design specifications of Edward John Woods. His plans included using mellow sandstone, which eventually weathered enough to resemble the original limestone from the first two stages of development.

It was around this time the church began to go by the name Holy Trinity


Today, visitors can marvel at the impressive architecture on the outside. Or, venture in to explore the rectory and the hall, built in 1887 thanks to a donation from a parishioner. The church forms an important part of Adelaide City and remains a stalwart part of the landscape. If you’re a spiritual person, you are welcome to attend their Sunday services.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.