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Foundation Stone

Foundation Stone

The Foundation-stone lead plate of the first Adelaide Hospital building, preserved in a glass case in the Board Room of the Royal Adelaide Hospital shows the date 10th July 1840 as the date when the stone was laid.

Research has shown that this date is incorrect and that the ceremony was actually held on Wednesday, 15th July 1840 at 3.00pm.

No explanation for the delay was published, although an official notice released by J.P. Litchfield, M.D., Inspector of Hospitals, on

10th July 1840, and printed in both the South Australian Register (Vol.111 No.129, page 3) on 11th July 1840, and the South Australian (Vol.111 No.120, page 2 on 14th July 1840 stated:

HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR HAS BEEN PLEASED TO SIGNIFY HIS DESIRE THAT THE CEREMONY OF LAYING THE FIRST STONE OF THE NEW HOSPITAL SHOULD BE  DEFERRED UNTIL WEDNESDAY, THE 15TH INSTANT AT 3.00 O'CLOCK P.M.

Adelaide Hospital 1843

Extract from the South Australian Register (Vol.111 No.130, page 6) on 17th July 1840:

THE NEW HOSPITAL - on Wednesday last, the foundation- stone of this building was laid by His Excellency Col. Gawler, on the site originally marked out by the late Col. Light, at the north-east corner of the town.  [sic]  The number who met to witness the ceremony was not large, owing to its distance from the town and the unsettled state of the weather. Among those present, were observed the Hon. Captain Sturt, Assistant Commissioner, George Hall Esq., Acting Colonial Secretary, Major O'Halloran, Commissioner of Police, the Rev. C.B. Howard, Colonial Chaplain, G.J. Kingston, Esq., Colonial Architect, Dr. Litchfield, Inspector of Hospitals, and several others. ...  The site on which the building is about to be erected appears to have been exceedingly well chosen, being as it is, a rising and elevated spot within about ten minutes walk of the town.  From the plans, with a sight of which we have been favoured, we have every reason to suppose that it will be both a substantial and an ornamental erection.  The necessity which existed for an institution of this kind, will, we have, little doubt, be fully attested by the support it will receive.

Extract of letter to the Editor, The Advertiser from Mr G.L.S. Kingston dated 9th November, 1877.

The Hospital reserve was situated near the intersection of North and East Terraces; but when, under instructions from the Governor Gawler, that the building was to be erected, I pointed out that the situation was a hollow, and suggested the advisability of altering the position to the higher ground on the north ...