Heritage Places

Heritage Place Details

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Address College Road SEVENHILL
Accuracy L - low level confidence
Development Plan Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council
Polygon Type B - Building footprint
Details (Known As) Sevenhill Complex, comprising St Aloysius Catholic Church, St Aloysius College, Sevenhill Cellars, Shrines, Weikert House (Ruin), Smithy/Dairy (Ruin) and Sevenhill Cemetery
Registered Name Sevenhill Complex, comprising St Aloysius Catholic Church, St Aloysius College, Sevenhill Cellars and Sevenhill Cemetery
Significance The Sevenhill complex is a significant group of buildings reflecting the settlement of this area of the Clare valley by a group of Jesuits in the early 1850s. Their settlement paved the way for the development of viticulture and wine making in the region. The St Aloysius Catholic Church is an important element in the architectural development of Gothic revival buildings in South Australia. The Sevenhill complex has several layers of historic importance beyond the immediate vicinity. It was from this place that most of what is presently the Diocese of Port Pirie was founded. As European farming settlement extended north of Clare after the Strangways Act, some thirty stone Catholic churches and twenty-seven schools were built throughout the mid-north under the direction of Jesuit priests who either resided at St Aloysius' College or who were acting under the direction of the Superior of the Mission whose residence was in the old College. St Aloysius' College operated as a boarding school from 1856 to 1886, and some 450 boys were educated there in that period. It was the first Catholic secondary school in the colony, and until the early 1880s was the only Catholic boarding school for boys in the colony. For a period it was the only Catholic boarding school for boys in Australia. It also acted as a seminary for the training of diocesan priests, and Father Julian Tenison Woods and Archbishop Christopher Reynolds undertook priestly studies there. It also acted as a novitiate house of studies for Australian candidates seeking to become Jesuits, including Donald MacKillop, brother to Mary MacKillop. The Sevenhill College was a centre from which the priests undertook horseback pastoral journeys as far north as Blinman and Moolooloo, and around to Port Lincoln. From Sevenhill was founded the Northern Territory Mission where nineteen Jesuits worked for twenty years from 1882 to 1901 on the Daly River, the first Europeans in that region. Sevenhill was the first Cellars in the Clare Valley and Rhine Riesling was introduced to the district by the Jesuits. The Sevenhill cemetery is the place of burial for pioneers of the district, some of the last of the indigenous people, and various identities associated with the district, including two of the first women to join Mary MacKillop as Sisters of St Joseph. The crypt below the Church contains the remains of those pioneer Austro-Hungarian Fathers and Brothers. There are shrines and ruins on the property of importance (e.g. the Weikert house where Mary MacKillop is believed to have stayed on numbers of occasions). From Sevenhill a further six Jesuit Residences (usually consisting of two priests and a Brother) were established at Manoora, Burra, Port Pirie, Georgetown, Jamestown and Norwood in Adelaide. All in all, some sixty-one Jesuits associated with the Austro-Hungarian Province, either as men sent from Europe or a small number who entered the Jesuit Order locally, laboured in South Australia between 1848 and 1901 when Irish Jesuits assumed control. Until this time, Sevenhill was the centre for the activities of these Jesuits. (HSA Assessment Report 5/2001)
Subject Index Religion - Church (Christian); Manufacturing and processing - Winery; Residential - House; Religion - Seminary; Cemeteries and burial sites - Cemetery
Class State
Status Code REG - Confirmed as a State Heritage Place in the SA Heritage Register
Status Date 08-NOV-2001
LGA Clare and Gilbert Valleys
State Heritage ID 13056
Heritage Number 14494
Section 16 a - it demonstrates important aspects of the evolution or pattern of the State's history
b - it has rare, uncommon or endangered qualities that are of cultural significance
e - it demonstrates a high degree of creative, aesthetic or technical accomplishment or is an outstanding representative of particular construction techniques or design characteristics
f - it has strong cultural or spiritual associations for the community or a group within it
g - it has a special association with the life or work of a person or organisation or an event of historical importance
As listed in the SA Heritage Register
Plan Parcel & Title Information CT 5672/737 F208259 Q6,7,CT 5672/737 F208259 A5


While due care has been taken to ensure that the SA Heritage Places Database accurately reflects the South Australian Heritage Register and listings of Local Heritage Places in Development Plans, the State of South Australia does not accept liability for the use of the SA Heritage Database for any purpose. Users should consult the Department for Environment and Water - Heritage South Australia to confirm the listing of State Heritage Places and the relevant Development Plan for Local Heritage Places/Contributory Items.

In the majority of cases, the maps of State Heritage Places on this web site show the footprints of the most significant structures on a registered Place. However, sometimes they simply indicate the complete area of land comprising the Place. Work is proceeding to further refine the mapping of such places. It is also important to note that development control is not limited to the registered structures but extends to their setting and structures nearby (what is termed ‘development affecting’ a State Heritage Place). Hence it is vital that exact details of the listed place and implications for any proposed development be discussed with Heritage South Australia staff, as they cannot be deduced solely from the information on this web site. The inclusion of a place in the SA Heritage Register gives no right of public access. Permission to visit properties must be sought from the owners. The accuracy of the mapping of State Heritage Places is not guaranteed. Please contact Heritage SA ( https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/heritage/sa-heritage-register) if you believe there is an error.

GIS files

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