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Angaston, SA

Attractive historic town in the heart of the Barossa Valley winegrowing region

Angaston is a charming tree-lined historic town in the heart of the Barossa Valley which was named after one of its early settlers, George Fife Angas. It is a popular daytripper destination for people exploring the winery cellar doors of the Barossa Valley, particularly the famous Saltram and Yalumba wineries which are easy accessible from the town.


Angaston is located 310 metres above sea level and 86 km north-east of Adelaide via the Main North Road and Sturt Highway.


Origin of Name

In 1839 the Surveyor General of South Australia sold 28,000 acres at the present site of Angaston for £1 an acre to George Fife Angas. The town took its name from this hugely influential landowner. 


Things to See and Do

Heritage Walk - Historic Buildings of Angaston
Angaston is a wonderland of interesting historic buildings. There is a Heritage Walk brochure which is available at the Barossa Valley Cheese Company at 67b Murray Street, Angaston. It covers 2.5 km and takes around 60 minutes. Some of the highlights of the walk include:

1. Union Chapel (1844)
Located on Penrice Road, the Chapel is the oldest public building in the Barossa and one of the oldest churches in South Australia. It was financed by George Fife Angas whose idea was to build a chapel which could be used by all faiths. The Chapel was built of local stone and the original gabled roof was clad with blue grey slate. The timber floor had a baptismal cavity for Baptists. It fell into disrepair and for many years was used as a farm building. As a Bicentennial project local volunteers worked on it between 1989-1994 and it was listed on the State Register in 1993. It now holds 100 people and is regularly used for weddings, baptism, functions, concerts and exhibitions. Check out http://www.oldunionchapel.com.au for more details.

2. Zion Lutheran Church (1854-1855)
Located at 85 Murray Street, the Zion Lutheran Church is characterised by bluestone walls with soapstone quoins and surrounds. It was originally built because the congregations were becoming too large for the Union Chapel. It became the town's Baptist Chapel from 1861-1928. in 1941 it became the local Lutheran Church after the existing church in Hill Street burnt down.

3. Rose Villa (1855)
The elegant Rose Villa, located at 84 Murray Street, was built as a manse for the Reverend John Hannay, a Baptist Minister who led the Union Church from 1855 to 1865. Hannay, the son-in-law of George Fife Angas conducted baptisms by full immersion. Look carefully and you will see that Rose Villa has bluestone walls and soapstone quoins and openings. 

4. Angaston Hotel (1846)
Located at 59 Murray Street, the Angaston Hotel was originally built as a single storey bluestone and red brick hotel. It was added to in 1879 and rebuilt in 1914 as a two storey hotel which dominated the Sturt Street corner. 

5. Franklin House (1847)
Located in Washington Street, Franklin House was original owned by Angaston's first doctor, Horace Dean. He used the building as his surgery. The first Angaston District Council meeting was held in the house in 1853. The story of Horace Dean is fascinating and only came to light when the locals elected him to the South Australian House of Assemby where George Fife Angus exposed him as a fraud. Dean claimed an education in medicine but the diplomas he later exhibited have not been acknowledged by Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, or the St Louis School of Medicine, Missouri. In 1846, before emigrating to Australia, he worked as a surgeon and cavalry captain in the Mexican war. The Australian Dictionary of Biography records his arguments with Angas: "With a forged medical diploma, Dean set up a practice in Angaston; in October 1850 he was naturalized and admitted to the roll of qualified medical practitioners. He became a justice of the peace in March 1851, and acted in 1852 as an honorary special magistrate. As second stipendiary magistrate of the northern districts early in 1853, he fell out with George Fife Angas, who claimed that Dean had reported to the governor 'that all in Angaston hated the landlord and were afraid of him'. Angas then wrote to friends in America who challenged Dean's identity and qualifications. Before Sir Richard MacDonnell in September 1855 Dean allowed himself to be passed off as Colonel Thomas Haskell; in reply to the governor's letter Jefferson Davis, the United States secretary of war, showed conclusively that this claim was false. Meanwhile the 'persecution' by Angas continued; Dean had to resign as magistrate in November 1855 and was struck off the medical roll in 1857. Convinced that it was 'necessary to remit these questions to the decision of the people', he stood for Barossa in the first Legislative Assembly elections. On the hustings Dean professed contempt for all 'would-be aristocrats' who attempted 'to monopolize the fat of the land', and urged electors to 'overwhelm the Upper House in its own ruins' if Angas attempted to 'control the representatives of the people'. Dean was elected in March 1857 but disqualified in May by the Court of Disputed Returns. He was re-elected in June but again disqualified." He left Angaston soon after and the house was used as the local station master’s residence from 1911 until 1968. 

6. Angaston Town Hall (1911)
Located at 8 Sturt Street, the Angaston Town Hall  was built of grey marble on a base of local bluestone. Like so many early buildings in the town it was subsidised by the Angas family. It was used to show silent movies as early as 1914 and by 1931 it had sound. As such it was one of the rare, publicly owned picture theatres in the country. The main hall, with a 10 metre by 7 metre stage, can seat up to 600 people.

7. Police Station and Court House (1855-1856)
Located in Washington Street, and now a private hotel, the old Police Station was built after George Angas lobbied the Government. Angus donated the land and building materials. The complex eventually included stables, courtroom, magistrate’s room, and cells. The building has nine inch Baltic pine and slab slate floors. It was the Barossa Valley's first police station.

9. Uniting Church (1878)
Located at 1 Fife Street, this bluestone Gothic revival style Church features original stained glass leadlight windows were shipped from England. It was originally a Congregational Church. The foundation stone was laid by Mr J H Angas on 13 May, 1878. The church cost £2162.00. For more information check out http://www.churchhistories.net.au/church-catalog/angaston-sa-uniting.

12. Marble Lodge (1914-1915)
Standing elegantly on the hill above Dean Street, the Marble Lodge is a rare example of a Federation style home in rural South Australia. It was built for John Dallwitz a local land agent and District Clerk (1903-20). The house took 13 months to build, was constructed by seven stonemasons using pink, grey and white marble. The design was by Adelaide Architect C. W. Rutt who had also designed the clock tower building at Yalumba winery. Some claim that Dallwitz expected Kaiser Wilhelm to win World War I and built the house for his representative. Local builder Kevin Rohrlach purchased the 2.5 hectare property in 1974. Marble accommodation suites were added in 1994 and operated as Marble Lodge B&B. For more information check out https://www.marblelodge.com.au.

13. Church of St Hugh (1931)
Located at 10 Schilling Street, St Hugh's Anglican Church was built as a result of a £500 bequest from the Angas family. The two stained glass windows over the altar came from the former St. Faith’s Chapel at Collingrove. The interior includes a finely carved rood screen separating the chancel from the nave.

14. Former Bank of Adelaide (1880s)
Located in Murray Street, this impressive building was originally a boarding school until it was turned into the Bank of Adelaide in 1894. 

17. Doddridge Blacksmith Shop (1876)
Located on Murray Street, this corrugated iron shed was where the Doddridges, for three generations, operated the town's primary blacksmith's shop. As recently as 1965 they were still shoeing horses and the shop was still operating into the 1970s repairing carts, shoeing horses, making wrought iron for carts, buggies, ploughs and tools. It is now one of the few remaining main street ‘smithies’ in South Australia. The shop is open regularly, run by volunteers on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from 1.00 pm - 4.00 pm. Check out http://angaston.org.au/doddridge-blacksmith-shop for more details.

19. Barossa Brauhaus Hotel (1849)
Located prominently in Murray Street, the Brauhaus Hotel started life as a single storey hotel known as the New Inn. It was built by William Doddridge who had arrived in Angaston in 1849 and built his blacksmith’s shop. The New Inn was the second hotel in the village. In 1884 an extra storey was added and it it was renamed The Commercial. The hotel became known as the Barossa Brauhaus Hotel in 1979.

20. Angaston Cottage Industries
Over the road from the Brauhaus Hotel is a small shop built of timber and iron which has become a kind of collective for local producers. The shop has a diversity of home made crafts and foods, including jams and preserves, fresh flowers, garden vegetables and hand knits - all made in the local area.

23. Old National Bank (1867)
Located just down from the Brauhaus Hotel in Murray Street, and built to a design by architect Edmund Wright, the National Bank operated in Angaston for forty six years. It is now privately owned.


Other Attractions in the Area

Collingrove Homestead
Located 5 km south east of Angaston via Eden Valley Road, Collingrove was built in 1856 to a design by an amateur architect, Henry Evans, as a relatively small house. It was quite intentionally designed as "a little piece of England" for Suzanne Angas, John Angas's wife. Over the years, as it became the centre of the Angas family's substantial pastoral and agricultural holdings, it was added to. In 1976 it was bequeathed to the National Trust by Ronald Angas. it is a nearly perfect example of a large country mansion mixing distinctively Australian elements (it is wonderfully cool on a hot summer day) with a decided love of England. Today it is open to the public and parts - the workshop, school house, coachman's room and maid's quarters - have been turned into upmarket Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Tours of the house are available for groups of ten or more. Contact (08) 8564 2061 or check out http://collingrovehomestead.com.au.

Barossa Cycle Track
Starting in Washington Street, this is a pleasant 7 km rail track (it is part of a longer 40 km track) which has a bitumen surface and, as a bonus, has metal sculptures and benches along the way. It is a pleasant way to explore the countryside around the town. There are more details at https://www.barossa.com/visit/see-do/cycling/the-barossa-trail. Bikes can be hired from Angaston Hardware, 5 Sturt Street, tel: (08) 8564 2055. Check out http://www.angastonhardware.com.au.

Historic Wineries 
Yalumba Winery

Located at 40 Eden Valley Road, Yalumba Winery can be traced back to 1847 when Samuel Smith, the Yalumba founder, arrived in South Australia. By 1849 he had planted his first vines near Angaston making Yalumba the oldest family-owned vineyard in Australia. His project was delayed by the goldrushes - he went to Victoria and made over £300 on the goldfields at Bendigo - but he returned to Angaston, purchased more land, and laid the foundation of the hugely successful Yalumba Winery. It is open for tastings and sales. For more details contact (08) 8561 3309. For more information check out https://www.yalumba.com. It is open seven days a week from 10.00 am - 5.00 pm.

Saltram Winery, Angaston
Located on Angaston Road (600 metres west of the town), the Saltram Winery has an old grey stone cottage and an attractive stone bridge over the road from the entrance.  The winery itself dates from 1859 when an Englishman, William Salter, formed a partnership with his son, Edward, and planted the first vines - 10 acres of shiraz. By 1862 they had produced 8000 litres of wine and by 1891 this had grown to 182,000 litres. For more details contact (08) 8564 0200.

Mengler's Hill Lookout
Mengler's Hill Road, the road that connects Tanunda and Angaston and crosses the Barossa Valley, offers seemingly endless views of the vineyards and the richness of the Barossa Valley. The hill was named after an early local vine grower, Mr Mengler.

Barossa Sculpture Park
Located on Mengler's Hill Road 9 km south-west of Angaston, the Barossa Sculpture Park is an impressive collection of sculptures positioned overlooking the Barossa Valley between Tanunda and Angaston. The Sculpture Park started in 1988 when the Barossa International Sculpture Symposium invited nine sculptors to carve super-sized works from granite and marble. Twenty years later, in 2008, a second Symposium was held and another eight works, all in black or brown granite, were added. For more information check out https://www.barossasculpturepark.com.



* Prior to European settlement the area was inhabited by the Ngayawung Aborigines who lived on a diet of grass seeds, kangaroos, wallabies, possums, lizards and fish. 

* As early as July, 1836 expeditions were sent from Adelaide to explore the hinterland. * By December 1837 explorers had reached Lyndoch.

* By 1838 other explorers had reached the Murray River passing through the Barossa Valley. The valley was named by Colonel Light after Barrosa (Hill of Roses) in Spain where he had fought against the French in 1811 in the Peninsula War.

* By 1839 Colonel Light, the Surveyor General of South Australia, was selling off large tracts of land in the valley. That year he sold 28,000 acres at £1 an acre to George Fife Angas - after whom Angaston is named. 

* George Fife Angas went to London as a director of the South Australian Company to try and promote colonisation. While he was there he met Pastor August Ludwig Christian Kavel who was trying to organise for Lutherans (who were being persecuted by the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm III) to emigrate. Angas was moved by the plight of the Lutherans and not only persuaded Kavel that South Australia was a suitable place for emigration but also financially assisted them with a generous £8,000. The first German settlers arrived on 25 November, 1838. 

* By 1841 a German settler, Johann Schilling and his family, had settled at Angaston. Their house, the first in the district, was little more than a dug out with a thatched roof. It was located at what is now 13 Murray Street, Angaston

* In 1843 Angas's son, John Howard Angas, came to Angaston to manage his father's estates. 

* John Howard Angas built the Union Chapel in 1844 and encouraged the growing of vines and orchards in the valley. 

* The Angaston Hotel was opened for business in 1846.

* By 1850, encouraged by the income he was receiving from his German tenants, George Fife Angas had emigrated to Australia. Between George and his son they established a powerful dynasty in the district.

* The Zion Lutheran Church was built in 1854-1855.

* A Police Station and Court House were completed in 1855-1856.

* The Congregation Church (now the Uniting Church) was built in 1878.

* By the 1880s Saltrams Winery was beginning to export wine. 

* In 1911 the railway arrived in town. That year saw the Town Hall built.

* The Angaston Council Chambers were completed in 1922.

* Today Angaston is a popular destination for those exploring the wineries of the Barossa Valley. 


Visitor Information

The Barossa Valley Cheese Company located at 67b Murray Street Angaston. Open Monday–Friday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm, Saturday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm, Sunday 11.00 am – 3.00 pm.


Useful Websites

There is a useful local website. Check out http://www.angaston.org.au.

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