Goode Lane

Goode Lane, Adelaide

Goode Lane is one of a series of five pedestrian thoroughfares running east west through the City of Prospect, South Australia, linking the pedestrian crossing on Prospect Road to Churchill Road and the Ovingham train station. It differs from the other four laneways in that it is irregularly shaped with a kink as well as a right angle bend, it has a name, and it is the only lane in the suburb of Fitzroy.

These minor attributes to a somewhat ordinary laneway only hint at how truly unique Goode Lane is with its remarkable history and its links to people who shaped the City of Prospect that we know today.

While Goode Lane is named after Dr. J.E. Goode who built the two storey house beside it at 24 Prospect Road in 1901, the lane itself dates back to the nineteenth century before the development of Prospect.

In 1838 John Bradford was granted six country sections from Colonel Light’s plan of the district of Adelaide. He divided each eighty-acre section into ten blocks of eight acres creating a sub-division of sixty blocks, which he called the Village of Prospect owing to its elevated position. The village’s location was between Main North Road and Churchill Road, with the northern boundary being what is now Pulsford Road and Azalia Street, and the southern boundary Carter Street and Martin Avenue. In the middle of Prospect Village, Bradford created Prospect Road as a private roadway, 50 links (9.9 m) wide running North-South between the section boundaries, with Goode Lane entering it from the west in Section No.373 along the northern boundary of Block No.22.

The eight acre Block No.22 was purchased from Bradford by Richard Nash Watts, carpenter and joiner of North Adelaide, on October 15, 1838 who, in turn, subdivided it into eight one acre allotments. The Northeastern corner one acre including Goode Lane was then sold to John Phillipp Christian Debus, an innkeeper of Adelaide on January 22, 1840 for 7 Pounds. He sold it on April 15, 1847 to William Henry John Pain, who sold it to James Harrington for 20 Pound sterling on April 2, 1853.

The one acre immediately west of this allotment was cut off from Prospect road. Watts sold it to Robert Mills who sold to Sampson Montgomery, Yeoman of Adelaide, who on July 9, 1850, sold this allotment also to James Harrington, limeburner of Hindmarsh for 10 Pounds. It is quite likely that over this period Goode Lane arose as an access track to farmers and the like who may have leased these unfenced allotments.

By 1851, Harrington had purchased all of Block No.22 except the Goode Lane corner acre. At this time, he with his wife Amelia and children moved from Milner Street, Hindmarsh, to their new home he had built there called Stone Hall. Not owning the corner block for a further two years cut off half their frontage to Prospect Road. This would have affected the siting of Stone Hall, and the lane would have become a very useful access route.

Prospect Road at this time was northbound only. It was named Eliza Street after the Harrington’s eldest daughter, and started at the Greenslip. This was then the stretch of Park Lands north of Fitzroy Terrace, and was also Block 22’s southern boundary. On the opposite side of Eliza Street was Little Adelaide, one of Adelaide’s earliest sub-divisions with Carter Street laid out providing the access to Main North Road and the central business district of Adelaide. At that time, Prospect was considered quite remote countryside compared to Hindmarsh, with the story that his wife, Amelia got lost in the scrub near where Braund Road is now, in the process of moving.

Goode Lane at this stage had grown in stature and, rather than a laneway, was a private road four metres wide called Albert Street, after another of the Harrington children. This was at a time long before most of the streets in existence in the area today. This road appears to have continued across Prospect Road into Blackfriars which was another Harrington Property.

The Harringtons originally had come from Halstead, England with James arriving as a laborer in Adelaide in 1837. He purchased a half-acre in Milner Street, Hindmarsh for six and a half Pounds in 1838, which he sold for 217 Pounds in 1851 when his family moved to Prospect.

James Harrington went on to make a large impact on the future development of Prospect. At a time of land speculation and subdivision, Harrington’s style was to amalgamate the smaller allotments back into blocks of several acres, erect a large two storey house on them and rent them out. The large blocks of land of St Helens Park, Blackfriars Priory School and Myoora on Carter Street owe their existence in part to him. He had a large role in extending Prospect Road through to North Adelaide, when he purchased land known as Thorngate and Fitzroy in 1858 upon trust that the land be used “for a road for the use of the public for ever”. All of his houses except one have been demolished, and even that one did not make the heritage register. The Harrington’s residence ‘Stone Hall’ made way for Dr Goode’s home at 24 Prospect Road. Goode Lane serves as a reference to the original house and also it lines up directly with the driveway of Blackfriars Priory, which was also once a Harrington property.

His neighbour on the northern side of Goode lane was Samuel Braund who resided in Devon House. This house was demolished in the 1970’s to build Fitzroy Close. Samuel Braund went on to become the first mayor of Prospect in 1872 with Harrington also a founding councillor before his death in 1873.

These two neighbours were involved in a transaction involving Goode Lane in 1871 when Braund paid Harrington 800 Pounds in the sale of a Right of Way over Albert Street, as it was called. The memorial covering the transaction is displayed on the Goodies website www.goodelane.org and will, in the near future, be incorporated in Wikipedia. According to a plan dated March 1900, the Right of Way measured long by wide and was the only entrance off Prospect Road between Clifton Street and Martin Avenue.

In 1929, Braund’s executors sold this right of way to the City of Prospect for a token 10 Shillings at the time the eastern end of Halstead Street was being developed (LTO Plan No.3598 submitted 1927). The plan included a laneway linking Halstead Street to Albert Street, thus creating what is now Goode Lane and providing public thoroughfare from Halstead Street to Prospect Road.

It is interesting that the house numbers in Halstead Street began at number 5 in the anticipation that when Devon House was finally developed, four more houses could be placed on a Halstead Street that joined Prospect Road. Those residents who appreciate Halstead Street not having vehicle access to Prospect Road owe it to the existence of Goode lane. Without this unique lane, Halstead Street would surely have gone the way of all the other streets that adjoin Prospect Road. Another aspect to this is that Goode Lane has influenced where the demarcation between the suburbs Fitzroy and Prospect lies.

Early history bibliographical references

To be added.

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