Park Friends 5: John Horsnell’s Legacy

Listen Now   14’18”

If you live in Adelaide and have travelled along the Old Norton Summit Road from the city centre into the Adelaide Hills, you will have seen the turn-off to Horsnell Gully. Arriving in Adelaide in 1839, just two or three years after the Province of South Australaia was established, John Horsnell was a true Pioneer in Adelaide. And there is an interesting link between the Horsnell family and the now very famous Penfold Grange Hermitage red wines.  In this program, we visit the house, dairy and elm grove established by John Horsnell in the 1840s, and walk through the Nature Trail initiated by the scouts from Pembroke School, with Pembroke teacher and scout leader John Mugford back in 1993.

Pictured here in 1996 is the late John Mugford from Pembroke School.For many years, John involved many scouts from Pembroke in the work of the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc.

Joy and Bruce Stewart, Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc.

The account of John Horsnell’s arrival in 1839, written by descendant Ken Horsnell and used with permission in this program and online, is read by Norman Athersmith. 

Thinkabout Talkabout
As this program was first broadcast on PBA FM during South Australia’s History Festival – About Time, now could be a good time to explore some of our local history, by planning a visit to Horsnell Gully. From North Terrace in the Adelaide CBD, travel the full length of Magill Road, past the Tower Hotel at the corner of Penfold and St Bernards Roads, and take the Old Norton Summit Road. The turn off to Horsnell Gully is to your right, just a few kilometres from the Tower Hotel at Magill.

On your way back to Adelaide, turn left at the Tower Hotel into Penfold Road and visit the Penfolds estate, where John Horsnell met his wife to be, Elizabeth Smyth. You might also like to see the church where they married, St John’s in Halifax Street Adelaide.

In this program, we included a short extract from a much longer article They Came From The Hills, written in 2008 by Ken Horsnell on The Horsnell Brothers – George, Alf and Wally all of whom joined South Australia Police. The father of George, Alf and Wally was Harry Horsnell, the youngest of the fourteen children of John Horsnell, whose story was told in this program. Ken Horsnell’s article can be found in the South Australian Police Historical Society Official Newsletter of November 2010. Ken’s article gives a fascinating account of the Horsnell family since the arrival of John Horsnell in the very first years of the Province of South Australia.

Activities for Children
Joy Stewart and Graham Churchett, from the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc. have prepared some activities for children based on visits to a park. If you visit Horsnell Gully with children, this activity sheet could serve as a useful introduction to their understanding of the value of the flora and fauna in conservation parks.

Pembroke School students continue a long involvement in Morialta and Horsnell Gully Conservation Parks

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