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Princess Elizabeth Playspace

Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra (Park 21W)

photo-icon Princess Elizabeth Playground, History Trust Glass Negative Collection, GN08814
photo-icon Princess Elizabeth Playground, History Trust Glass Negative Collection, GN08770
photo-icon Charles Richmond John Glover
photo-icon Yousuf Karsh's official portrait of Princess Elizabeth was taken at Clarence House, in London, on July 30, 1951

In the early twentieth century, there was growing interest in children's welfare and the need for inner-city children to have safe places to play.

Playspaces were seen as so important that the Mayor (C R Glover) personally funded three (South Terrace, East Terrace and Lefevre Terrace, North Adelaide) "to promote the happiness and well-being of the children of the City". All are named after him.

These early playspaces had a very formal layout, were fenced, separated girls and boys and had a flagpole in the middle. Playspace supervisors were appointed to "oversee the activities, give them moral guidance and mould their sense of citizenship". In 1928, the supervisors recorded more than 5000 children using these playspaces on a monthly basis.

Princess Elizabeth Playspace was opened in 1929. The playspace was built and named in honour of then Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth II) following a visit to Adelaide by the Duke and Duchess of York in 1927.

Central to the playspace design was the shelter shed (a State Heritage Place) which had two important facilities - a supervisor's office and toilets.

Other historical aspects that still exist include the playspaces' original signage and ash tree plantings.

The Glover and Princess Elizabeth playspaces established in the Adelaide Park Lands set a precedent for playspace development, and by 1943 there were 45 in metropolitan Adelaide.

City of Adelaide acknowledges the traditional Country of the Kaurna people of the Adelaide Plains and pays respect to Elders past and present. We recognise and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land. We acknowledge that they are of continuing importance to the Kaurna people living today. We also extend that respect to other Aboriginal Language Groups and other First Nations.

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