Macclesfield, South Australia

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For the town in northwest England, see Macclesfield.
South Australia
Three Brother Arms (Macclesfield).JPG
The Three Brothers Arms
Macclesfield is located in South Australia
Coordinates 35°10′0″S 138°50′0″E / 35.16667°S 138.83333°E / -35.16667; 138.83333Coordinates: 35°10′0″S 138°50′0″E / 35.16667°S 138.83333°E / -35.16667; 138.83333
Population 832 (2006 Census)[1]
Established 1840
Postcode(s) 5153
Elevation 272 m (892 ft)
LGA(s) District Council of Mount Barker (South Ward)
State electorate(s) Heysen
Federal Division(s) Division of Mayo
Localities around Macclesfield:
Meadows Echunga Bugle Ranges
Meadows Macclesfield Highland Valley
Blackfellows Creek Strathalbyn Highland Valley

Macclesfield is a small town on the upper reaches of the River Angas in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia. At the 2006 census, Macclesfield had a population of 832.[1]

Macclesfield is in the District Council of Mount Barker local government area's South Ward. The current elected representative member(s) for Macclesfield in the South Ward is Councillor Roger Irvine and Councillor Margaret Wilksch. The town is also a member of the state electorate of Heysen and the federal Division of Mayo.


George Davenport was an English banker who was a director of the South Australia Company in England and together with partners Frederick Luck (quarter share) and Roger Cunliffe (1/8 share) paid £4416 for a special survey of 4416 acres (1619 ha) in South Australia. He sent his eldest son (George) Francis to select the land, arriving in Adelaide in February 1840. After initially considering land near Port Lincoln, Francis selected land on the upper reaches of the River Angas, including what is now the town of Macclesfield. This was the last of the special surveys in the area. The town of Macclesfield was named after the Earl of Macclesfield, to whom George Davenport was a steward in England. Francis Davenport returned to England in 1841, leaving Henry Giles to manage his affairs.[2]

Francis and his wife Sarah returned in February 1843 along with Samuel, his wife Margaret (married 1 June 1842) and their other brother Robert. Francis died on 8 April 1843 (probably of typhus) and the remaining brothers lived at Macclesfield and managed the survey.

The first hotel, The Goat's Head Inn, was established in 1841.[3] It was later known as the Macclesfield Arms, Davenport Arms, and now Three Brothers' Arms after the three Davenport brothers. The brewery next door to the hotel was opened by 1851, but converted to a butter and cheese factory around 1903 and abandoned in favour of a new factory in 1937.[4]

Macclesfield has been served by a primary school since 1876. In 2010, the Macclesfield Primary School celebrated 150 years of education in the town and surrounding districts. The ceremony was attended to by many, including Alexander Downer MP, who was a student and resident of the town in his earlier years.

The town is also home to the Macclesfield Football Club, Macclesfield Flames Netball Club, Macclesfield Redbacks Cricket Club, Macclesfield Basketball Club and Macclesfield Tennis Club. All clubs are individually governed financially with their own presidencies and committee members.


Macclesfield is a quiet town 25 km south of the bustling Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills. It is a thriving community with a recently re-opened Crystal Lake Park (former camp) and many walking trails. With an ever busy Mount Dennis Estate at the base of the town's tallest mount, surrounded by the local primary school and warm, welcoming main street, Macclesfield is slowly developing.

Public Services[edit]

Macclesfield is serviced with a volunteer Country Fire Service who assisted in warding off the Ash Wednesday Bushfires in February 1983. The town's residents were forced to flee their homes and evacuate the entire township but a group of gallant volunteer firefighters and some other untrained townspeople attempted warding off the fire from the Macclesfield Oval. They were, luckily, successful.

Two pubs are located on the main drive through the township; the Macclesfield Hotel and the Three Brothers' Arms. The town is home also to a small café, known as the Maccy Melting Pot. Adjacent is the Macclesfield Lucky Seven (formerly Macclesfield Supermarket until 2012).

The local Post Office houses over 350 letterboxes, but it does not provide home delivery. It also acts as the local tourism centre and sells brochures containing the history of the town with the infamous town heritage walk.

Community Events[edit]

Every year the town holds an annual 'Strawberry Fete' held on the last Sunday of November at the towns Davenport Square. Records show that the attendance of both residents and tourists are on the rise. A common children's attraction is Dan Bert's One-Man-Band. The town's Recreation and Grounds Committee host a barbecue in the rotunda also supported by the RSL committee and various other organizations and companies in the area.

In December of every year, again at the Davenport Square, the town hosts the community Carols by Candlelight. Over the past few years, weather conditions have deteriorated so the event has swiftly been moved to the Macclesfield Institute on Venables Street. Acts include performances by a community group called Young At Heart, students of the local Macclesfield Primary School choir and various others. Also, many various sermens are given during the nights proceedings shared between the Catholic, Uniting and Anglican churches. Pamphlets are supplied with all carols inside and wax or electric candles available for purchase from a stall near the rotunda. Over the past decade and a half, the carols have been hosted by Jacqui Irvine-Creaser, a novel writer and town resident for over 30 years. The towns residents and children love the warm, inviting environment that the carols bring every year.

A bi-annual auction is held at Macclesfield Oval by the local Battunga Lions Club in association with the communities RSL for residents to sell wood furniture and all other assortments. There are many other major community events held within the township. All event details are available on the Macclesfield Business and Tourism website.


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Macclesfield (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 25 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Jim Faull, ed. (December 1980). Macclesfield Reflections along the Angas. Adelaide: Macclesfield historical Book Committee. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-9594595-0-2. 
  3. ^ Macclesfield Reflections along the Angas, page 182
  4. ^ Macclesfield Reflections along the Angas, page 183

Further reading[edit]

  • Jim Faull, ed. (December 1980). Macclesfield Reflections along the Angas. Adelaide: Macclesfield historical Book Committee. ISBN 0-9594595-0-2.