23 February, 2023

    Preserving Colonel Light’s Theberton Hall Cottage

    Wednesday, 22 February 2023:  The remnants of Colonel William Light’s homestead discovered at the old West End Brewery site on Port Road will be preserved in line with expert conservation advice provided to Lion.

    Lion commissioned renowned conservation specialists, International Conservation Services, to provide a plan on how best to protect the discovery, working in consultation with archaeologists and Heritage SA.

    ICS advised that the excavation of the site and exposure to the weather has degraded the discovery, and protective measures are needed to preserve the area.

    It has recommended the site be protected by applying an isolating layer of a geo-textile fabric followed by a deep layer of clean river sand (sand with no salts in it).  The site will then be fenced off until a new owner for the property is found.

    “As the founder of Adelaide, Colonel William Light is one of South Australia’s most profoundly important figures,” Lion SA Manager Jared Shattock said.

    “We know this is a hugely historical site for South Australians, which is why our aim has always been to protect and preserve this find as best as we can.

    “This is why Lion has invested significant funds to engage archaeologists to undertake the dig, and specialist conservators to advise on the best way to protect the find.

    “We’re listening to the experts and have been working with Heritage SA to protect this important historical discovery.

    “We’ll continue working with the conservators to put this plan into action as soon as practical over the coming weeks.

    Founder and CEO of International Conservation Services Julian Bickersteth said the plan was the best way to protect the site into the future.

    “While Theberton Cottage was demolished in 1926, the archaeological dig commissioned by Lion in 2021 yielded an extraordinary discovery,” Mr Bickersteth said.

    “The bricks are highly fragile and steps must be taken to protect it from the weather and human intervention whilst the future use and ownership of the site is decided.”

    The site will remain subject of a Heritage SA S27 order, meaning that any future owners of the site must adhere to its conditions.

    A copy of the ICS advice is attached.


    Colonel Light and his partner Maria Gandy built Theberton Hall in 1838-1839, finishing the homestead months before Light died in October 1839.

    The house was owned by a number of people until it was demolished in 1926.  The site was redeveloped with a warehouse built over the site, and was later taken over by the South Australian Brewing Company.

    In 2020, Lion, announced plans to close the West End Brewery. The brewery has been demolished and the concrete slab which overlaid the remains of the Theberton Hall was removed.

    Lion commissioned archaeologists to undertake careful excavation of the area in case remnants of the homestead were buried under the old brewery.

    Media contact:

    Caitlin Donaldson [email protected] +61 475 672 696