Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Macclesfield SA


Postcode: 5153

Macclesfield is a small town on the upper reaches of the River Angas in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia. Macclesfield is in the District Council of Mount Barker local government area, 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 (1/8th 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.

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. 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.

Macclesfield has been served by a primary school since 1876.