Bonython Hall is the "great hall" of the University of Adelaide, located in the university grounds and facing North Terrace, Adelaide.[1] The building is on the now-defunct Register of the National Estate and the South Australian Heritage Register.[2][3] It is primarily used for University graduation ceremonies, examinations, expositions and public lectures and meetings likely to draw large audiences.[4][5]


The hall was built in the period 1933-1936 as a result of a donation of over £50,000 from Sir John Langdon Bonython.[6] It was opened on 8 September 1936 by Governor-General Lord Gowrie and the first public lecture was held a week later.[7]


There are many local legends about the building, with two being particularly resilient:

Bonython Hall is opposite Pulteney Street. Folklore has it that the Bonython donation was made on the condition that a hall be built opposite Pulteney Street, thus blocking any future path through the parklands and preventing the division of the campus by a major thoroughfare.[8]

Folklore also maintains that the Bonython family were very conservative and did not want the building used as a dance hall. Hence, the hall was designed and built with a sloping floor rather than flat floor.[4][5]

Renovation works

Beginning in 2005, the University has been conducting renovation works. The quality of these works has been rewarded with an Award of Merit at the 2007 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation.[1][8][9]



Coordinates: 34°55′14″S 138°36′19″E / 34.920548°S 138.605396°E / -34.920548; 138.605396