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Three miners outside their tent accommodation at Moonta
Title : Three miners outside their tent accommodation at Moonta Three miners outside their tent accommodation at Moonta
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Date of creation : ca. 1890
Format : Photograph
Dimensions : 20 cm x 15.5 cm.
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

Three miners outside their tent accommodation at Moonta; a sign over the entrance to the tent describes it as 'Moonta Villa'.

The first dwellings in South Australia consisted of tents, rush huts and huts made out of bush timber, crude wattle and daub structures with earth floors and some prefabricated buildings.

Most of the early settlers found themselves in an unfamiliar and 'hostile' environment where trees were too tough to cut properly, bugs and rot attacked cut timber. Insufficient prefabricated dwellings had arrived, there was no lime for mortar and brickfields and quarries were not yet in operation. Cottage tents and prefabricated buildings were the norm for some time, particularly during major influxes of immigrants.

Cheap hastily improvised shelter provided by canvas tents and indigenous inspired shelters made from long sheets of bark drooped over a central pole, propped up on forked branches provided some shelter but were inadequate for long term use.

Prefabricated buildings consisted of small well made wooden houses built in section in England and packed especially for export, known as 'portable colonial cottages', more commonly known as 'Manning houses' for the London carpenter who designed them. In spite of the recommendation for the purchase of these buildings, they did come under criticism for being expensive to import from England, and for becoming oppressively hot in the South Australian summer.


Related names :

Tents -- South Australia -- Moonta.

Pioneers -- South Australia -- Moonta.

Coverage year : 1890
Period : 1884-1913
Region : Yorke Peninsula
Further reading :
Apperly, Richard A pictorial guide to identifying Australian architecture: styles and terms from 1788 to the present Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1989
Cowan, Gregory (2002) Architecture and the tent in Australia (from Captain Cook to Wadjularbinna) IN De-placing difference: architecture, culture and imaginative geography edited by Samer Akkach,
Adelaide: Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture, The University of Adelaide, 2002
Cox, Philip, Australian colonial architecture,  Sydney: Lansdowne, 1993
Herbert, Gilbert, Manning houses: their provenance and extent in South Australia: a preliminary inventory, Adelaide: Faculty of Architecture & Town Planning, University of Adelaide, 1979
Herbert, Gilbert, The portable colonial cottage, [London?]: Society of Architectural Historians, 1972
Heritage of the city of Adelaide: an illustrated guide edited by Susan Marsden, Paul Stark and Patricia Sumerling, Adelaide: Corporation of the City of Adelaide, 1990
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing. From the ground up August 2004-



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