KENSINGTON AND NORWOOD WAS AUSTRALIA'S FIRST TOWNSHIP (OUTSIDE THE CITY OF ADELAIDE) TO BE GRANTED MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT, IN 1853. Named after Norwood in London, it was first laid out as a village in 1847 about four kilometres from the Adelaide city centre.
Norwood has been the target of 21st Century trendy development but this is belated. It still has the remnants of its 19th Century heritage and a trace of the bohemian from days when it was a overlooked by developers.
The other distinct character of Norwood came from the many European migrants, especially from Italy, who came after World War II. This is reflected in the restaurants and fashion boutiques on its main street, The Parade.
In 1997, Norwood took on another dimension, especially in multiculturalism, when its council area joined adjoining areas to form the City of Norwood, St Peters and Payneham.
Most visible landmarks in Norwood are the town hall and the Clayton-Wesley Uniting Church, previously Clayton Congregational Church, on corner of Portrush Road and The Parade, opened in 1856. (The church was named after John Clayton, parishioner John Roberts’ pastor in London,.)
Saint Ignatius Catholic parish church, built in the 1860s anf finished in 1972, by the Jesuits is also significant. Its presbytery housed Mary MacKillop, founder of Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred heart, when she took refuge after her (temporary) excommunication by Bishop Shiel.
Norwood had produced many influential South Australians including its mayor and brewery baron Edwin Smith, who moved to heading Adelaide Council and started transforming the city centre in the 19th Century.
Progressive Labor premier Don Dunstan was Norwood’s member of parliament 1953-79 but the seat (now called Dunstan) has been taken over by Steven Marshall who became Liberal premier in 2018.
A totem of the area is the Norwood Football Club, formed in 1878 and traditional rival of Port Adelaide. The Redlegs are based at Cooper Stadium on The Parade. (Coopers brewing company also had its origins in Norwood.)