Julia Farr Centre, Adelaide.

The End of an Era : Julia Farr Centre

Guest Post by North Road Cemetery, Adelaide

This week, as International Women’s Day is celebrated (2023) the North Road Cemetery in Adelaide pays tribute to Julia Warren Farr (nee Ord).

Julia Warren Farr (nee Ord)

It is interesting to note that it was announced this week the site of the Julia Farr Centre at Fullarton, more recently known as Highgate Park, has been put up for sale.

Highgate Park, Fullarton, previously Julia Farr Centre.
Article in the Advertiser, Tuesday 7th March 2023
Highgate Park, Fullarton, previously Julia Farr Centre
Highgate Park, Fisher Rd, Fullarton, SA, previously Julia Farr Centre.

Julia Farr, a tireless charity worker, was born in 1824 in Essex, England. Married to the Reverend (later Archdeacon) George Henry Farr in 1846, she arrived in South Australia in 1854. George became the headmaster of St Peter’s College, where Julia took over the running of the boarding house.

In 1860, with the support of Bishop Augustus Short, Julia was the driving force behind the founding of Adelaide’s home for orphaned girls in 1860. Between 1860 and 1912, approximately 300 girls passed through the Orphan Home. The home was renamed Farr House in 1934, and came under the umbrella of the welfare services of the Synod of the Diocese of Adelaide.

The Orphan Home (Farr House) in Mitcham circa 1929 (SLSA B 4927)

Her best-known achievement was the establishment of The Home for Incurables. Julia was saddened by the plight of patients with incurable illnesses. When discharged from the Adelaide Hospital, these patients had no means of support, and often spent the remainder of their lives in the Destitute Asylum. Supported by Dr. William Gosse, funds were raised and the Home was opened in October 1879 with a bed capacity for ten patients. Due to growing patient numbers, two additional wings were opened in 1881. Extensions were added periodically, until by 1978, the home had a capacity of 826 patients.

The Home for Incurables in 1880 (PRG-742-5-135)

Julia Farr died at her residence in North Adelaide in 1914, and was buried alongside her husband in Plot 241, Path 14 South, North Road Cemetery, Adelaide.

In 1981 The Home for Incurables was renamed the Julia Farr Centre in honour of the founder.

The Julia Farr Centre

Portions of the Centre were closed in 1994, and the final closure came in 2020. Some of the empty buildings, which had become the target for vandals and graffiti artists, were demolished in 2011.

The vandalised section of the Julia Farr Centre in 2011 prior to demolition.

Proceeds from the sale of the site will be used to support South Australians living with a disability.

The grave of Julia farr and her husband Archdeacon George Farr in Path 14 South at North Road Cemetery, Adelaide.

Blackmore Family Connections

When Julia Warren Ord was born on 14 August 1824 in Greensted, Essex, her father, Sir Robert Hutchinson Ord, was 35, and her mother, Elizabeth Blagrave, was 25. She married George Henry FARR on 5 February 1846. They had seven children in 17 years. She died on 21 April 1914 in Adelaide, South Australia, having lived a long life of 89 years.

Julia and George’s daughter, Eleanora Elizabeth “Ella Nell” FARR was born on 11 September 1848 in Cornwall, her father, George, was 29, and her mother, Julia, was 24.

She married Edwin Gordon BLACKMORE on 3 January 1872 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Eleanora Elizabeth Blackmore (nee Farr)

Edwin and Eleanora had eight children (6 sons and 2 daughters) in 15 years. She died on 17 October 1901 in Adelaide, South Australia, at the age of 53.

The children of Edwin Gordon Blackmore and Eleanora Elizabeth Blackmore (nee Farr) Photo taken in late 1886. Note John Coleridge Blackmore was not born yet. (Photo credit Ross Heath)

The children were:-
Gordon Patteson (1872 – 1941) m Ethel Mona Finlayson George Edward (1874 – 1945) m Martha Fourie – went to South Africa
James “Jim” Gairdner (1876 – ) m Lillian Williams – went to South Africa
Edwin “Edd” Ord (1879 – 1956) m Ada Louise Wooding – went to South Africa
Jane “Janie” Drummond Gordon (1881 – 1942) m Dr Granville Sharp
Eleanora Mary (1884 – 1891) died of Diptherea only 7 years old
Lewis “Loo” Gordon (1886 – 1916) saw service at Gallipoli, killed in action Pozieres,
John “Jack” Coleridge (1888 – 1971 m Edith Alexa Kinleside (grand parents of
blog author, Greg Blackmore.)

Julia Warren Farr with her grandson, John Coleridge Blackmore

When John “Jack” Coleridge BLACKMORE was born on 17 May 1888, his father, Edwin, was 50 and his mother, Eleanora, was 39. He married Edith Alexa KINLESIDE in 1915. They had one child, Lewis Kinleside Blackmore, during their marriage. Jack died on 16 July 1971 at the age of 83.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s