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Angle Vale was not a planned township, as early settlers took up land along the Gawler River it developed and grew naturally. The township is situated on Section 4140 of the Gawler Plains. The section was originally granted to a land dealer, James White in September 1852, and sold a few weeks later to Benjamin Heaslip. The area became known as a wheat and hay district. Early settler families in the area were Collins, Crisp, Dawkins, Edgecomb, Hatcher, Higgins, Kenner, Marton, Parr, Patterson, Pederick, Roberts and Rowe.
The area of Angle Vale was a largely Methodist community. The first Bible Christian Chapel on the Gawler Plains was built in 1854. Reverend Samuel Keen selected the angle formed by Heaslip and Angle Vale Roads as the site for the chapel which he named Ebenezer. Until a mail service was introduced in 1866 the area was also known as Ebenezer.1 A few years after the construction of the chapel a day school was opened, and in 1924 a church hall was built and a ‘Band of Hope’ society was formed. In 1883 the chapel became known as the Angle Vale Methodist Church. Today the chapel has been converted into a house, and in the nearby cemetery many of the early pioneers are buried.
Near Angle Vale, is another historical church built in 1870. Known as the Carclew Primitive Methodist Church, it is the second church to be built on the site. The first church was built in 1850 on a portion of land donated by an early pioneer, Jonathan Roberts. Roberts had named his farm Carclew after the area that he came from in Cornwall, England. The name Carclew was later adopted by the church. The nearby cemetery displays a variety of ornate galvanised, wrought cast iron or steel fences, which surround the majority of plots. Many of the headstones are made of white marble and the oldest inscription reads Glen Roberts, 1 Year, 1851.2
The historic Angle Vale Bridge which spans the Gawler River is listed on the State Heritage Register and Register of National Estate, as it is the sole surviving laminated timber arch bridge in Australia. In 1876 work began on the construction of the bridge designed by C.F.G. Ashwin, of the Central Roads Board. A large span of 85 feet was needed to leave the waterway unobstructed. Iron and steel girders were not produced locally and importation from overseas was too expensive. It was suggested that timber be used in layers to produce the large span. Construction of the bridge took nine months and was completed in November 1876. The bridge was used until 1966 when a new bridge was constructed along side the original.3 Restoration of the original bridge was undertaken in 1988 and funded as a Bicentennial project.4
The Angle Vale district today is primarily used for market gardens, orchards, poultry and vineyards. The local winery, known as ‘The Cellars’, was opened in October 1972. In recent years Angle Vale and its older buildings have been encroached by hobby farms and suburban development.5Geotag
2. City of Playford Local History Collection, Angle Vale, n.d.
3. Sarah Laurence and Taylor Weidenofer (comp), City of Munno Para Heritage Survey 1996, Department of Natural Resources, 1996, p. 26.
4. City of Playford Local History Collection, Angle Vale, n.d.
5. District Council Of Munno Para And Education Technical Centre, Munno Para: A Brief History, Education Department, South Australia, 1979, p. 14.