Glenthorne is a parcel of land located 16 kilometres south of the city of Adelaide, South Australia. The 208 hectares bounded by South Road and the Southern Expressway form a prominent open space backdrop to the southern part of the city.and are an area of significance to the Fleurieu Peninsula.
Glenthorne was originally settled in 1839 by Major Thomas O’Halloran who was the first Police Commissioner of South Australia. The property changed hands a number of times until it was compulsorily acquired by the Commonwealth of Australia in 1913 and used by the Australian Army for training troops and raising horses (Glenthorne No. 9 Remount Depot). From 1947 to 1996 the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) operated a research facility on Glenthorne to study animal and human nutrition. Significant heritage buildings exist there today, in desperate need of restoration and protection.
Friends of Glenthorne Inc was incorporated in 1998 with the following aims;
- preserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage assets of the property
- assist with formulating a long term vision for the development of Glenthorne Farm and the establishment of an integrated Management Plan and
- participate in a community awareness and public education program about the development of Glenthorne.
In May 2001, following public demand that Glenthorne farm be kept as open space, the University of Adelaide purchased the property from the CSIRO for $7.0 million using a taxpayer funded grant from the John Olsen, South Australian Government. This grant was given on condition that the land is used for the development of a vineyard and wine research centre and not for urban development of any kind. The University eventually found the vineyard plan not to be an economically viable option and has instead proposed a Woodland Recovery Initiative for the Mount Lofty Ranges to be operated from Glenthorne farm.
In October 2008, after more than 7 years of delay and a number of unsuitable proposals, the University of Adelaide outlined a further plan to build 950 houses along the western side of the property