The Battunga-Country region of the Adelaide Hills was settled quite early in the Colony’s history and was the first to be settled east of the Mt Lofty Ranges. This was largely due to a system of land allocation, known as Special Surveys, being introduced.
Anyone who paid in advance the price of 4,000 acres of land or upwards had the right to call on the Colonial Commissioner to survey any district within the colony and, within a reasonable time after such survey, to select his land from any part of that district before any other applicant.
Though more than sixty per cent of Special Survey purchasers were absentee landowners, many wealthy members of the English gentry migrated, took up large tracts of land and continued ‘their role as country squires fostering something of the community life of an English village’.
Landowners often let the majority of their land to labouring settlers and established townships in the most suitable location with the object of making it a thriving self-sufficient community.
From 1839 to 1842 six Special Surveys were taken up in and around Battunga-Country