St Peter’s Hall, Hobart

Collins Street, between Argyle and Campbell Streets, Hobart
c1856 -1904

Constructed as a temperance hall and school house, and occasional services. It appears on Jarmnan’s 1858 map of Hobart as a Catholic church/chapel


The land appears Sprent’s survey map from the 1840s as reserved for “Reserved for the benefit of the Roman Catholic Community to be used as Temperance Hall and a Sunday School & occasionally for a place of Worship. Whenever the building ceases to be used for the above purpose the land to revert to the Crown”.

Continue reading

(former) Trinity Church/Penitentiary Chapel, Hobart


Cnr Brisbane & Campbell Sts, Hobart. Google Maps.
Opened 1833 on a site adjoining the prisoner barracks, later city gaol. It was used as a chapel for the prisoners and to cater for the free population that had grown too large for St David’s. Anglican services but never consecrated, due to its association with the prisoners. For more information, visits one of the links below.

(Unofficial) Web site
Companion to Tasmanian History

National Trust page for visiting details.
Lithograph, 1834
Proposed entrance.

Continue reading

Catholic churches, Hobart


In 1822 a wooden chapel was constructed on the corner of Brisbane & Harrington St, near the present site of St Mary’s Cathedral.

As far back as 1817 Father Flynn called at the settlement, on his voyage from England to Sydney, and administered the sacrament, and four years later Father Connolly arrived and commenced his work. He celebrated mass at Mr. Curr’s store in Argyle-street, and there the congregation consisted of nine persons. Services were subsequently held in the old building in Elizabeth-street, known to us in later years as “Rats’ Castle.” Father Connolly having obtained a grant of 14 acres of land at the angle of Harrington and Brisbane streets, called it Mount Carmel, and in February, 1822, a small wooden church was commenced. It was finished in the following year, and dedicated to God, under the invocation of St. Virgilius.
The Mercury, 31 December 1904

Preceding this activity was the work of Father Connolly, accredited by the Colonial
Office in 1820 to Van Diemen’s Land, where the Inadequate weatherboard chapel of St.
Virgil which he was ‘ permitted to erect in 1822 functioned until 1836.

22 December 1941

About 1825 land was provided for the Catholic cemetery

It may not be generally known, that, adjoining the Roman Catholic Chapel in Hobart Town, a large site of ground has been given by Government as its burial-place.—Several persons have already been interred there; among whom was Private Thomson, of the 40th, who was followed to the grave on Saturday last by a detachment of that company.
Colonial Times, 19 August 1825
Continue reading

St Mary’s Cathedral, Hobart


Originally opened in 1866, then rebuilt and reopened in 1881.
First part of this post deals with original building. Current building & photos are in second part of post.

Some background on the development of the Catholic church in Hobart.

Google Maps
History & features on Archdiocese website
Wikipedia page
Memorial Window

The erection of St. Mary’s Cathedral had engaged the attention of Bishop Willson throughout a great part of his episcopate. Mr. Roderic O’Connor had donated £10,000, £5,000 had been contributed from other sources, and on September 12, 1860, the foundation-stone was laid. Among those present upon that occasion were the Governor and Lady Fox Young, attended by Mr. N. Maule, A.D.C., and Major Douglas. The ceremony was an imposing one, and in the evening there was a Banquet at St. Peter’s-hall, in Collins-street, at which the Bishop presided, and among those present were Major Douglas, Mr. John Davies, M.H.A., Mr. Balfe, M.H.A., Mr. H. Hunter, and Mr. John O’Boyle. On the 4th July, 1866, Bishop Murphy having succeeded Bishop Willson, the dedication took place, the preacher being Dr. Shield the Bishop-elect of Adelaide.
Extract from “Hobart Churches”, The Mercury, 31 December 1904
Continue reading