Sacred Heart Cathedral, Bendigo.
Sunday School building to the left. Graves are along the side and behind the church.
From the entrance, with St Andrews Anglican Church across the road.
Two aisles, rather than one central aisle.
Left front corner, if facing pulpit.
Centre pews and pulpit
From within a pew.
Front right corner, if facing pulpit.
Rear left corner, as leaving.
Facing the rear, with main door.
Graves are down the side of the church building and behind.
Cnr Macquarie & Murray Streets, Hobart. (Murrary St entrance shown above.) Opened 1874, replacing an older building of the same name
Building started 1868.
Consecrated & opened 1874.
Chancel, Sanctuary & Nixon Chapel completed 1891-4
Bell tower completed 1936
Nixon Chapel, commemorating Francis Nixon, first bishop of Tasmania.
Side, main door to right and door leading to tower on the left wall.
Corner shown in previous photo.
Window commemorates Bishop Nixon.
Through to base of bell tower.
Just off the highway at Buckland, formerly Prosser's Plains.
Foundation stone laid 1846. Consecrated 1850.
This little church is best known for its large window which is claimed to date to the 14th century. The myths surrounding the window are looked at in a post on the Stained Glass Australia site. While the window isn't 14th century, the design of the church is.
[This article includes a long description of the church, so it has been split.]
The Church at Prosser's Plains was consecrated on the 15th instant [January 1850]. The singular beauty of the fabric has been heard of in many quarters, and was doubtless a contributing cause to the gathering of a considerable congregation, who came to witness and give thanks for its dedication.
The Bishop and attendant Clergy, in their vestments, were met at the church-door by several of the inhabitants of the place, whose petition for consecration having been read by Thomas Crittenden, Esq , the Bishop entered the church, followed by the clergy and by the congregation which had assembled outside. The office of consecration usual in this diocese succeeded. Morning Player was said by the Rev. C. Dobson, the present chaplain of Prosser's Plains; the Rev. F. H. Cox read the appropriate lessons; and the Rev. Messrs. Tancred and Davenport assisted the Bishop at the altar. The sermon was preached by the Bishop ; and, the office of the holy communion being ended, the people were dismissed with his benediction. It is not too much to say that many who were present felt deeply the privilege of attending a church and a service in which every outward circumstance and detail of worship brought to their hearts the time-honoured sanctuaries of their native land.
The church consists of a nave and chancel, with a north porch, mid vestry on the south of the chancel. The length of the interior from east to west is 64 feet, (nave 44 foot, chancel 20 feet;) the width 23½ feet; the height, from the floor to the roof-ridge. about 38 feet. The church is entered by a massive door, with iron bundle, and hinges of scroll-work, after an ancient pattern, ably executed by a country blacksmith.
Immediately within the church on the right hand, is the font, the gift of the Archdeacon of Hobart Town: it is octagonal, the bowl springing by a well-wrought moulding from the carved shaft, which again dies gracefully into the base; the whole being raised on an octagonal plinth, round which are placed kneeling-stools for sponsors; it is lined with lead, and provided with a water-drain. The pulpit stands in the south-east corner of the nave: this also is octagonal ; the two front panels being carved with tracery in the head, and filled in with velvet embroidered in gold thread with the Scriptures, "I have a message from God unto thee"--and " He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Under the chancel-arch, on the south side, is the Prayer-desk; and beside it, a desk for the Holy Bible, facing the congregation. There are pews of the colonial lightwood on either side of the central alley of the nave: these are uniform, with low backs, and all provided with kneeling-stools ; their simplicity and real comfort presenting a remarkable contrast to the enclosures which more or less hinder the worship of so many of our congregations.
The windows of the nave are glazed with ground glass. The chancel, which is raised two steps above the nave, is paved with encaustic tiles, from a celebrated Staffordshire manufactory. The Lord's Table stands on another step, and is covered with an exceedingly rich velvet cloth, embroider"! in needlework, with the sacred monogram, and other appropriate ornaments. The Communion vessels are of silver, the workmanship of Mr. Butterfield, an eminent church-architect. The Altar books are remarkable for their costliness and exquisite binding. But the most striking objects in the interior of this Church are the windows of the chancel--a large eastern window of three lights, and a smaller one of two lights in the northern side. These are filled with stained glass, the work of Mr. O'Connor, a London artist.
The east window represents in the head our Messed Saviour upon the Cross, with His Mother and the Beloved Disciple on either side; and in the three lights St. John the Baptist (in whose name the Church is dedicated) in the principal scenes of his ministry ; viz., Preaching in the Wilderness, Baptising our Lord, mid Suffering Death in the Prison. The north window exhibits the symbols appropriated in Christian art to the four Evangelists.-(Rev. iv 7.)
When it is added, that the roofs of both nave and chancel are of very high pitch, and open to the ridge, of native wood stained a dark colour, and the rafters, colliers, and braces being thickly set, and producing a good perspective effect, the reader will have no difficulty in comprehending the details of this very interesting village church.
Of its external features it will suffice to mention the excellent masonry of the walls, which, with their massive staged buttresses, present an appearance of great solidity; the windows with their foliated tracery of the 14th century ; the ornamental gable-crosses at the east of chancel and nave ; and the simple belt-gable at the west-that frequent characteristic of an English village church. The aesthetic effect of the whole was felt by many to be in harmony with the Psalm, "Quam Dilecta," used at the consecration ; and the words "O! how amiable are Thy dwellings, Thou Lord of Hosts !" found a response in many hearts.
It will be matter of interest lo many to know that the whole cost of the building, exclusive of the ornamental features of the interior, which have been described, was about nine hundred pounds ; half of which sum was con- tributed from public funds, agreeably to the Church Act of the colony, and the remainder chiefly by residents in the neighbourhood. The stained glass, encaustic tiles, altar cloth, linen, and service books, alms-chest, &c, ail of which deserve a more minute description than the scanty notice which has been attempted, were the joint contribution of the late chaplain and architect of the church, various members of his family in England, and by some of his personal friends. The communion-plate was sent out as an offering from his former parishioners in Sussex.
Is it too much to hope that the consecration of this simple and unpretending, but very beautiful church is the beginning of a new era in the ecclesiastical architecture of the colony; und that the unhappy mistakes that have been made in the structure and arrangement of most of our Tasmanian churches will be of less frequent occurrence than heretofore ?
The Courier, 23 January 1850
To go in, you have to go along this side bit and the door is around the back.
(The different floor colours are due to boards being replaced, no floor coverings.)
Internal photos are from the Rotary Club's Doors Open Day in 2009.
St Matthews lays claim to being the oldest Anglican Church in Tasmania, bring opened in 1823. An article in the Mercury written for the St Matthew's centenary in 1925 talks about the history of the church:
Mr. Knopwood retired in 1823 from the chaplaincy of Hobart, and come to live in
New Norfolk, and in the same year the inhabitants of New Norfolk applied to
the Governor-in-Chief at Sydney that he might be appointed chaplain of New Nor-
folk, stating that there was a brick school which could be used as a temporary
The arrival of the official minister, Rev Hugh Robinson two years later, and his first service, is the date used for the centenary:
The beautiful church of St. Matthew's as it now is, its gabled roof, stained glass windows, and noble chancel, is a very different building from what it was when the church was first erected. All that is left of the original building are the walls and flagged floor of the nave, and possibly the western walls of what are now the transepts. And even as to these there is a certain amount of doubt. The foundation stone of the chancel has on it the words, "Erected in 1825, Chancel added in 1894." But there was a schoolhouse which, begun in 1823, was finished in 1824. Whether this was the present nave or part of it is uncertain, though there is little doubt that a portion of the present church was originally built for a school. It was not used definitely as a church till Mr. Robinson's time, for, it was in the month that he arrived there, August, 1825, that tenders were submitted for church furniture, and a pulpit, reading desk and communion table put in the building. The carpentry work in the building was of a poor quality; for on Sunday, December 4, 1825, a portion of the ceiling fell in.
Since that time, the building has been extensively modified and its appearance has dramatically changed. A postcard from the State Library of Victoria with an illustration c.1825 and an engraving from LINC Tasmania, published in 1834 both show a church building very different to that in the above photo.
Chapel on Entally Estate. Built by Thomas Reiby in the 1850s.
Photo from paddock, 1963.
Australia's Oldest Existing
1st & 3rd Sunday
of the month 8.30am
2nd, 4th & 5th Sunday
of the month 11am
Before going inside, I was thinking the 1836 year seems quite late for an "oldest" building, so I pulled a bit from the Archdiocese of Hobart website to give some background:
Until 1821, the Catholic residents of the colony - convicts and free settlers - had no priest. In that year Father Philip Connolly arrived. His flock, scattered over a wide area, must then have numbered about 1,000 people. Until 1835, the Father Connolly laboured alone. In that year, the Most Rev John Bede Polding arrived at Hobart on his way to Sydney to take up his appointment as Bishop. The Holy See had appointed him Vicar-Apostolic of all Australia. Tasmania remained part of his Vicariate until the coming of the first Bishop of Hobart, the Most Rev Robert William Willson, who landed in May 1844.
And if you're wondering where they went in those early years, from a second page Previous Bishops and Archbishops of Hobart:
The story of the Catholic Church in Hobart began in 1822 when the pioneer priest, Father Philip Conolly, built Tasmania’s first Catholic place of worship just a stone’s throw from the present [St Marys] Cathedral. Dedicated to St. Virgilius, it was a poor building of the simplest style and construction.
And there's the cemetery, which from this direction looks like a typical country town cemetery.
This is a continuation of Penitentiary Chapel, Hobart: Part 1
In the second part, we look at the other side of the building. Note the building on the left that looks like a two-storey house, the very enclosed yard and the cut-off wall on the right.
First though, a wonky plan 🙂 It helped me make sense of what was where. It also shows how the two underground passages and the security tunnel (in blue) all go to the central little room. At least they would if I'd put the doors in.
That is place it was built as a chapel and later used as a courthouse. There are a lot of photos, so I am breaking this into two posts. The second part is here.
Now it's owned by the National Trust. Have Trust Membership, Will Use. (Home Hill is a NT property too.)
This is the Church of England at Hadspen. Thomas Reibey of nearby Entally (the house in the other photo) at various times archdeacon of Launceston, state politician & premier, start building this church in 1868 but stopped after a couple of years.
And it sat like this for most of the next century -- just walls.
It was finally completed and opened in 1961.
This is the other side.
The lighter row of stone at the top (top row in the second photo, more in the top photo) is the newer part. New vs old is particularly obvious when you look at a window.
On the other side, new work starts about half-way up and around the window, it's sort of obvious.
From the inside (original above, newer windows below).
Church stained glass windows are annoying. Like all stained glass, it's intended to be viewed from inside, so if you're taking photos from outside, you can't get anything decent. So: