Catholic Chapel, Hobart

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

THE Resident Roman Catholic Clergyman in Van Diemen’s Land, in Furtherance of the Object with which he is intrusted, under the Authority of His Majesty’s Government, being desirous to put in Progress the Building of a suitable Place of Worship for the Roman Catholics, with the Sanction of His Honor the Lieutenant Governor, respectfully calls upon such of the Inhabitants as are disposed to give their Aid to this desirable Object, as connected with the good Order of a large Portion of the Persons already in Van Diemen’s Land, and of others probably yet to arrive ; and he respectfully requests to add, that a Subscription List is open at the under-mentioned Places :
At the Office of Edward Lord, Esq. ; of Messrs. Kemp and Co. ; of Edward Curr, Esq. ; at the House of P. A. Mulgrave, Esq. and at the Gazette Office, Hobart Town.
At the House of T. A, Lascelles, Esq. New Norfolk ; James Gordon, Esq. Pitt Water; and G. W. Gunning, Esq. Coal River.
At Port Dalrymple:-Thomas Archer, Esq. J. P.; Mr. Commissary Roberts ; T, C, Simpson, Esq. ; and James Cox, Esq. J. P.
Where the Contributions of all Persons will be thankfully received.
It is considered scarcely necessary to state, that the Catholic Community, for whose particular Accommodation and Good this Undertaking is about to be commenced, will be expected to give their Aid in every Shape in which it can be useful, and suitable to their Condition.

Hobart Town Gazette, 13 April 1822

I’m not sure on actual location on the chapel, but it appears to have been close to the corner of Harrington & Brisbane Sts. In 1831, an advertiser gives his location as “situated in Brisbane-street, at the corner of Harrington street, (opposite the Roman Chatholic Chapel). In 1833, a cottage is advertised for sale at the “premises in Brisbane street facing the Catholic Chapel”. In 1834, another advertiser gives his location as “opposite the Catholic Chapel, Harrington Street”.

(site of) Anglican Church, Hobart


It is not generally known that the body of Colonel Collins, the first Lieutenant Governor of this colony, lies interred in the corner of the churchyard next the town. About a year after his death a small wooden church was erected over the grave, and the altar, such as it was, was built directly over it. This building however did not remain long, for being got up in a hurry for the reception of Governor Macquarie to attend divine service in during his visit here, the stays were not properly fixed, and in a sudden gale of wind it was blown over.
Hobart Town Courier, 21 March 1829

On the St David’s cathedral website, there is an artist’s impression of that building, placed in context (use the slider below the image).



And this Monument long projected
was Erected to his memory in 1838,
By Direction of His Excellency
Sir John Franklin R.C.H.K.R
Site of the first Church erected in 1810 in
Van Dieman’s Land.
Built over the grace of
whose body resided beneath the altar.

St David’s Cathedral, Hobart (second)


Cnr Macquarie & Murray Streets, Hobart. (Murrary St entrance shown above.) Opened 1874, replacing an older building of the same name.

Building started 1868. (Laying of foundation stone)
Consecrated & opened 1874.
Chancel, Sanctuary & Nixon Chapel completed 1891-4 (Photo of construction)
Bell tower completed 1936 (Photo of construction)


Photo with old & new St Davids
Photo 1878, Macquarie St facade. The bell tower has since added at the front left, and the main building extended to the right.
Engraving, 1886, from the corner of Murray&  Macquarie Sts. The vacant corner is now occupied by the bell tower.
Interior, 1895
Photo, 1928. This seems to be a flipped image, compare to 2nd & 4th images on next link
Various photo/postcards (Fifth image is an nice view of entrance & tower from Murray Street
Photo from north with what appears to be the tower of the older church behind.

North side.
Continue reading

St David’s Church/Cathedral, Hobart (first)

Foundation stone laid 1817
Consecrated 1823 (although in use before then)
Steeple replaced 1835
Became St David’s Cathedral 1842
Demolished 1874 after completion of new (current) building

Plan : Plan : Front elevation : Rear elevation, : Side elevation : Cross-section : Plan for “altering and enlarging” : Front elevation with new tower

Tuesday, February 18, 1817.
THE Civil and Military Officers are requested to attend at Government House To-morrow Morning at Half-past Eleven o’clock A.M. to accompany the Reverend ROBERT KNOPWOOD to the Ground prepared to lay the Foundation Stone of St. David’s Church. In Consequence of which, the same will be observed as a Holiday throughout the Settlement; and the Acting Assistant Commissary General will cause to be issued to each of the Non-commissioned Officers and Private Soldiers, Superintendents, Overseers, Constables, and other Persons in the actual Employ of Government, Half-a-Pint of Spirits.
By Command of His Honor,
The Lieutenant Governor,

Hobart Town Gazette, 22 February 1817
Continue reading

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hobart


67 Brisbane St. Opened 1929.


The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hobart

On a recent Sunday in Hobart the Christian Science Church, “First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hobart,” at 69 Brisbane street, near Elizabeth street, was dedicated.

Christian Science churches are not dedicated until they are debt-free, and it was with glad hearts and grateful thanks to the Giver of all good that the doors were opened for three services that day. Each service was a replica of the others, but three were necessary to meet the needs of all those desiring to attend.

In the dedicatory announcement, which was of extreme simplicity, the following facts and dates were included: The first recorded meeting in Hobart of a group of people interested in Christian Science was held on 26th February, 1913; one year later, 25th February, 1914, the group had so grown that a room had been rented in Miller’s Chambers, Murray street, and regular Sunday services and Wednesday testimony meetings were commenced as from that date; as the group grew in numbers, successive moves were made to 145 Macquarie street; Y.M.C.A. Building, Murray street; and the Bijou Theatre, Melville street; the first de- finite step towards erecting its own edifice for worship was taken in March, 1922, when the group inaugurated a church building fund; official recognition of the establishment of Christian Science in Tasmania came on 30th July, 1923, when the group was received as an official branch of “The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.,” the Hobart organisation being named “Christian Science Society, Hobart”; in July, 1928, the society purchased its fine building site in Brisbane street, and in September of that year was granted full branch church status as “First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hobart”; the foundation stone of the church edifice was laid during December, 1928; the first services in the new building were held on Sunday, 17th March, 1929, Sunday school being held in the edifice on Sunday afternoon; at a meeting in April, 1933, the membership decided to enlarge the edifice. When completed, the addition was partitioned off, sound-proofed, and set apart for use as a Sunday school during the period when the morning service was being conducted in the main edifice. Thus the edifice is already in existence when further extensions are necessary to accommodate increased congregations, all that is necessary to secure larger church premises being to knock out the partition and instal church seating. As will be seen from the illustration, the building is attractively constructed of burnt brick with concrete pillars, and accessories include metal window frames. The building is heated by electricity, and has an inclined floor, which enables everyone in tho congregation to secure a clear view of the readers who conduct the services.
The Advocate, 11 May 1940


(former) St John the Baptist Anglican Church, West Hobart

Consecrated 22 May 1856.
Deconsecrated and sold 1998.

Location: Google Maps
Real listing for 2011
Photos and background on the organ.


Colonial Times, 13 August 1853

The Church of St. John the Baptist, Goulburn street, Hobart Town, now in course of erection, is calculated to accommodate 500 worshippers, in a locality where additional Church-room is greatly needed. The present contract is for the erection of the walls only, at an estimated cost of £1800. The contract was made on the 1st September last; and the funds then in hand did not exceed £1200, leaving a deficiency of £600, for which the members of the Building Committee are responsible. But it is supposed that another £600, at least, will be required to roof in the building, and render it externally complete.
The Courier, 2 November 1854
Continue reading

St Matthew’s Anglican Church, New Norfolk

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.

As well as obtaining the fittings, that year there was construction work taking place:

We understand with much pleasure, that New Norfolk, the favourite retirement of
Colonel Sorell and other distinguished characters, is rapidly becoming improved.
The church, in which the Rev Robert Knopwood, M. A. regularly preaches has been
considerably enlarged.

Hobart Town Gazette, 22 April 1825

At New Norfolk, the Church is roofed in, and completed.
Hobart Town Gazette, 20 August 1825

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.

More recent photos:
This one is dated 1890s (prior to the rebuilding in 1894?)
This, from the early 20th century, has a more familiar form.
Continue reading