St Peter’s Anglican Church, Oatlands


Watercolour, pre-1878
Plan by John Lee Archer
Plan by Robert De Little


From an news story written for St Peter’s centenary:

As far back as 1827 Archdeacon Scott, at the Instigation of Thomas Anstey, Police Magistrate of Oatlands, had applied to the Government for appointment of a catechist to represent the Church of England at Oatlands, and for help in erecting a log building for a chapel. The requisition was acceded to, and William Pike was appointed with a salary of £100 a year, and a forage allowance for his St. Peter’s Church of England, Oatlands, in which centenary celebrations will begin next Sunday.

Services were held for a few years beneath a tree on the shore of Lake Dulverton. In 1834 a movement was started for the erection of a church. Land was granted by the Government, and, with the assistance of convict labour, the present building, was opened for worship In 1837. In that year the Rev. G. Morris had already been established as rector of the parish of Bath and chaplain of Oatlands township. In 1840 the .Rev. Gregory Bateman became parish chaplain and rector of Oatlands. He was succeeded in 1847 by the Rev. William Dry, who laboured for three years, until he was succeeded by the Rev. Ison.
The Mercury, 24 June 1837


Accounts from Oatlands state that the inhabitants of that district hare already subscribed the sum of £232, towards the building of a church at Oatlands. A Rural Dean, we understand, is required there.
Colonial Timer, 9 July 1833



At a meeting held the 6th day of July 1833 in the Court house of Oatlands, pursuant to public advertisment, for the purpose of taking into consideration the deficiency of religious instruction in the district, and also for considering the proposed measure of building a church at

It was resolved unanimously,

1st, That from the increasing population at growing importance of Oatlands, it is desirat that a church be immediately erected in township.
Hobart Town Courier, 26 July 1833


The next items to which I consider it proper to direct your attention are those in aid of the building of churches in Hobart Town, New Town, Oatlands, Ross, Hamilton, Richmond, and Campbell Town, and for the enlargement of that of Norfolk Plains.’

It is gratifying to be able to observe that a moiety of the expense of these will be borne by the inhabitants of the respective districts, I am sure it is therefore unnecessary for me to make any comment upon the propriety of granting the assistance which may be necessary
Hobart Town Courier, 11 October 1833


TENDERS will be received until the 1st day of October next, for the erection of a Church and Minister’s Dwelling upon the Township of Oatlands, according to certain plans and specifications, which may he seen at the Police Office there, or at the office of the Archdeacon, in Hobart Town. Security will be required for the completion of the work.

Tenders to he sealed and addressed, “On the public service–To the Police Magistrate, for the Church Building Committee, Oatlands.”
Colonial Times, 25 September 1838


At Oatlands, the parsonage is finished and occupied, whilst the Church is ready for roofing.
The Courier, 20 Ocotber 1840

TENDERS for Pewing the Church at Oatlands will be received by the Rev. W. Dry till the 7th of August.
The Courier, 4 August 1847


THE INHABITANTS of the Oatlands District, after the many years the church of England has been in an unfinished state, have at last a spacious and comfortable place of worship, in every way neatly and conveniently fitted up, owing to the indefatigable exertions of their chaplain, the Rev. William Dry, to whose assiduity in superintending the erection of the pews, doors,&c, and to whose liberality in advancing the amount necessary to defray the expense of material, they are indebted for this universal public good.
The Courier, 19 January 1849


Headstone photos
Headstone photos & transcriptions

9 thoughts on “St Peter’s Anglican Church, Oatlands

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gabrielle Morgan

    May 17, 2016 at 3:52am

    I would like to use the photograph of St. Peter’s Church doorway in an article I am writing for a Canadian publication. I would credit the photo to cc photos presumably. Would you give me permission to do this? Many thanks.

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Monissa Whiteley

      May 17, 2016 at 7:36am

      Happy for you to use it, with my name for the credit 🙂

      I should have a higher resolution version somewhere, if you’d prefer to use that.

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tim O'Donnell

    July 13, 2017 at 6:10am

    Are there online records for the people buried in the cemetery?

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Christina Callinan

    August 17, 2017 at 11:04am

    I am writing an Anthology of the Mills’ family history. My Grandfather Teddy Mills and Holly Mills lived in Oatlands as Licensee of the historic Oatlands Hotel in the 1920’s for over ten years. One of their staff in the Hotel was called Chonkey Boswood or Boswell. His position was described by my father, Charles Mills who was born in the Hotel in 1919. as a “Useful”. Chonkey was a member of St. Peter’s Church and was asked by the Rector whose name I don’t know but if you could provide it I would be grateful, to be the Sexton of the Church. Chonkey rang the bells every Sunday, kept the Church Garden and tended the Gravestones.

    One of my Anthology stories is about the life of this simple man, Chonkey Boswood or Boswell. I do not know when he died but have a photograph of him when my father was a young child working the Hotel yard. I would estimate Chonkey was about 35 – 40 years of age in the early 1920’s. I would estimate his time of death between say, 1950 – 1970.

    I have been told by my Oatlands friend Joan Cantrell who is also a Volunteer at the Oatlands Historic Museum that she remembers Chonkey very well. She has placed a small wooden cross and a metal plaque to mark his life which she has done for many other alone people in the town.

    I plan to self publish and give the Museum 25 copies of the Anthology, “The Blue Chair and Other Stories Of The Mills’ Family At The Oatlands Hotel In The 1920’s.” I suggested they sell these for $10.00 each and the proceeds to be used for an appropriate project of the Museum.

    If you could assist me with Chonkey’s date of birth or even his death date I would be very pleased to add this important information to my story of him.

    I am a History Researcher and Family History Writer interested in historic Towns such as Oatlands and the lives of the people who once lived in them.

    Thank you,

    Christina Callinan

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Monissa Whiteley

      August 17, 2017 at 11:32am

      I’m not sure who could help you there. I can’t 🙂

      Try contacting St George’s in Hobart. They work with the Southern Midlands parish and might have more idea.

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jules Thornton

    February 2, 2019 at 10:35pm

    I have uncovered a letter here in the UK from Rev Gregory Bateman to his predecessor Rev G Morris dated November 1841. It is quite an interesting read featuring a lot about a Mr Whitefoord who in fact turns out to be quite a scallywag. Would love to be able to get in touch with someone from the parish and return it to its rightful place. Many thanks. Jules, Hertfordshire, UK

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Margaret CONSTANTINE

    April 26, 2020 at 12:00am

    Hi. I’m Marg Constantine from Bendigo, Victoria and doing a bit of family history search. My step great grandmother Fannie Ellen Burchill (Roberts) nee Jillett came from Oatlands Tasmania. I have just read the horrific tragedy of the 1959 Innocents and realise she was the only surviving child of Thomas and Mary Ann Jillett from the Diptheria outbreak. With the current Corona virus situation the similarities are quite chilling. I have only broused briefly over the long story but its very interesting amogst the profound sadness and loss. I was in Tasmania and passed through Oatlands in Feb 2020 but didn’t stop. What an opportunity missed. I had no idea until today of of it’s family significance. I hope to return and pay tribute to the ancestors and gain historical family information and photos. Thanks for having the photos and information available to assist our family in our genealogy links. Kind regards Marg Constantine

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply

      Monissa Whiteley

      April 26, 2020 at 2:23am

      I am glad you found it useful

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