Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Cygnet

Mary Street, Cygnet. Approximate location on Google Maps.

Opened 1903
Demolished c.1939

Photo, 1900s
Photos of older St James & newer building of both stone and weatherboard

There seem to have been four Catholic churches at Cygnet. The first was a weatherboard, possibly temporary, building erected in the early 1860s. This was replaced in 1867 by a more a more substantial small weatherboard church, St James. In 1903 a stone church, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was constructed which incorporated the older building. This was later demolished and the current St James built in 1940.

(By Our Special Representative.)
The ceremony of laying the first stone of the new Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Port Cygnet was performed on the 15th by the Most Rev. Dr. Murphy, Archbishop of Hobart. The weather was, unfortunately, very wet, with the almost necessary result that the attendance on the occasion was diminished.

Arrangements had been made for the fine steamer Mahinapua, of the Union Steamship line, to run from Hobart to Port Cygnet on the Sunday morning; the Hopetoun to run from Huonville, and call at Franklin, Jackson Point, and Shipwrights’ Point; and the Nubeena to run from Southport, and call at Port Esperance. The three steamers ran to Port Cygnet, but, as may be supposed, the passengers carried were far less in number than if the weather had been fine. For instance, 130 travelled by the Mahinapua, though she could have taken 350; and, beyond doubt, the latter number would have been carried had the day been inviting. However, the passengers by the Mahinapua made the best of the circumstances, and the operatic music furnished by a few Italian- minstrels helped materially to make the 45-mile trip to Lovell even pleasant. After the recent very hot weather experienced in Hobart, perfectly cool weather on board ship, even if accompanied by rain, was a delightful experience. The thunderstorm of the Saturday evening had palpably cleared the atmosphere, and the change from heat to cold-for people had to resort to overcoats-was grateful under any circumstances. The Mahinapua left the Elizabeth-street pier at 9.20 a.m., and landed her passengers at the lower jetty at Port Cygnet at 1.10 p.m.

At Port Cygnet, it had been raining since 2 o’clock on the Saturday, and the road from the jetty to Lovell, a mile in length, was marked by mud and water, just as it is often concealed by dust when the weather is dry and hot. So, on the 15th, it was not inviting to pedestrians, particularly ladies, and there are no trams connecting Lovell with the ship- ping. The Rev. P. J. O’Flynn, the pastor of the district, with great thoughtfulness, made all the arrangements possible for conveying the visitors to the site of the new church, but his resources were not illimitable. Not a few had to “negotiate” the wet and muddy road, and they did it courageously. So much for the weather and its consequences.

Now a word concerning the new church. The existing Catholic Church of St. James’s was opened and dedicated in February, 1867 – exactly 36 years ago. It was built by the Rev. J. Holehan, then pastor of Port Cygnet, but now in charge of Kingston. It is a wooden church, picturesque in design; but, as may be supposed, the congregation have outgrown the accommodation afforded. The Mass at the dedication of the present church was celebrated by the Very Rev. P. R. Hennebry, now pastor of St. Joseph’s, Hobart, and the sermon was preached by the Very Rev. Dean Hayes, of the Order of St. Augustine, then in charge of St. Kilian’s. Bendigo, Victoria. Soon afterwards, Dean Hayes was appointed Bishop of Armidale, Now South Wales, but he died in Dublin be- fore consecration. The present pastor of Port Cygnet has been in charge for the lost nine years, having boon sent thither from the Cathedral staff. The first contract for the erection of the new church is for the building of the chancel, the walls of which will embrace a portion of the present church. In fact, the new church will be built outside the old one, and the latter used as long as it does not stand in the way of the builder’s operations. When it does, of course , it will be pulled down.

The chancel now about to be built will, like the whole of the new church, be composed of Port Cygnet white stone, a new quarry of which has been opened at Cradoc Hill, three and a half miles from Lovell It will be 26 feet by 23 feet; the walls on the inside will be 16 feet in height ; and it will be 41 feet from the floor to the apex of the roof. the altar platform will be 3 feet above the floor. The floor will be of Tasmanian hardwood, and the ceiling of pine, nicely panelled,” stained, and varnished. The present contract is to be completed in six months. The contract price is £735. The architects are Messrs. Walker and Salier, of Hobart, and the contractor is Mr. Jonas Cranston, New Town.
The Mercury, 16 February 1903

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Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Stanley (1)

Opened 1897. Demolished 1930 and replaced by a newer building on the same site,


Sunday last was a red latter day for the Catholic portion of our little community , the new Catholic church being dedicated and blessed by the Very Rev. Dean Beechinor, of Launceston, ? The church was named the Star of the Sea. The Rev. Fathers Cunningham and Higgins (Burnie) assisted in the impressive ceremony. Dean Beechinor celebrated High Mass, Father Cunningham being deacon and Father Higgins sub deacon. The Dean delivered a simple but instructive sermon, and concluded his remarks by complimenting the Catholics of the district on the find building erected, also thanking members of other denominations for their kind and material assistant in the matter.

The new church is built of brick and is a substantial and handsome building. The nave is 40 feet long and 25 feet wide. The original plan shows the nave 50 feet with chancel and sacristy, which are to be constructed in the future, being deferred for the present owing to want of sufficient funds. The edifice as built is quite large enough for present requirements. Messrs Gunn, of Launceston were the builders and Mr Luttrel architect.

Wellington Times, 17 July 1897

Catholic Church to be Re-built
Owing to the leakage through the wall which were of solid brick, it has been deemed necessary to demolish the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, which has stood in an unfinished state for more than thirty years. The work of dismantling has already commenced and it is intended, as soon as the site is cleared, to commence a new brick church, using the existing foundations, the new church will be modelled on the Romanesque style, the plans having been drawn by Mr H.S. East of Launceston. It is not intended to in crease the seating accommodation, but merely to add the sanctuary and sacristy which were not included in the old building. The reconstruction is in the hands of Mr. K. W. Howe of Launceston, and it is hoped that the building will be complete, and ready for use early in the New Year. The contract price for the building complete is £1985, including £30 for contingencies.

Circular Head Chronicle, 8 October 1930

Roman Catholic Church:
The work of demolishing the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea was started on Monday, to make room for the proposed new church of the same name. Ono of the chief faults in the old church, which was built 32 years ago, is that the walls were solid, no cavity being left to prevent moisture coming through, and they there fore leak. The new building, of which Mr. H. S. East, of Launceston, is the architect, is to be Romanesque in design. The contractor is Mr. K. Howe, of Launceston. The building will be about 20 feet longer than the old one, the addition comprising the Sanctuary and Sacristies. The seating accommodation will also be slightly more than in the old building. It is expected that the new church will be finished before Christmas, and in the meantime divine service will be conducted in the large dining-room of the Presbytery, which has been set up as a chapel.

Advocate, 8 October 1930

(former) Wesleyan Chapel, Ross


Corner of High & Bond Streets. Opened 1839.
The date stone above is now located at the larger church that replaced the chapel in 1885.

The foundation stone of a new Wesleyan Chapel was laid at Ross Bridge on Monday last, by B. Horne, Esq., J. P.
Hobart Town Courier, 1 June 1838


THE WESLEYAN CHAPEL at Ross will be opened for Divine Worship, on Friday the 27th instant, when a Sermon will be preached by the Rev. John Waterhouse, of Hobart Town. Service to commence at eleven o’clock in the morning. On Sunday, the 29th instant, a Sermon will be preached in the above Chapel, by the Rev. J. A. Manton, of New Norfolk :
service to commence at three o’clock in the afternoon.

The Wesleyan Chapel at Campbell Town, will be opened for Divine Worship on Sunday, the 29th instant, when a Sermon will be preached by the Rev. J. Water house. Service to commence at eleven o’clock in the morning.

A Collection will be made at the close of each service, in aid of the funds of these Chapels.
Ross, Sept. 17, 1839.

Launceston Advertiser, 26 September 1839

Photo of ruined door and part of interior (page 18).
Drawing of chapel, referenced in photo of door.


Sign outside current Uniting Church.

(site of) Trinity Anglican Church, Launceston (first)

Cnr Cameron & George Streets
1844 – 1902. Replaced by Holy Trinity.


The Courier, 6 November 1840

THE Foundation Stone of the NEW CHURCH in Launceston, (which it is proposed to dedicate to the Holy Trinity) will be laid on Wednesday, the 22nd September instant, by the Commandant Major St Maur, who has contented to undertake tab office. The Committee, Clergy, and friends of the Church of England, are requested to observe, that it is proposed to assemble at St John’s Church, at 2 o’clock precisely, and proceed from thence to the rite at the corner of George and Cameron-streets. Adequate arrangements will be made for the accommodation of ladies’ and the public, to witness the proceedings. In the Evening, Divine Service will be performed in St. John’s Church, and a Sermon for the occasion will be preached by the Rev. R. R. Davies. Service to commence at half-past six o’clock. After which a collection will be made in aid of the funds for the building.

Launceston Advertiser, 16 September

Looking across site of original church to the new one.

We had not space in our last number to record the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the new church in his town on Wednesday week last. Several hundred of the inhabitants were present to witness it, amongst which we were pleased to see a few sectarians, indeed, we hope, with a liberality of feeling for the success of the interesting object. Several ministers of the Established Church assisted in the service, and our much respected Commandant Major St. Maur laid the stone, under which was the deposited the various s coins of the realm, according to common usage.
Cornwall Chronicle, 2 October 1841

Launceston Examiner, 7 December 1842

Launceston Examiner, 24 December 1842

“View of the original Holy Trinity Church, Launceston Tasmania” (From QVMAG Collection, QVM:1983:P:2708)

c. 1904 (From QVMAG Collection, QVM:1989.P.0592.)

Interior photo

Interior. (From QVMAG Collection, QVM:1988.P.0607)

“View of the old and new Holy Trinity Church, Launceston,Tasmania c-1904” (From QVMAG Collection, QVM:1986.P.0621.)

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
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(Former) Wesleyan Chapel, Cameron Street, Launceston

Cameron Street, Launceston
Demolished 1898.

The first Wesleyan Chapel in Launceston, and second place of worship, was opened in 1827 on the site of what is now the Holy Trinity Church of England. It closed the following year due to not having a preacher and was sold to the government, who used the building as a school. The article at the bottom of this post outlines the history of the building until its final days.

Site of chapel, now occupied by Holy Trinity.

View from Windmill Hill, 1860s. Chapel can be seen in the centre, to the right of the Trinity Church.
(cropped from photo in QVMAG Collection, QMV:1983:P:1196)

QVM-1991-P-0107 View of the Wesleyan Chapel, Launceston, Tasmania, c 1900. Copied from another source
Photo from the QVMAG Collection (QVM-1991-P-0107) “View of the Wesleyan Chapel , Launceston, Tasmania, c-1900”
(City School moved to the “premises adjoining Trinity Church” in 1895, so photo is 1895-98
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Bethel Chapel, Launceston

BETHEL CHAPEL. THE want of accommodation for public worship at the wharf, has long been a subject of regret. Services have sometimes been held during summer on the decks of vessels, but no united effort has been made in this town to supply the spiritual destitution of seamen visiting the port. It is seldom that sailors leave their vessels on the Sabbath to enter a church; but a bethel chapel is peculiarly their own; and at Sydney and Hobart Town the attendance is generally good. We are gratified to learn, that his Excellency has acceded to a request recently made, and has sanctioned the erection of a place of worship on the wharf for the use of seafaring men. The chapel will be built by public subscription, on the north side, and immediately adjoining the custom-house shed, and sup plied in rotation by clergymen belonging to various denominations.
Launceston Examiner, 19 July 1845

ERRATUM.-The Bethel Chapel will be erected on the south side of the custom-house shed, and not on the north, as erroneously printed in our last.
Launceston Examiner, 23 July 1845

Bethel 5 November 1845 Cornwall Chronicle
Cornwall Chronicle, 5 November 1845
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St Paul’s Anglican Church, Launceston

Opened 12 May 1861.

Demolished 1975 to make way for new Launceston General Hospital building. Parts of the church buildings including the stained glass windows and organ were re-used in St Paul’s at Low Head.
Photos and information about the windows.
Photos and information about the organ

History of church and parish to 1904

Cleveland St, with St Pauls on the left c.1870
Charles St Cemetery with St Pauls in the background