No. 46 - Entally House Chapel - A Footnote to a Grand House

This blog entry is a challenge because this chapel is a footnote to the magnificent Entally House at Hadspen west of Launceston. 

The Entally Estate was established in 1819 by Thomas Haydock Reibey II in Hadspen, Tasmania.  Reibey had worked in the East India company which inspired the house being named after the suburb of Entally in Calcutta, India. He was the eldest son of Thomas Reibey Snr. and Mary Reibey who, as 14-year-old Mary Haydock, was transported to the colony of New South Wales in 1792 as punishment for stealing a horse.  In 1794 she married Reibey, a junior marine officer, and together they had seven children. After her husband’s death in 1811, Mary (whose face is featured on the $20 note) took over his businesses and, through hard work and enterprise, amassed vast landholdings in NSW and Tasmania.  Her grandson, also Thomas Reibey, was the Premier of Tasmania from 1876 to 1877 and later resident at Entally.

The estate has some interesting firsts including the cricket pitch, which was one of the first Australian grounds to hold games and has hosted many iconic players including William Gilbert Grace during his 1874 tour of the country. The property also boasts Australia's oldest conservatory. It is currently leased by Virgin Australia co-founder Rob Sherrard and forms part of a business venture. Now on to the chapel!

The chapel seems to have been built in the 1850’s probably upon the return of the Reibeys from visiting England. It is thought that Colonial architect John Lee Archer was the designer. The chapel was used for regular services by Thomas Reibey (who was also archdeacon of Launceston) between 1882 and 1912.

Sadly, most of its original fittings are gone and its stained glass window, altar and carved lectern and pews were transferred to the Church of the Good Shepherd in Hadspen. This will be covered in a separate blog entry. The chapel was restored in the 1950’s and a bell tower was added to make the building appear more picturesque. This has now been removed as can be seen in the photos below. 

The chapel may be a 'footnote' but it is nevertheless part of a fascinating story and has an important place in Tasmania's colonial heritage.

Photo: Duncan Grant

Photo: Duncan Grant

Photo: Duncan Grant

Photo: Duncan Grant

LINC TASMANIA: NS3195-1-3803


The Australian 30 January 2016: Mary Reibey's legacy lives on at Entally House by Holly Kerr Forsyth

The Examiner 10 January 2014: Entally Gets a new lease on life

The Australian Dictionary of Biography (Thomas Reibey)

Interpretation sign on the Chapel at Entally (2016)


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