No. 40 - The Scottish National Church Launceston - A Dutch Face Hiding A Scottish Body

This striking Federation Anglo-Dutch style building in lower Charles Street does not look much like a church. The reason for this is that it has been converted into commercial premises and has had a significant facelift. This was once the Scottish National Church, one of many 'hidden' former churches in Launceston.  It is the predecessor to St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of St. John and Patterson Streets, which replaced the Scotch Church when it opened in 1850.

In April 1831, Scottish residents in Launceston decided to build a place of worship. By October 1833 the building was completed and opened, the first minister being the Rev. James Anderson. In the interim services had been conducted in a house in Cameron Street and also in the Courthouse.

It was not long before the church proved too small for the congregation and in 1849 a grant of land at the corner of St. John and Patterson Streets, where the watch house once stood, was obtained from the Government. On October 16, 1849, Sir William Dennison, then Governor of Tasmania laid the corner stone of the new St. Andrew’s Church. The old church building in lower Charles Street was then let as a store. In 1893 Mr James Walden purchased it from the trustees of St. Andrews Church. Walden put a new front on the building to provide for two offices, and also built another story of brick. In the photographs of the building below it can be clearly seen that the windows along the sides of the first story are of an ecclesiastical design!

With lower Charles Street now being redeveloped, perhaps this buildings beauty and history will once more be appreciated.


2018 Former Scottish National Church (photo: Duncan Grant 2018)

2018 Former Scottish National Church (photo: Duncan Grant 2018)

2018 Former Scottish National Church (photo: DuncanGrant 2018)

2018 Former Scottish National Church (photo: Duncan Grant 2018)

2018 Former Scottish National Church (photo: Duncan Grant 2018)
Sources Used

Mercury Saturday 1 April 1939

Mercury Monday 25 June 1928

Examiner Saturday 27 April 1935

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