No. 73 - Waterton Hall Chapel - Brady's Chapel

In 1911 Charles Brady, one of the pioneers of orcharding in the West Tamar district, and a devout Anglican, bought the Waterton Estate at Rowella, which had a Georgian house dating back to the 1860’s. This was enlarged considerably by the architect Alexander North who changed its appearance to that of a Tudor building which included an attached chapel. The Anglican residents of Rowella and Kayena were to use this chapel for over 30 years.

In 1949, the Roman Catholic Church purchased Waterton Hall. The furnishings of the chapel were removed to St Stephens, a new church built for Rowella's Anglican community. Amongst the items removed from the chapel were a clamshell font from Papua New Guinea, in memory of Sister May Hayman, one of the ‘New Guinea Martyrs’ and the rose window, which was a memorial to Alexander North.

In 1951, the Catholic Archbishop of Hobart Dr. E. V. Tweedy opened Waterton Hall College for Girls at ‘St Joseph's Waterton Hall', run by the Sisters of St Joseph's and which boarded girls aged between 6 and 12. In 1952, the School became an approved institution for British child migrants but it never received any.

After the School closed in the late 1960’s, the Church used the buildings for the Commonwealth funded Trident Outdoor Recreation Scheme that took Catholic students from High Schools in Tasmania. Between 1978 and about 1991, the St Vincent de Paul Society used the buildings as a hostel for homeless boys. This became the focus of a national scandal when it was discovered that a murderer and prison escapee had been living at Waterton under an assumed name for 16 months.

Subsequently Waterton Hall was sold by the Catholic Church. In 2013 it became a winery, joining a growing industry of wine estates in the Tamar region.


Additional notes of interest:

The chapel bell which is at the barn at Waterton originates from the Launceston fire station. Another of these bells went to the Holy Trinity Church at Beaconsfield.



St Stephens Church has since been closed and was removed to Montgomery Park south of Hobart. It is not known what became of the clamshell or memorial window with the removal of the church.

Sister Hayman was one of 12 Anglicans murdered by the Japanese in ‘Papua New Guinea’ during World War Two. The Anglican Church in Australia has set this day aside to remember the twelve martyrs who died in Papua New Guinea during the Japanese invasion in 1942-43.

Waterton Hall with the chapel in the foreground.

A detail of the chapel on the north side of the building.

A general view of Waterton Hall

Sources:

Examiner Wednesday 11 April 1951
Examiner Monday 30 April 1951
Examiner Wednesday 15 September 1957
Find and Connect - History and Information about Australian Orphanages - Waterton Hall
W T Southerwood, Planting A Faith, 1968.


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