No. 81 - The Hadspen Wesleyan Church - A 20 Year Rest

Hadspen is a dormitory town on the South Esk River approximately 10 kilometres south west of Launceston. The early settlement was centred on a village near Reibey’s Ford. It is believed that George Frankland (Surveyor-General 1827 to 1838) named the settlement Hadspen after an estate in his native county, Somerset.  It is now a dormitory suburb of Launceston.

The Wesleyan Chapel at Hadspen was the second church established in the village, opening in 1874. At the time of the church's opening, the progress of the district's Wesleyan Methodist community was described by the Weekly Examiner:

“For upward of twenty years the Wesleyans have worshipped in the residence of Mr J. Stanley…but the great distance of the place from the township rendered it very inconvenient for several to attend. This…caused a few members to exert themselves towards raising sufficient funds for the erection of a suitable building; and their appeals were met with such a liberal response by residents of the township…that a sum sufficient to erect a building…was soon raised…. The chapel is a very substantial and well finished building and is capable of seating upwards of a hundred persons”

In July 1874 the Cornwall Advertiser records the opening services:

“On Sunday last the…new and pretty place of worship was opened… Mr Henry Reed preached in the morning and the Reverend Joseph White in the evening, to very large congregations; indeed, in the morning the service had to be held in the open air, and in the evening the building was crowded. There were no collections, as the building was opened free of debt – a fact due to the indefatigable exertions of Mr Goodger of Prospect”.

The church prospered for over half a century but closed for a period of 20 years between 1937 and 1957. It is now part of the Uniting Church and services are still held in Hadspen once a month. 

Although surrounded by recent housing development, the church still retains its cemetery although many of the headstones have disappeared. A link to a list of gravestones and burial records can be found at the bottom of the page.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018


Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Link to burial and gravestone data here: gravestone records

Sources:

M.E.J Stansall et al.  Tasmanian Methodism 1820-1975
Examiner Saturday 31 October 1874
Weekly Examiner Saturday 7 November 1874
Cornwall Advertiser Friday 3 July 1874


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