No. 120 - St John's Anglican Church Railton - (1955)

Railton is a country town approximately 20 kilometres south of Devonport. The settlement was first known as Redwater Creek. The name Railton was in use from the 1860s when a tramline was built through the area. When the railway arrived in the 1870s it was to have a significant impact on the town which gained a new hotel and a public hall as well as several churches.

The Anglican presence at Railton can be dated to 1885 and the first church, a simple wooden building opened in 1888. [see No. 1157] The church while small, served the Railton Anglican community for over 60 years. 

Active planning for a new church began in 1946. In 1953 the construction of the new building began. It is noteworthy that the building of this church was a community effort with 6000 cement bricks being cast by church members on the property of the Goliath Portland Cement Company. (This was the company supplied the cement for the Sydney Harbour Bridge). All the foundation work, prior to the laying of the bricks, was completed by the voluntary labour of 24 men who laid four tons of cement and 27 yards of gravel within the space of a day.

Bishop Cranswick attended the foundation stone laying ceremony in 1953 where he:

“Congratulated everyone connected with the work on the new church. He said it would be of great value to Railton and the surrounding districts. He mentioned specially the women who had worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the occasion”.

The building, which was designed by Tabor Vaso, is described as a ‘fine Gothic design’. It was built at a cost of £2500. The cement brickwork lends the church an eclectic mix of modern and functional cement brick contrasted with the classic gothic form of pointed arched windows. 

The church was rededicated in July 1956  and consecrated in 1962. 

A note on St John’s Church Cemetery

When I visited the church the cemetery is in an overgrown state but the headstones are in generally good condition. One stone of interest is that of Lance Corporal Arthur Stanley Hoodless and Private Cyril James Hoodless, brothers who both died within months of each on the Western Front in 1917. Photographs of the two brothers have been sourced from the Imperial War Museum’s Bonds of Sacrifice Collection.


A complete list of names of burial may be found HERE

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

The old church hall. 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

   Private Cyril James Hoodless - source Imperial War Museum (HU 115860)
Arthur Stanley Hoodless - Source Imperial War Museum IWM (HU 115859)



Sources:

The Advocate Friday 20 March 1953 
The Advocate Tuesday 30 March 1954
The Advocate Friday 30 November 1953

Henslowe, Dorothea I. and Hurburgh, Isa.  Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania / by Dorothea I. Henslowe ; sketches by Isa Hurburgh; 1978




Comments

  1. I have photos of all of the existing headstones

    ReplyDelete
  2. I only took a few photos...that must have been a big job. Do you have them online?

    ReplyDelete

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