Showing posts from October, 2018

No. 273 - 'Christ Church' at Exton

The village of Exton lies between the towns of Deloraine and Westbury on the old Bass Highway. It was first known as Marsh Paddocks, a name that shared by the Marsh Paddock Inn that was build in 1850 to serve the coach industry. A Wesleyan Methodist church was established at Exton in 1855. Nearly 50 years later the Anglicans followed suite with the establishment of a small church on the corner of Station Lane. The church no longer exists having closed in 1986 and demolished around 1990. There is little published news about the church although a report from the Daily Telegraph in December 1901 describes the opening service: “A new Church of England has recently been built at Exton, and Wednesday last was the opening dedication, which attracted a very large gathering of people from many miles around. The Archdeacon of Launceston came from Hobart to preside, and, assisted by the vicar of Hagley and Dr. Craig, made the formal gift of the church, with the title of Christ's Church, to th

No. 272 - East Devonport - Methodist Church (1883)

Before the official proclamation which established the town of Devonport in 1890, two seperate townships had developed on either side of the Mersey River; Torquay on the east and Formby on the west. Of the two towns, Torquay was the most developed. East of Torquay farmers settled along the coast from North Down to Port Sorrel and in 1851 the discovery of coal at Tarleton initiated a period of growth for the town. After the discovery of coal at Tarleton a number of Methodists decided to establish a Methodist church to serve the faithful in the area. In 1853 services were conducted in the open air and a Sunday school was opened by Mr Surft at the coal mines. In 1857, the first Methodist Minister, Rev. G. Lough was appointed to the Mersey District and meetings were held near Cockers Point at Tarleton. In the same year a fundraising ‘tea meeting’ in aid of church building funds was held in a tent made from sails loaned by Captain W. Holyman. Before a church was built at Torquay servi

No. 271 - St Mary's at Bridgewater - 'A Very Ecclesiastical Looking Little Church'

Built in 1873, St Mary’s at Bridgewater is showing its age. Its dilapidated appearance, juxtaposed against Bridgewater’s ‘Golden Arches’, masks a somewhat unfortunate history which goes back to 1862. The building is in fact the result of a second attempt to build a church on this site. The story of the first church began in September 1861 when a tender from “Mr Reason of Glenorchy” was “considered the most acceptable”. ‘Mr Bastow’ of Hobart designed the building at a cost of £500. The foundation stone was laid on Wednesday 12 February 1862. A miscommunication somewhat marred the occasion according to the correspondent for the Hobart Mercury: “Yesterday the ceremony of the laying of the foundation stone of a new structure for religious worship in connection with the Church of England, on ground situated at the Pontville side of Bridgewater, took place, according to announcement at noon. His Excellency Colonel Gore Browne, being en route for the North, the opportunity was taken to a

No. 270 - Holy Trinity Anglican Church at St Marys

All that remains of the original Holy Trinity church at St Marys is the foundation stone.  The timber church was demolished, ostensibly because of structural concerns. It was replaced with a functional brick building some years ago. The reason for the church being demolished rather than restored is unclear and there are still questions as why this course of action was taken. There is very little substantive information about the old church on Trove although there is a report in the Daily Telegraph about the laying of the foundation stone on Wednesday 22 July 1896: “Wednesday… was quite a red-letter day here, the event being the laying of the foundation stone of Holy Trinity Church. At 3pm a procession was formed at the Sunday school-room, headed by the children bearing their banners… The church committee, etc., were arranged on a platform. The office was read by the rector, assisted by the Rev. C.F. L’Oste, and during the service the secretary read a copy of the document placed in the

No. 269 - St David's at Port Arthur - 'No Better Omen'

St David’s is a unique Tasmanian church in that it is a functioning church within the precinct of a historic tourist site. In was built in 1927 to replace the original convict church that was gutted by fire in 1884. After the closure of the Port Arthur prison in 1877, the site was renamed Carnarvon, after the 4th Earl of Carnarvon, who had been the British Secretary of State for the Colonies. During the 1880s, land was auctioned and a township developed. Devastating bushfires in 1895 and 1897 destroyed many old buildings and gutted the Penitentiary, Separate Prison and Hospital. After the destruction of the convict church, for a time, residents worshipped in the old Asylum which also served as the town hall. By the 1920’s residents of Port Arthur formed a committee to establish a new Anglican church for the township. The laying of the foundation stone for the new church took place in May 1927. The heavy rains at the time were seen as a good omen: “It was raining heavily throughout the

No. 268 - The Carr Villa Crematorium Chapels at Launceston

A previous blog entry investigated the original Carr Villa funeral chapel and gatehouse built in 1905 at the time of the cemetery’s opening. [ LINK HERE ] This entry will focus on the Carr Villa crematorium chapels built in 1937 as well as other fascinating aspects of Launceston’s general cemetery. The revival of interest in cremation in Europe and the United States began in the mid 19th century with the rise of large cities and increased health hazards associated with crowded cemeteries. It was not until 1884 that a British court ruled cremations to be a legal procedure. The first crematorium in Australia was built in 1925 at Rookwood cemetery, New South Wales. In was inevitable that Launceston would follow this trend. In 1912 the ‘Cremation Society of Tasmania’ was formed and petitioned Launceston Council to build a crematorium at Carr Villa.(1) Although the council was prepared to make land available to the Society at Carr Villa, it was not prepared to provide financial support.