No. 332 - St Patrick's College Chapel on York Street

In 2019 St Patrick’s College at Launceston will celebrate its centenary. Catholic education at Launceston dates back to 1848 with the opening of a Catholic school erected "in a paddock" alongside St Joseph’s Catholic Church on Margaret Street. In 1849, the Inspector of Schools recorded 106 children attending St Joseph’s ‘school room’. Seventy years later, in 1918, St Patrick's College was built alongside the Church of Apostles, the successor to St Joseph’s Catholic Church. 1918 also marked the 50th anniversary of the Christian Brothers’ arrival in Australia in 1868.

In November 1918 a report in the Launceston Examiner described the completed College buildings in considerable detail. One interesting feature described was a “massive Norman-Gothic window" running the full height of the building on York Street. This window was designed to light a chapel on the first floor of the building as well as the library directly underneath. The ceiling of the chapel was of panelled oak and it had an altar made of Tasmanian blackwood with figured hardwood. In addition to the “massive” Gothic windows on the north side of the chapel, leadlight windows were installed on the eastern side of the chapel.

There is very little available information about the chapel and its function. Due to its limited size and location, it was reserved for use by the Christian Brothers. The Brothers’ residence was on York Street, in the same wing as the chapel. Apart from holding regular Mass, the chapel is also recorded as being used for at least funeral Mass. The date when the chapel ceased being used is not known. The building now houses ‘CatholicCare’ Tasmania.

St Patrick’s College is now located at a campus in Prospect which was established in 1958.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2019

The new College in 1918 alongside the Church of the Apostles. Source: Weekly Courier
The Weekly Courier Wednesday 22 November 1926

Architects plan of the new College. The chapel wing is in the top right corner. Source: Libraries Tasmania LPIC147-6-222

Catholic education began 171 years ago on a site at Church of the Apostles - Source: The Cornwall Chronicle 1848


The Cornwall Chronicle, Wednesday 1 December 1847, page 3
The Cornwall Chronicle, Wednesday 26 April 1848
The Cornwall Chronicle, Wednesday 26 September 1849, page 1
The Examiner, Monday 18 March 1918, page 7
The Examiner, Saturday 23 November 1918, page 6
The Weekly Courier Wednesday 22 November 1926


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