No. 392 - Butleigh Hill Methodist Church at Cressy

The Butleigh Hill Methodist church once stood at the junction of Maitland and Green Rises Road approximately 3 kilometres north-east of the town of Cressy. Its name is derived from Butleigh Hill Farm, which in turn derived its name from the town of Butleigh, in Somerset, England. The block of land on which the church stood was donated by Frederick Look Frampton, who himself  came from, or near Butleigh in England. A Sunday-school room and a caretakers cottage were also built on the site.

The church opened in 1860 but little else is known about its earliest years. The first service, held in January, was conducted by Mr John Crooks, a Launceston merchant and lay preacher. In 1891 the church’s trust was resuscitated and two of the original trustees, Samuel Wright and Charles Brumby were joined by Robert Murfett, William Hingston, George Knight and James Shipp. In 1896 the trust enlarged the church and a bell organ was purchased in 1906. In the following year the church was renovated with the interior lined with pine and the ceiling raised and replaced with hardwood. In 1910 a vestry was added to the building.

When the church was built the contract included a caretakers residence and this also functioned as a Sunday-school. In 1910 a new Sunday schoolroom was built and this was also used as a day school rented by the Department of Education. The school closed in 1920 and the building was dismantled two years later.

On Wednesday 5 November 1947 the church was gutted by a fire in the early hours of the morning. The Mercury reported:

“The fire was noticed about 2am by Mr N. Greig, of Green Rise Rd… Intense heat made it impossible to save the church furnishings, which included an organ. The weatherboard church was insured for about £150. It is estimated it would cost £1000 to rebuild and replace it. The fire started in the front of the church, and the cause is unknown…”

The church was never rebuilt and nothing of it remains apart from a small cemetery. The headstones were removed the original site to a fenced off area in a nearby paddock.

A rare photograph of the Butleigh Hill church - (undated).  With thanks to Ivan Badcock for providing the photograph

Source: Examiner, Thursday 6 November 1947 - Note the Mercury describes the church as being eight miles from cressy. The northern newspaper, The Examiner, more accurately stated that it was three miles from Cressy.

The site of the Butleigh Hill Church - photo: Duncan Grant 2019

An enclosure with headstones from the original cemetery 

Outbuildings on Butleigh Hill Farm - Source: Landmark Harcourts 


Daily Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 26 October 1910, page 5
Examiner, Monday 20 May 1907, page 7
Examiner, Saturday 11 January 1930, page 5 (2)
Mercury, Thursday 6 November 1947, page 22
Examiner, Thursday 6 November 1947, page 2


  1. Hello Duncan,
    Thank you so much for this information.My Great Great Grandfather was Frederick Look Frampton which is why I am so interested. Was there a bell with he Church??
    Lynette Stuart

  2. Somewhere I have a similar photo. The vehicle is that of my father, who was the Methodist minister, Rev J Russell Orton, who was based in Longford from 1941 to 1945.

  3. Again I thank you for all the information given but a question I am asking if "Was there a bell on this Church please" If so did the bell come out from England with the Hingston family, my great great great grandfather (Father of the wife of Frederick Look Frampton). Is there a record anywhere of the people buried in the cemetary which has been desecrated unfortunately. Amongst the out buildings still remaining is the original home which was 2 story and was converted into a stable when the Stubb family owned the property. It does not look too much like a house now but I have a photo of Great great grandfather with a pumpkin standing near the verandah proudly showing it off. Another question is "Where is the silver cup won for the Best farm in the Northern Midlands please? I am putting together the history of the Frampton family and this information is very important for me to document. I was Lynette Frampton before I married and I am the eldest remaining Frampton.Perhaps someone can tell me the names of all the Ministers who preached in this Church as well. All this would be great! Thank you. my personal email is or phone me on 0409965341

  4. I was thrilled to find this information. For years I have been trying to find out where Butleigh Hill is located. I imagined it was a town or geographical area but I recently acquired a biography of the Byard family of northern Tasmania. Butleigh Hill is referred to many times and it dawned on me that this is (was) in fact the name of a large farm (estate) close to Cressy. My interest is in relation to a bequest that Bible Society Tasmania received in approx. 1920 from the estate of Mr Hingston of Butleigh Hill. Soon after, that bequest enabled the purchase of Bible Society's first motor vehicle in Tasmania, an acquisition that was a huge benefit to Bible Society. (To quote the 1931 Annual Report, "An analysis of returns from various centres shows the downright necessity of deputational work and the value of the motor car for this purpose"). So thank you for posting this!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Churches of Tasmania

No. 624 - Dunalley - St Martin's Anglican Church - "In grateful memory of the men who fought in the Great War"

No. 592 - Gretna - St Mary the Virgin - "Worthy of Imitation"