No. 475 - Thirlstane Methodist Church

Thirlstane is a farming district near Port Sorell and is about 20 kilometres east of Devonport. The name is derived from the former Thirlstane estate that covered a large part of the area. In the 1890’s it was anticipated that Thirlstane would develop into a town but this was never realised. In 1893 a report published in the Launceston Examiner described the settlement at Thirlstane:

“The Thirlstane township, which is attractively situated, constitutes a remarkably handy centre for the operations of the surrounding districts, the productive and thickly populated districts of Moriarty, Northdown Valley, and Sassafras being in close proximity. The settlement contains an excellently kept state school, a Town Hall, Weslesyan Church, while St. George's Anglican Church is within easy distance…”

The Wesleyan church opened on Sunday 8 November 1891, which was described in a report published in the North Coast Standard:

“The opening celebration…took place on Sunday last, the Rev. W. Burridge minister of the Mersey circuit, in which the church is situated, preached at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., two earnest and impressive sermons….The congregations on each occasion were large, the church being well filled, Miss A. Robinson presiding at the organ”.

The church was situated alongside the Thirlstane Hall and was built at a cost £224. The site for the church was donated by Mr R .D. Stewart who also made a substantial contribution to the building fund. There is no description of the church apart from a reference to it as “the prettiest church in the district” and that it was situated on land large enough to accomodate a Sunday school and parsonage.

The township of Thirlstane did not develop as anticipated and consequently, a little over a decade after it opened, services at the church ceased and the building was removed to East Devonport, where it was used as a Sunday school for the Methodist Church. The ultimate fate of the old Thirlstane church is not known although it was probably demolished in the 1960’s at the same time at the East Devonport Methodist church. I have yet to come across a photograph of the East Devonport Sunday school, which might be the only image which exists of the old Thirlstane church.

North Coast Standard, Saturday 7 November 1891


Photo: Ozroads.com.au

The location of Thirlstane - placenames.gov.tas.au

North Coast Standard, Saturday 7 November 1891

North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Saturday 6 June 1903

Sources:

Launceston Examiner, Tuesday 6 October 1891, page 4
North Coast Standard, Saturday 7 November 1891, page 3
North Coast Standard, Wednesday 11 November 1891, page 2
North West Post, Saturday 14 November 1891, page 4
Launceston Examiner, Thursday 27 April 1893, page 3

North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 4 June 1903, page 2
North Western Advocate and Emu Bay Times, Saturday 6 June 1903, page 4
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Friday 26 June 1903, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Friday 3 July 1903, page 2
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Saturday 10 October 1903, page 2


 

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