No. 546 - Carrick - Wesleyan-Methodist Church (1857-1922)

Carrick is a small town on the Bass Highway approximately 15 west of Launceston. The area was first settled in 1823 and was originally known as Lyttleton, after Captain William Thomas Lyttleton who was granted over 1300 acres of land in 1825. Carrick has many historic buildings including Monds Flour Mill and St Andrew’s Anglican Church. [see No. 58] Carrick once had a Wesleyan Methodist chapel which was demolished in the 1930’s.

Information about Carrick’s Wesleyan-Methodist church is limited. I have established that the chapel opened in 1857 (see public notice below) and was situated on the northern boundary of the village on the corner of Ashburner and Liffey Streets. (see map below) It was a small weatherboard building which was also used as a Sunday School from 1864. In 1865 a report in the Launceston Examiner, on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Sunday school, gives an indication of the Chapel’s limited size:

“The Wesleyan Sunday School Anniversary was held in the Wesleyan Chapel. A large tent was thrown in front of the door, so as to afford more room. The Rev. Mr. Lehan delivered an excellent sermon. On Monday there was a tea meeting. The spread consisted of the choiciest gifts of nature, and was done ample justice to by about a hundred persons…”

From 1878 the local public school was used for Sunday school anniversaries with the “chapel being considered too small”.

In 1872 an organ was purchased for the chapel by Thomas Monds, proprietor of Carrick’s Monds Flour Mill. Thomas Monds and his family were important benefactors and supporters of the Chapel. Thomas Monds served as superintendent of the Methodist Sunday school for a period of 17 years and chaired the Wesleyan Home Mission. One of Mond’s two daughters played the organ at services until 1888 when the family moved to Launceston:

“A meeting was held in the Wesleyan Church on Monday evening last for the purpose of appointing an organist in succession to Miss Monds, who, with her parents and a portion of the family, are leaving the township to reside in Launceston. A good proportion of the congregation were present, and Miss Virginia Robertson and Miss Flora Monds, who had expressed their willingness to act, were appointed as joint organists. Mr. C. D. Robertson then, in a few well chosen words, presented Miss Monds, on behalf of the congregation, with a handsome sealskin muff, a sealskin hand-bag, and two handsomely bound volumes of poems, at the same time conveying to Miss Monds the thanks of the congregation for her valuable services during a period of nine years. A written testimonial also was presented. Mr. Monds returned thanks on behalf of his daughter, and said the presentation was quite unexpected, and would, in consequence, be all the more appreciated, especially as being the gift of such a small congregation, it showed a large amount of liberality. Mr. Monds then reviewed his long residence of over 20 years at Carrick, referring in kindly terms to the many old friends who, in the course of that time, had been called away, or had removed to other parts, all of whom were missed from such a small community; and concluded a thoughtful speech by saying… that although changing his place of abode his interests in Carrick and its surroundings would be the same as ever, as a part of his family would remain and his business would necessitate him often visiting the old home. A hymn and a prayer then concluded a very pleasant meeting”.

The departure of Monds senior undoubtedly contributed to the chapel’s subsequent decline although he continued to support it financially for a time. In 1891 a correspondent to the Daily Telegraph complained about the condition of the fence which enclosed the chapel:

“The fact is that the fence, though old, was good enough to keep out pigs and cattle, until some thievish person in the neighbourhood commenced to pull it down and carry it away for fuel, and as cattle, pigs and horses are allowed to run about the streets of the township without any interference on the part of the authorities, of course they find their way into the chapel grounds to the great annoyance of those who assemble at the service”.

Monds agreed to to pay half the cost for a new fence and the rest was raised by the Launceston Wesleyan choir who held a fundraising concert in Carrick’s “public room”.

The date of the Chapel’s closure is not known but it was probably a short time after its 50th anniversary in 1907. In 1922 at the Annual Sessions of the Tasmanian Methodist Assembly a resolution was passed to sell the church and the land at Carrick. It is believed that it was used as a house for a time but nothing now remains of the building.


Carrick at the turn of the century (1900) Source: Libraries Tasmania PH30/4443

Launceston Examiner, Thursday 23 April 1857

Detail of a map showing the location of the Chapel.  Source: Libraries Tasmania AF721/1/156 - An earlier map shows land allocated for a Wesleyan Chapel on Church Street - near the site of Hawthorn Villa - built by Thomas Monds in 1875.

Monds Roller Mill -  Source: (Spurling) Libraries Tasmania LPIC-20-1-2

The Monds Family - undated (possibly 1890-1900) Mr and Mrs William Monds are in the centre of the photograph the remaining family members are not identified.  Source: Libraries Tasmania PH30-1-4472

Cornwall Advertiser, Tuesday 24 June 1873

Sources:

Launceston Examiner, Thursday 23 April 1857, page 1
The Cornwall Chronicle, Saturday 25 April 1857, page 4
Launceston examiner, Thursday 2 November 1865, page 2
Cornwall Advertiser, Tuesday 24 June 1873, page 8
Weekly Examiner, Saturday 11 December 1875, page 16
The Cornwall Chronicle, Monday 2 July 1877, page 3
The Tasmanian, Saturday 7 December 1878, page 12
The Tasmanian, 
Saturday 18 August 1888, page 22
Daily Telegraph, Monday 13 July 1891, page 3
Launceston Examiner, Monday 24 August 1891, page 4
Examiner, Saturday 11 May 1907 p 9
North Western Advocate and the Emu Bay Times, Thursday 11 May 1916, page 3 (Monds Obituary)
Advocate, Wednesday 25 October 1922, page 4


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