No. 673 - Molesworth - St Aidan's Anglican Church (1905-1975)

Molesworth is a village approximately 8 kilometres east of New Norfolk. It is named after Molesworth Jeffery, a prominent figure in the district and Geographer General of Van Diemen's Land and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Three religious denominations were active in Molesworth in the early years of the settlement. In 1912 it was reported that the Methodists used the local hall as a place of worship while the Plymouth Brethren “held services in a large room at Mr. C.F. Eiszele’s residence”. The Anglican’s used the Molesworth State school for services until a “commodious church”, St Aidan’s, was built in 1905.

Little information exists about the church’s establishment. A report in the Mercury in July 1905 provides a few details:

“Before the year expires a Church of England will be erected in the locality,…. It will be built with wood, and those who have seen the plans say that the building, when finished, will present a neat appearance. The site has been kindly given by Mr. C.F. Eiszele….The new church is expected to be opened in November…”.

In July 1905 another report in the Mercury reveals that the new church was to receive one of the bells from St Mathew’s in New Norfolk which had been removed following the development of structural problems with the church tower. The bell was one of a chime of eight which had hung in the “convict church” at Port Arthur. A further detail about the building is that it was designed by Robert Flack Ricards, a prominent southern architect who is associated with the design of the Hobart City Hall and the Hobart Athenaeum club.

Although the Molesworth church was completed before the end of 1905 it was not consecrated until 18 January 1906. Services were held at the church until the 1970s. The church was sold in 1975 and subsequently converted into a house. I have yet to find a photograph of St Aidan’s before the conversion of the building and have used a real estate photograph and a Google street-view image for this article.

* Additional information and sources about the church and building are most welcome as all articles are updated. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: <Churches of Tasmania>.

Photograph courtesy of PRD Real Estate 2013


Photograph courtesy of PRD Real Estate 2013

A Google street-view image of the church

The Mercury - August 1905

Sources:

Mercury, Friday 27 July 1905, page 7
Mercury, Friday 28 July 1905, page 8
Mercury, Saturday 5 August 1905, page 8
Mercury, Thursday 4 October 1906, page 8
Mercury, Tuesday 5 November 1912, page 3
Daily Post, Friday 15 November 1912, page 8


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