No. 718 - Claremont - St Alban's Anglican Church (1914-1981)

Claremont is a suburb of Greater Hobart. It is named after Claremont House built in the 1830s by Henry Bilton. Claremont was the home of an Army training camp during the Great War.  At the time the area had only a few scattered houses and a railway station in a largely rural setting.

The first regular Anglican services at Claremont were held from about 1908 but were limited to four meetings a year. By late 1911 a Sunday school was established and within a few years the growing population was able to support the construction of a church.

The ceremonial foundation stone laying ceremony took place on Saturday 5 July 1913. The event was reported by Mercury:

“The Governor, who was accompanied by Lady Ellison-Macartney, and attended by Major Kerr-Pearce and Mr. George Browne, I.S.O.. laid the foundation-stone of a new Anglican Church at Claremont on Saturday, in the presence of a large number of people. The new church is being erected to meet the requirements of a rapidly-growing part of the Anglican parish of Glenorchy, where the Rev. W. J. Dodson is the rector. It is to be called St. Alban’s Church, and will consist of nave, chancel, and tower, with a stone foundation and wooden superstructure, and is intended to seat about 120 people. Messrs. Alan Walker and Johnson are the architects, and the design is a very pretty one. Messrs. Valentine and Creese are the builders, the contract price being £391, and it is to be completed within three months. The land has been given by Mr. Flexmore, the site being alongside the main road, near Claremont railway station…”.

The building was eventually completed by April in the following year:

“A pretty new Anglican Church, which has been given the name of St Albans was opened at Claremont on Saturday, in the presence of a large number of people, including visitors from the city….The little church, which was nicely decorated, was filled to the doors at the opening service, which was conducted by the Very Rev J. B. Kite, Dean of Hobart, the other surpliced clergy present being the rector Rev C. Vaughan (Kingston) and Rev. D. McMichael. The Dean read the dedicatory prayers and Rev C. Vaughan the lesson….In his address the Dean said they had reason for thankfulness that they had been able to build such a beautiful little church in Claremont, and the parish was to be congratulated on the fact. The gifts towards furnishing and adorning the church formed a remarkable feature. These included altar frontals and linen, altar vases, and a font, which was the special gift of the Sunday school; the organ was partly a gift, the lectern and reading desk, front gate (given by the builders), table and chairs for the vestry, etc., were all gifts. It was proposed by a donor to erect a stained glass window in memory of the late Captain Scott….”.

The Captain Scott Memorial window was installed and dedicated in 1915. The Mercury has a record of this unusual memorial:

"Tasmania possesses its own Scott memorial. The Anglican Church of St. Alban's, Claremont, is both beautified and distinguished by its altar window commemorative of Scott's heroism. The memorial ls composed of three panels, the central one dominated by the symbolic figure of duty and courage, supporting and supported by the anchor of confidence and hope. Lilies of hope complete the central panel, and are prominent in the panels to right and left. The memorial bears the inscription, "Captain R. V. Scott perished in the Antarctic regions, March,1912. He endured unto the end, and was faithful unto death." - The gift to the church of Mrs. J. C. E. Knight, the memorial was dedicated in 1915, Lady Macartney (wife of Sir Ellison Macartney, then Governor of Tasmania), a sister of Captain Scott, being present at the dedication ceremony...".

In 1981 St Alban’s was replaced by a new church, now known as the ‘Edge Anglican’ church. The old building was sold and converted into a house. Fortunately the ‘Scott Memorial Window’ was saved and relocated to the new church which is situated on Claremont Main Road and about 500 metres from the original building.


St Alban's at Claremont - source: Libraries Tasmania

The architects drawing of the church -published in the Tasmanian Mail (1913)

Source - The Tasmanian Mail. Governor Macartney appears in the foreground of the photograph

The Scott Memorial Window - which removed to the Edge Anglican Church

The church  after its conversion into a house - (PMN Real Estate 1909)

The church  after its conversion into a house - (PMN Real Estate 1909)

Sources:

Mercury, Monday 7 July 1913, page 2
Daily Post, Monday 7 July 1913, page 3
Tasmanian Mail, July 10 1913, page 23
Mercury, Monday 20 April 1914, page 4
Mercury, Monday 31 March 1930, page 6

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978.

http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/exploration/display/101729-captain-robert-falcon-scott



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