No. 719 - Launceston - The George Street Chapel

The historic colonial cottage located at 150 George Street Launceston was for a time used as a place of worship. After locating the building’s listing on the Tasmanian heritage register, I assumed that it was originally built as a chapel and later converted into a house.

The register’s statement of significance notes that the building is an “early colonial cottage with previous residential and religious functions”. It is also states that the building was “originally used as a chapel”.

However, the cottage’s status and function as a chapel is in fact relatively recent. The Launceston Examiner’s 1976 publication, “History in Trust”, a collection of newspaper articles on the city’s historic buildings, is a useful source of information about the building’s origins and use:

“The land in this part of George Street…was granted to Geoffrey Eager, who arrived in Launceston in 1830….William Lachlan Jordan bought the land from Eager in 1834 and built the house, recently known as the Georgian Chapel…. In 1860 the property belonged to Henry Reading, who owned a great deal of real estate in Launceston. At that time his tenant was the Rev. Augustus Barkway, rector of St. Paul’s Church of England, and in 1870 it was James Ballard. Sarah Gladman lived there in 1898”.

The article goes on to discuss the architecture of the building and its development:

“The ravages of redevelopment have left this building, externally at least, the best example of an early colonial cottage in Launceston….A few years ago the interior was gutted to provide a chapel for the Christian Revival Crusade, the present owners, … took much care to preserve the exterior….”.

The Christian Revival Crusade, a Pentecostal denomination, had only brief possession of the building. After its use as a chapel, the cottage became a business premises and more recently was converted back to its original function as a residence.

150 George Street - A photograph taken in 1974 when the cottage was used as a chapel. Source: Libraries Tasmania

The cottage in 2018 - my photograph

An extension at the rear of  the building - its function is unknown. (2018) my photograph

Sources:

National Trust of Australia (Tasmania). Northern Division Launceston's history in trust. The Examiner], [Launceston, 1977.

The Register of National Estate, Record Identifier 12165

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