No. 833 - Campbell Town - Howley Lodge Chapel

Campbell Town is a sizeable rural centre on the Midland Highway approximately 70 kilometres south of Launceston. It was named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie when his party encamped here in 1821 on their way to Hobart. Macquarie chose the site as one of four garrison towns between Hobart and Launceston.

 In 1833 the first Anglican service at Campbell Town was held in the old Police Court. In 1835 colonial architect John Lee Archer drew up plans for an Anglican church. In the same year Governor George Arthur laid the foundation stone for St Luke’s. However, serious defects in the structure meant that it had to be rebuilt from the windows up which delayed the church’s opening until 1839.

The delay in building a church may have persuaded Campbell Town’s first Anglican Minister, Reverend William Bedford Jnr., to build a private chapel at his residence, Howley Lodge.

William Bedford settled at Campbell Town in 1833, after returning from England where he completed his studies at Cambridge in 1831. After his appointment as the district’s first Anglican minster and was to serve as rector until 1854. Bedford was the son of Reverend “Holy Willie” Bedford, the colourful successor to Robert Knopwood, the first chaplain of Van Dieman’s Land.

Howley Lodge was Bedford’s private residence. Only later was a rectory acquired by the Anglican Church, situated adjacent to Howley Lodge and which was used by Bedford’s successors. Howley Lodge was built over a number of years, starting off as a small stone cottage followed by stables and a private chapel. The the construction of the main house began when Bedford’s wife left England to join him. The Lodge is named after his wife’s home village of ‘Howley’ in Somerset.

One peculiarity of the layout of the buildings of Howley Lodge is that the early buildings (the cottage, stables and chapel), all face south as if they were situated in the northern hemisphere. However, the main house faces east as the direction of sun was taken into consideration.

While the Howley Lodge chapel is no longer consecrated and would not be easily recognisable as a place of worship, it is of historical importance as it is the first purpose built church in Campbell Town.

                                   Howley Lodge - Libraries Tasmania

                     Howley Lodge - undated photograph - Libraries Tasmania -item NS165-1-64

                    The former chapel at Howley Lodge - photo courtesy of Harcourts Real Estate (2010)

                       Howley Lodge Main House - photo courtesy of Harcourts Real Estate (2010)


Sources:

Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954), Monday 4 December 1933, page 8

Mercury, Saturday 30 March 1940, page 3

Howley Lodge: an examination of home:
https://hennyhamilton.wixsite.com/lifestyledesign/single-post/2015/10/21/Howley-Lodge-an-examination-of-home

Von Stieglitz, K.R (1948). A Short History of Campbell Town and the Midland Pioneers, Telegraph Printery PTY LTD, Launceston 

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/166809163/16553837


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