No. 1033 - Rosebery - St George's Anglican Church (1930-2001)

Rosebery is a mining town located on the Murchison Highway approximately 60 kilometres north of Queenstown. The town’s name is taken from a mine pegged out by Tom McDonald in 1893. He named it the Rosebery Gold Mining Company after the Prime Minister of England, Lord Rosebery.

The develop of the town only took off in the 1920s. In February 1930 a visitor to Rosebery remarked on the development that had recently taken place:

“Since our last visit over three years ago, Rosebery has made immense strides, and a now town has practically arisen. Building operations are still going on to provide new houses and places of worship. Ringed around by mountains of imposing height - Mounts Murchison, Read and Black, and by lower heights, clothed by trees and bush, Rosebery is really beautifully situated, and might be considered a most delectable residential town, if it were not for the heavy rainfall, the roads, alternately dusty and muddy, and the comparatively few days of sunshine and warmth”.

“A deep gully through which flows the River Styx, separates the railway from the town, which is approached from the station by a -winding road nearly two miles long. The houses are built in irregular lines along the hill sides, or perched on bits of high ground, forming rough and unfinished streets….There are some 300 men employed in the mine and the extensive workshops surrounding it, besides builders, carpenters, etc., who are working on houses and public buildings…As regards the accommodation for religious services, there are no permanent buildings yet. The Anglican Church holds its services in the Odd Fellows, Hall, while the Methodist Church meets every Sunday for one service …in the Public Hall. Three churches are, however, in the course of erection, or are shortly to be built, for the Anglicans, the Methodists and the Roman Catholics”.

Rosebery’s Anglican community had met regularly since the first service was held in the mine’s blacksmith shop in September 1897. Thirty three years were to pass before a church was built. Dedicated to St George, the weatherboard build was officially opened in July 1930. The correspondent for Launceston’s Examiner records:

“On Sunday, June 29, services were held for the first time in the new St. George's Church of England building erected on the corner of Primrose and Murchison streets.… Four services were conducted by Venerable Archdeacon Atkinson, and the attendance at each service was large, especially the evening service, when the building was not large enough to accommodate the number who desired to be present, and several had to be excluded. …At the evening service the Archdeacon expressed his pleasure at being present to take part in the opening services of the new church. The building was a credit to the people of Rosebery, and he trusted that the attendances at future services would be in keeping with the standard set on the opening day. He referred In commendatory terms to the way in which the building had been erected. The workmanship displayed by those responsible was a credit to all concerned,…There had been a great deal of voluntary work performed, and time devoted to the church,…At the afternoon service there was a very large attendance of children and their parents, and at the conclusion a baptismal service was held, and five babies were baptised. The new church is a handsome structure, and will fill a long felt want of the adherents of the Anglican Church….”.

Church closed its doors with a final service taking place on Sunday 5 May 2001.

St George's at Rosebery (2007) Source: Libraries Tasmania NS2937/1/515

Rosebery c.1950 - Source: Libraries Tasmania AA375/1/1294. All three of Rosebery's churches can be seen in the photograph.

An early undated photograph of St George's - photograph supplied from a private collection.


Zeehan and Dundas Herald, Wednesday 8 September 1897, page 2
Advocate, Thursday 13 February 1930, page 6
Advocate, Friday 4 July 1930, page 6
Examiner, Saturday 5 July 1930, page 7

Tasmanian Anglican July 2001.

Henslowe, Dorothea I. and Hurburgh, Isa.  Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania / by Dorothea I. Henslowe ; sketches by Isa Hurburgh  [S.l  1978



  1. Memories of Sunday visits here from Queenstown as an altar boy with the Reverend Bill Paton R.I.P.


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