No. 1037 - Kempton - St Mark's Anglican Church (1830-1845)

Kempton is a small town on the Midlands Highway, about 45 kilometres north of Hobart. It was first settled by Anthony Fenn Kemp in 1817. He was given a grant of land, now the Mount Vernon estate. The town was first named Green Ponds after some small green water holes found near the town.

The first Anglican church at ‘Green Ponds’ was a small timber church dedicated to St Mark. In the Hobart Town Almanac of 1829 there is a reference to a “neat little church [at Green Ponds] in the process of erection, and now nearly finished, built chiefly at the expense of the inhabitants”. The church was dedicated to St Mark’s and consecrated by Archdeacon Broughton in April 1830 with Lieutenant-Governor George Arthur in attendance.

The Hobart Town Courier reported:

“We have the pleasure to announce to the inhabitants of the Green Ponds and its neighbourhood, that the Venerable Archdeacon has fixed on Thursday next the 8th instant, as the day on which he will consecrate the Chapel at the Green Ponds, a ceremony so highly impressive and interesting in itself, especially in a new country like this that we doubt not a very numerous congregation will be assembled”.

By the late 1830’s St. Mark’s was found to be no longer adequate for needs of the Green Ponds Anglican community and in September 1838 specifications for a new church were drawn up and in January 1839 tenders were called for its erection. In March 1839 the foundation stone of the new church was laid. St Mary’s opened in 1845 and consecrated in 1846. There is no explanation as to why the church was dedicated to St Mary in place of St Mark. Possibly the erection of St Mark’s at nearby Pontville in 1838 may have been the reason for this, so as to avoid confusing the two churches.

No image of the old church exists. For illustrative purposes I have used a copy of a lithograph by Louis Le Breton, titled: ‘Green-pons, Van Diemen’s Land’ (1841), at which time St Mark's was still in use at Green Ponds.


Louis Le Breton, titled: ‘Green-pons, Van Diemen’s Land’ (1841) - Digitised item from: Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office



Sources:

Hobart Town Almanac of 1829
The Hobart Town Courier, Saturday 3 Apr 1830, page 2
Courier Wednesday, 31 March 1832, page 3
The Hobart Town Courier, Friday 28 December 1838, page3
The Colonial Record, Monday 18 March 1839, page 2
The Colonial Record, Monday 6 May 1839, page2
The Cornwall Chronicle, Wednesday 23 December 1840, page 4.


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



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