No. 1043 - Dromedary - St Martin's Anglican Church (1922-1967)

Dromedary is mostly a rural area in the Derwent Valley and is located about 15 kilometres west of the town of Brighton. Mount Dromedary, after which the area is named, was was first recorded by Captain John Hayes in 1794 as it resembled a profile of a camel.

Dromedary has had only one church and this was destroyed in the devastating bushfires which swept across southern Tasmania in 1967. Apart from a photograph of a stained glass window, no image of the church is available in the public domain. I am hopeful that the publication of this article might result in a photograph coming to light.

Fundraising for the construction of an Anglican church began after half an acre of land was donated for this purpose by Mr Hughes of High Sutherland. The foundation stone for a brick church was ceremonially laid on Saturday 11 March 1922. The event was recorded by the local correspondent for the Hobart Mercury:

“Saturday was a big day in the history of peaceful Dromedary, when the foundation-stone of the first church to be built here was laid by Bishop Hay. Despite the wind and rain, a large crowd assembled to witness, the ceremony, many coming from Hobart, Brighton, and Bridgewater…. After laying the foundation stone, the Bishop gave an appropriate address. A collection was taken on the stone, amounting to £18 17s., and a few other donations wore promised. …Messrs. Norman Wright and Son are building the church, and the work done so far does them great credit….”.

The building was completed by mid 1922 but the church was only consecrated in April 1929 following the clearance of its debt. The Mercury reported:

“The service of consecration In connection with St. Martin's Church of England, Dromedary, in the parish of Brighton, was conducted yesterday by the Bishop of Tasmania (Dr. R. Snowdon Hay). There was a fairly large congregation. The church was built and dedicated in 1922, but the debt of £400 only recently has been paid off by tho small band of parishioners at Dromedary. The Bishop was assisted In the consecration ceremony by the rector of Brighton (the Rev. R. S. Wall)….”.

There is little information of any significance about the church apart from an incident in 1938 when the Mercury reported that a stained glass window was ‘wilfully damaged’ after a stone-throwing incident. A photograph of the damaged window was published in the Mercury.

St Martin’s was one of about a dozen churches destroyed in the 1967 fires, and like many of these buildings, they were not rebuilt, as the dwindling numbers of parishioners made it unviable.

Additional information about this church, and especially photographs of the building is welcomed. I can be contacted through this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked <HERE> .

A settlement at Dromedary (1904) Dromedary would have changed little by the time St Martin's was built in 1922. Source: Libraries Tasmania - item no: NS2495/1/33

A public notice from the Mercury - 1922


The Mercury, Monday 14 November 1921, page 6
The Mercury, Friday 10 March 1922, page 6
The Mercury, Thursday 16 March 1922, page 6
The Mercury, Monday 29 April 1929, page 3
The Mercury, Monday 30 May 1938, page 9

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


  1. Geographically, Dromedary is in the Derwent Valley, not Southern Midlands. It's situated between Bridgewater and New Norfolk, within sight of the river.

  2. Thank you for picking that up Damian, my brain must have been out of gear. Now corrected!

  3. There is a curious reference here to "the removal of the church to Milvale":
    ... and given this reference to the church being brick, "removing" it would have been a task:
    Excluding Boyer Rd, Milvale is one of the two major roads in the Dromedary area, the other being Church Rd. I wonder which church gave name to the road, or if there was a church at the Eldersie end.


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