No. 1060 - Lewis Hill Chapel

Lewis Hill was a farming property on the banks of the St Pauls River and approximately 20 kilometres east of Avoca. The property was developed in the 1830s by Francis Walter von Stieglitz, a descendent of Baron Heinrich Ludwig von Stieglitz.

In 1802 Heinrich von Stieglitz moved from Pilsen, Bavaria, to a property known as Lewis Hill in Ireland and after nine years to Cookstown, County Tyrone. The baron's death in 1824 left the family of six sons and two daughters poorly provided for, which prompted their migration to Van Diemen's Land. Frederick Lewis, Francis Walter and Robert William von Stieglitz arrived at Hobart Town in August 1829.

Francis Walter von Stieglitz (1811-1889) was given a maximum grant of 2560 acres (1036 ha) at Fingal and called it Lewis Hill. In September 1843 he was appointed a justice of the peace for Fingal and in 1864 coroner, officiating both in Fingal and Launceston. In 1840 he married Anne Ransom, by whom he had six sons and two daughters. He retired to Launceston in 1880 where he died on 14 April 1889.

Almost nothing is known about the chapel built on the Lewis Hill estate. A painting of the property by Emma von Stieglitz in 1838 shows several buildings at Lewis Hill. A building to the right of the main house might be the chapel. No description of the chapel exists and nothing of the building remains.

In addition to the chapel there was also a small cemetery at Lewis Hill. The only published record of a burial at the cemetery is that of Mary Ann Duckett who was buried at Lewis Hill on 25 April 1890.

View of Lewis Hill in 1838 - from  painting by Emma von Stieglitz. A building to the right of the homestead might have been used as the chapel. Source: QVMAG - Registration number: QVM: 1987:P:0694

View of the property `Lewis Hill', Avoca, Tasmania, the home of Francis von Stieglitz, from a painting by Emma von Stieglitz, 1833.    Source QVMAG - Registration number: QVM:1987:P:0660


Masters, David. and Diprose, Meryl.  St. Pauls Plains, Avoca, 1834-1984 : a history of the Avoca district / written by David Masters ; compiled by Meryl Diprose ... [et al.]  M. Diprose Avoca, Tas  1984

The Tasmanian, Saturday  3 May 1890, page 28 

Launceston Examiner, Thursday 1 May 1890, page 4


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