No. 1141 - Longley - St Luke's Anglican Church (1932-1967)

Longley is a rural settlement approximately 20 kilometres south of Hobart. The general area was originally named Leslie, a name that has been preserved in Leslie Hill which lies on the eastern side of Longley.

Three Anglican churches were built at Longley, all of which were destroyed by bushfires. The first church was built in 1892 and consecrated and dedicated to St. Luke in 1893. This building was lost in the ‘great bushfires’ that swept across southern Tasmania in the summer of 1897/8. [see No. 1034] A second church was built and rededicated to St Luke in 1898. [see No. 1088] This building was similarly destroyed in the bushfires of 1931. A third church that was built in 1932 was lost in the 1967 bushfires. This building was not replaced. The focus of this article is on Longley’s third and last Anglican church.

The foundation stone for Longley’s third church was ceremonially laid on Sunday 5 June 1932. The Hobart Mercury provided detailed coverage of the event:

“Historic associations will be connected with the new St. Luke's Church of England at Longley, the foundation stone of which was laid by Archdeacon D. B..Blackwood yesterday afternoon in the presence of a representative gathering. This stone has been thrice used; the first occasion being in March, 1892, the original church having been destroyed in the great Huon fires. The new structure will be an imposing edifice, and is being erected on land donated by Miss Ada Combes”.

“A large gathering of residents of Longley, Sandfly, Leslie, and surrounding districts, together with a number of visitors from Hobart, assembled at the site yesterday afternoon. ….Rev. Z. A. Higgins, the rector of the district, In welcoming the Archdeacon and other visitors, traced the work of the building committee and others associated with the scheme for the erection of the new church since the previous church was destroyed by fire in 1931....He said that the new site had been…cleared, excavated, and levelled by a working bee of about 20 men. A strong women's committee assisting by providing the helpers with afternoon tea on all occasions…. A simple but impressive service followed”.

“While the design of the new church does not conform with any of the generally accepted styles of ecclesiastical architecture, it is a logical and straightforward example of design eminently adaptable for small country churches. The pointed windows and the artistic tower provide all that is necessary to convey the proper ecclesiastical atmosphere. A new site has been chosen for the building, …is situated at the junction of the Huon and Sandfly Roads. The general construction of the church throughout is of timber, on a stone foundation, with a painted iron roof. The interior has a Tasmanian oak dado, with fibrous plaster panelling to the upper portions of the walls. The ceiling is also panelled with fibrous plaster sheets, and has exposed trusses and rafters. The work is being carried out by Messrs. E. Glock and J. Scott, builders, of Bellerive, from plans and specifications prepared by and under the supervision of Mr. Eric H. Round, …architect, of Hobart”.

The church was officially opened and rededicated to St Luke Opened on Sunday 14 August 1932.

In February 1967 St Luke’s was destroyed in bushfires that swept across southern Tasmania. A Methodist church at nearby Sandfly was also lost. Neither church was rebuilt but were instead replaced by a jointly owned Methodist-Anglican Church built in 1969. The new ‘union’ church was built on the site of the Sandfly school. The church was also used by the Catholic community. While this building still exists, it closed in 2008.

See details below.

Architect Eric Round's drawing of the building. Source: Mercury 6 June 1932


Mercury, Monday 6 June 1932, page 3

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


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