No. 1170 - Castle Forbes Bay - All Saints' Catholic Church (1904)

Castle Forbes Bay is located on the Huon Highway approximately 50 kilometres south of Hobart. overlooking the Huon River. It is named after a ship, Castle Forbes, which landed sick Irish women migrants at nearby Hospital Bay in 1836. It is thought that the Captain of the "Castle Forbes" mistook the Huon River for the Derwent.

Two churches were built at Castle Forbes Bay, a Methodist church in the 1870s (which was replaced in 1905, and a Catholic church which opened in 1904. The foundation stone for this church was ceremonially laid on Sunday 1 November 1903 by the Archbishop of Hobart, Dr Daniel Murphy. The Tasmanian News reported:

“Dr Murphy, who has been for the past few days the guest of Father Hennessy at Franklin, on Sunday, laid the foundation stone of All Saints Church at Castle Forbes Bay. The day being fine a large number of residents and friends assembled at the site in the afternoon. His grace performed the long and impressive ceremony with unusual vigour for one who has seen the shadows of 88 years roll past him. Father O'Reilly reminded his audience of the grand work they were present to assist and forward the building of a new church, where they might meet together for the worship and praise of God, and where their children would be taught the groundwork of faith, which would make them first good Catholics, and as a natural sequence, good, and loyal citizens. In response to his appeal for assistance in forwarding this work the generous sum of £30 was laid on the stone. He also thanked Mr W. Casey, who had generously given the church site free of cost….”.

Construction was completed in early 1904 and the church was officially opened on Sunday 6 March by Bishop Delany.

There is little information about the church after its opening and it appears to have been in use up until the 1960s. In more recent years it has been used as premises for a bric-a-brac shop.

Further information about this church is most welcome as all articles are regularly updated. I can be contacted through the comments section on this page or my Facebook page "Churches of Tasmania" which is linked here: <Churches of Tasmania>.

Former All Saints' Catholic Church at Castle Forbes Bay. Photograph courtesy of Deb Conley

The Mercury - 2 March 1904

A Google Street-view image of the church (2009)


Tasmanian News, Tuesday 3 November 1903, page 2
The Mercury, Wednesday 2 March 1904, page 4
The Mercury, Wednesday 2 March 1904, page 5


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