No. 1198 - Kelso - Anglican Church (c.1940-1974)

Kelso is a small settlement in the local government area of West Tamar. It is located about 14 kilometres north of the town of Beaconsfield. It was originally called Kelsalls Bay or Kelsalls Point after an early settler in the area.

Very little is known about the Kelso church. Dorothea Henslowe’s ‘Our Heritage of Anglican Churches in Tasmania’ provides the following information:

“In about 1909 services were held in a private house near the jetty. There appears to have been a wooden church later which had been a school but it was closed in 1974”.

A search of online newspapers on Trove reveals that a church was operating in the old Kelso schoolroom which was in use until the 1920s. The Anglicans used the building some time after this and services seem to have active from the 1940s. There are several references to services in this period, such as this very brief report from 1946:

“A service was conducted at the Church of England, Kelso by Reverend J. Doig, Beaconsfield. There was a large attendance”.

Another report from this period mentions the Kelso Church of England’s annual meeting in which the rector, Reverend Downie, paid tribute to the organist, Mrs Gardner and her husband, the treasurer, Mr G.R. Gardner.

The old Kelso school and church still stand but the building is in a ruinous state and beyond salvage. The photograph of the building by John Grist, was taken in the 1980s at which time the pews and pump organ were still in place.

Kelso State School, later used as an Anglican Church. Photograph: John Grist - Tasmanian History Group Facebook - November 2019


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

The Examiner, Friday 2 August 1942, page 2
The Examiner, Monday 4 August 1946, page 6

John Grist - Tasmanian History Group, Facebook, photograph and comments - November 2019


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