No. 1199 - Leith - Anglican Church (1894)

Leith is a small seaside town on the Bass Highway approximately 10 kilometres west of Devonport. It was previously named Port Fenton and was to be developed into a port before the Forth River silted up. It was renamed Leith after Edinburgh’s seaport.

An Anglican church was built near Leith in 1868 which was located about a kilometre from the village of ‘Hamilton on Forth’. In 1893 the church was moved closer to Forth which had become the larger of the two settlements.

After the church’s removal a new church was built at Leith on a site closer to the sea in order “to meet the requirements of the worshippers at the small township”. In July 1893 the North West Post reported:

“Other friends have come forward in the persons of Messrs J.F. Liddle and R. Hall, who have each given valuable sites for a church building at Hamilton on-Forth and Leith, respectively. It has been practically decided to remove the church which serves Leith and Hamilton at present to Mr Liddle’s site at Hamilton, at a cost of about £40, and erect a small building at Leith in which to hold church services”.

In March 1894 the North West Post reported:

“A new church building has been erected on a site given by Mr Richard Liddle at Leith, to meet the requirements of the worshippers at the small township. Most of the material used has been given by church members, so that the cost of the new church will be comparatively small”.

The church was officially opened on 6 May 1894 by Reverend Canon Beresford at a site near the Leith railway station.

The church appears in a photograph taken in 1904 at the funeral of the one time premier of Tasmania, Sir Edward Braddon. Braddon is buried at the ‘Pioneer Cemetery’ near Forth.

 In 1928 it was reported that "Mrs Mason and family have for many years endeavoured to maintain the church amidst adverse conditions". The last reference to Leith’s church dates to 1934 when it was “re-roofed and the grounds cleared by voluntary labour”.

I have not established how long the church remained in use or what became of the building.


Leith's Anglican Church - photo: Roake, Albert H; Sixty Years of Progress 


Sir Edward Braddon's funeral at the Leith Church - Weekly Courier




Sources:

North West Post, Saturday 29 July 1893, page 2
Daily Telegraph, Wednesday 21 February 1894, page 3
North West Post, Saturday 10 March 1894, page 2
Daily Telegraph, Friday 23 March 1894, page 4
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 10 May 1894, page 1
Weekly Courier, Saturday 20 February 1904, page 23
Advocate, Friday 11 May 1934, page 2

Roake, Albert H; Sixty Years of Progress (1868-1928), Parish of Forth and Leven, souvenir booklet.




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