No. 1203 - Campbell Town - Adam Turnbull Memorial Hall (1956)

This article is one in a series about buildings associated with some of Tasmania’s most significant churches. These buildings include Sunday schools, parish halls, convents, schools and residences of the clergy. Ancillary buildings are often overlooked and are rarely featured in published histories. My aim is to create a simple record of these buildings, including those that no longer exist.

Campbell Town is a sizeable rural centre on the Midland Highway approximately 70 kilometres south of Launceston. It was named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie when his party encamped here in 1821 on their way to Hobart. Macquarie chose the site as one of four garrison towns between Hobart and Launceston.

St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church opened for worship on 30 May 1858. The origins of the church are bound to the life to Reverend Adam Turnbull, one time Secretary to Governor George Arthur and to Sir John Franklin. In 1852 Turnbull clashed with Governor Denison in opposing the continued transportation of convicts to the colony. This resulted in Turnbull being deprived of his position in the government service and his right to a pension after twenty years' service. This was the catalyst for Turnbull to seek ordination as a Presbyterian minister. He was placed in charge of the Campbell Town-Tunbridge region and it was largely through his efforts that St Andrew's Church was built.

Turnbull was honoured in 1956 with the construction of “Adam Turnbull Hall” in the grounds of St Andrew’s, as a memorial for the church’s centenary. In 1973 the story of the hall is recorded in a book commemorating the ‘Triple Jubilee’ of the Presbyterian Church in Tasmania:

“The Rev. Alistair Christie-Johnson was….called from Scotland, and arrived with his family in early 1950. An important event in his ministry took place in 1956, when the Rt. Rev. Sir Francis Rolland, Moderator-general of Australia, laid the foundation stone of the Adam Turnbull Memorial Hall….On this occasion, the silver trowel was handed to the moderator-general by the brothers G.A.H. and W.T. Finlay, direct descendants of the Rev. Adam Turnbull….The Hall is a fitting memorial to one who served the parish and the Presbyterian Church so well for so long…. The Adam Turnbull Hall, in addition to being the centre for regular meetings of Presbytery and P.W.A. Executive, is used by other denominations, and inter-church groups as well”.

St Andrew’s church and the Adam Turnbull Hall now form part of “The Church”, a business complex with a cafe hosting weddings, private functions and public events. The inside of the Hall was substantially renovated in 2020 and is now the home of the property owners.

Adam Turnbull Memorial Hall -source: realestate.com


St Andrew's and the Adam Turnbull Memorial Hall -source: realestate.com


Adam Turnbull Memorial Hall -source: realestate.com



The memorial plaque in the church - source: realestate.com


Adam Turnbull Memorial Hall -source: realestate.com


Sources:

Presbyterian Church of Tasmania, triple jubilee, 1973 : record ; compiled and edited by R. S. Miller, Hobart, Presbytery of Tasmania, 1973.

https://thechurchtas.com.au/

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