No. 1231 - Hobart - Bishopscourt and the Montgomery Chapel

Bishopscourt is the former official residence of the Anglican Bishop of Tasmania. It is located on Fitzroy Place at the northern tip of Sandy Bay. The property was sold by the Anglican Diocese in 2003. Part of the property is now used for accomodation and called ‘Old Bishop’s Quarters’.

The land on which Bishopscourt stands was granted to William Anley in 1837. In the following year a substantial house was built, part of which was incorporated into later extensions. After it was build the house it was purchased by Thomas Horne, the properties first resident. Horne served as Solicitor General and later as Attorney General. He was also elected to the Legislative Council and held the office of President of the Council.

In in 1858 the property was sold to William Robertson who in turn sold it to John White. White then rented the house to Bishop Bromby, the second Bishop of Tasmania. On taking residence Bromby named the property Bishopscourt. In 1876 Bishopscourt was purchased from John White and became the permanent residence of the Bishop of Tasmania.

In 1877 alterations to the house designed by Henry Hunter added 1½ floors to the original building. In 1889 the building was again extended following plans of architect George Fagg. A schoolhouse was also built on the property at this time.

Shortly after Fagg’s extensions were completed, in January 1890, the new Bishop of Tasmania, Reverend Henry Montgomery, moved into the house with his family, which at the time included five children. The schoolroom was used by the Montgomery children who were taught by male tutors brought to Tasmania from England. The second youngest of the children was Bernard, who went on to achieve fame as Field Marshall and who was victorious in the battle of El Alamein, a significant turning point in World War Two.

In 1977 the old Bishopscourt schoolhouse was transformed into a chapel with the first service held in that year. In 1978 it was named the Montgomery Chapel. Prior to the conversion of the schoolhouse, various rooms at Bishopscourt had been used as private chapels.

Bishopscourt - source:

Bishopscourt - source: The Mercury

The schoolroom which was converted into the Montgomery Chapel - Anglican Diocese of Tasmania

Bishop Montgomery - Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, State Library of Tasmania.


Stephens, Geoffrey & Anglican Church of Australia. Diocese of Tasmania, (issuing body.) The Anglican Church in Tasmania : a Diocesan history to mark the sesquicentenary, 1992. Trustees of the Diocese, Hobart, 1991.

Henslowe, Dorothea I & Hurburgh, Isa Our heritage of Anglican Churches in Tasmania. Mercury-Walch, Moonah, Tas, 1978.

God and the City : a history of St David's Cathedral, Hobart
P. J. Boyce (Peter John); St. David's Cathedral Foundation (Hobart, Tas.), 2012


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