No. 1235 - Battery Point - St George's Rectory (1896)

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

Battery Point is an historical inner suburb on the east side of Hobart, fronting onto the Derwent River. The suburb’s name is derived from Mulgrave Battery was established in the 1818 for coastal defence purposes. In the 19th century Battery Point was home to master mariners, shipwrights, seamen, fishermen, shipping agents and many others who worked in the shipbuilders’ yards and on the wharves. Until the mid 19th century much of Battery Point was undeveloped and without roads. A rough track ascended to Kermode's Hill, where St. George's Church now stands.

St Georges is one of the most beautiful church buildings in Hobart and is a notable landmark, with its tower rising high above the dwellings which now hem it in. The church was opened for Divine service on Whitsunday, in June, 1838.

In 1873 land adjacent to the church was bought for a parsonage at a cost of £163, the money being raised from rent of the School Room, subscriptions and surplus of Parish Funds. It was not until May 1895 that a decision was taken to build the Parsonage, to contain 3 living rooms, a study, 4 bedrooms, a kitchen, servant’s room and usual offices. A tender of £735 was accepted. The foundation stone was laid in 1896 by Henry Montgomery Bishop of Tasmania. The building was completed in September 1896.

One of the reasons for the long delay was that the Rector, Canon Banks Smith, lived in his own house opposite the church (now 27 Cromwell Street). As he did not wish to move into the newly completed Rectory, the house was let. The Rectory was finally occupied in 1902.



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