No. 1237 - Longford - Christ Church Sunday School Hall (1845)

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.Longford is an historical country town approximately 25 kilometres south of Launceston. The district around Longford was first known as the Norfolk Plains after the Norfolk Islanders who were resettled here in 1813. The settlement was called Latour before 1833 when it was renamed Longford.

Longford’s historical Christ Church is the third Anglican church built at the town. The first church, built in the late 1820s, was no more than a temporary wooden hut which served as a place of worship until a more substantial church could be built. The second church, St Augustine’s, was used for less than a decade before it was pulled down in 1842 due to structural problems.

The bricks from St Augustine’s were salvaged and reused for the construction of a Sunday school hall that was built on the corner of George Street and William Street. Construction of the school began in 1844 and was completed in the following year. The building was officially opened on Tuesday 22 April 1845 by Bishop Francis Nixon. The cost of construction was jointed funded by private subscriptions and by the “Launceston Society for promoting Christian Knowledge”.

When comparing the Sunday school with a drawing of St Augustine’s church, it is evident that the two buildings are remarkably similar. It is likely that the school was built using the same plan as the church in order to make efficient use of the salvaged bricks. The Sunday school building has been extended with an addition on the north side of the original hall.


Christ Church Sunday school on the corner of George Street and William Street





St Augustine's Anglican Church at Longford (1831-1842) Source: Detail of a drawing by Marianne Astley Paton


Sources:

Launceston Examiner, Wednesday 26 March 1845, page 6
Launceston Examiner, Wednesday 16 April 1845, page 1

A Short account of Christ Church, Longford : erected 1839, dedicated 1844 Longford, Tas. 1948 <https://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-2678113563>

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