No. 1264 - Glenorchy - St Matthew's Sunday School Room (1850)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with Tasmania’s historical churches and religious orders.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 basic record of these buildings, including buildings which no longer exist.

When St Matthew’s Presbyterian church opened in November 1841, Glenorchy was known as O’ Brien’s Bridge, then a semi-rural area. In 1850 a Sunday school was built behind St Matthew’s church. In recent years the building has been the home of the Glenorchy History Room, run by the the Glenorchy Historical Society. The History Room has not been operational for a number of years.

Little information about the Sunday school building’s origins are available in the public record. In November 1848 a fundraising Bazaar was held at the “Warerooms of Mr. L. Pearson, Cabinetmaker”, at Elizabeth Street in Hobart, for the construction of “School Room” at O’ Brien’s Bridge. Construction of the school began in 1849 or early 1850. The building was completed in 1850 and was officially used for a ‘tea meeting’ for the first time in January 1851.

The building is rarely mentioned in Hobart’s newspapers. One unusual report in the Hobarton Mercury in 1855 mentions that “Eliza Baker, wife of Thomas Baker" was committed for trial for "stealing a Bible from the School-room at O’ Brien’s Bridge”.

This article will be updated once further information about the Sunday school becomes available.

The Sunday school-room at the rear of St Matthew's church

Colonial Times, Tuesday 7 November 1848


Colonial Times, Tuesday 7 November 1848, page 3
Colonial Times, Friday 20 December 1850, page 1
The Hobarton Mercury, Friday 18 May 1855, page 2
The Hobart Town Advertiser, Tuesday 12 July 1859, page 3


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