No. 1273 - Hobart - Holy Trinity's Glebe Parsonage (1842)

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 those that no longer exist.

Holy Trinity Parish dates back to 1833 when Reverend Philip Palmer was appointed Rural Dean of Hobart. The Penitentiary chapel, or ‘Old Trinity’, was the parish’s first church. In 1845 a Wesleyan chapel on High Street (now Tasma Street) was used as a temporary place of worship. After six years of construction Holy Trinity Church on Warwick Street was finally completed. The church was officially opened in January 1848.

Holy Trinity’s parsonage was built 6 years before the church was completed. Like the church, it was designed by Colonial architect James Blackburn and built by "Messrs. Cleghorne and Anderson".  It was built on the corner of Park and Davenport Streets on the edge of the Glebe. The parsonage was a rectangular two storey sandstone Victorian Tudor building with a coped gable roof.

The cost of the building was the cause of some controversy. In March 1842 'The Austal-Asiatic Review' complained:

"We have to state that there is a building in the course of erection on the Government Domain, called the "Trinity Church Parsonage," being a residence for the chaplain there stationed. Why that "parsonages" should be built for the benefit of the colonial clergy, at the enormous expense devoted to them, while there are abundance of residences which may be hired for them from private individuals, ...For this Trinity "parsonage," however, the Legislative Council, in its plenitude of its zeal for the clergy, voted the sum of one thousand pounds...".

The newspaper objected to the fact that the contractors had, in addition to the £1000 granted for the project, had also used £770 of Government material as well as Government mechanics and labourers. 

There is no record of when the building was completed and occupied but it is likely that it was well before the close of 1842

In 1913 the old Glebe parsonage was replaced by a new parsonage on Church Street in the shadow of Holy Trinity. The old parsonage was replaced because it “was inconvenient in position, being almost on the edge of the parish, and was also inconvenient in structure”. The building was sold to Christ College and the proceeds were used to fund the construction the new Church Street parsonage.

In 1918 Christ College hostel was established in the Glebe rectory, with L.H. Lindon as Rector, offering tutorial assistance and coaching to university and matriculation students.

Under the Christ College Act of 1926, St. Wilfrid's Theological College at Cressy was merged with Christ College and in 1929 the warden and 5 theological students moved into the rectory along with 12 university students. Additional accomodation was built on the site and by 1931 there were twenty students in residence at Christ College. Christ College was affiliated with the University of Tasmania as its first residential college. In 1971 Christ’s College was relocated to the University’s new Sandy Bay campus.

After Christ College moved to Sandy Bay the old rectory was again sold. The rectory is now forms part of the hotel complex Quest Trinity House.

The former Glebe Parsonage (1966) Photo: Sir Ralph Whishaw - Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office - Libraries Tasmania digital collection N165/1/255

Source: The Tasmanian Mail

The new Holy Trinity Parsonage. Photo: Duncan Grant 

A chapel inside the old parsonage which was constructed when the building was acquired by Christ College: Photo: Anglican Diocese of Tasmania 

The Glebe Parsonage c.1910 E.R. Pretyman Collection - Libraries Tasmania NS1013-1-828

The parsonage in now a part of Quest Trinity House. Photo Quest Trinity House


The Austral-Asiatic Review, Tasmanian and Australian Advertiser, Friday 18 March 1842, page 2
The Tasmanian Mail, 2 September 1899, pages 18-20
Daily Post, Friday 29 August 1913, page 3
Mercury, Friday 29 August 1913, page 2
Mercury, Monday 4 June 1928, page 3

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.

Christ College history and notes:


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