No. 1274 - Longford - Cressy Road Anglican Church and School House (1871)

This ‘blog entry’ is one of a series of articles about places of worship which are barely represented in the historical record. Usually no images of these buildings have survived. My hope is that these brief articles may result in further information and photographs coming to light enabling a more complete history to be preserved.

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 Cressy Road Church School (also known as the Halfway School) was situated near the corner of Cressy Road and Munden Lane which is about 2 kilometres south of the town centre. The church was built in 1871 and closed in the early 1930s before being removed in 1941.

The opening of the “Cressy Road School House and Chapel” took place on Sunday 25 June 1871. The event was recorded by the Cornwall Chronicle:

“On Sunday….a building, which has been erected by means of contributions from friends of the church in the Longford district, on Cressy Road, was opened for worship, the Rev. A. Stackhouse officiating. He preached an interesting and impressive sermon on the occasion, and a liberal collection was made in aid of the building fund. The church is a very neat fabric, intended for a Sunday and day school and was much required by the numerous residents of the locality, so far distant from pastoral and daily teaching. It is intended that a licensed lay-preacher, Mr J.L. Smith, shall conduct the Sunday services, the Rev. A. Stackhouse periodically officiating”.

Reports of religious services appear in local newspapers up until the turn of the century but these cease around 1902. After this the building continued to be used as a State school.

In 1923 religious services were revived as was reported by the Launceston Examiner:

“Ever since services were started again at Cressy-road school, after an interval of twenty years, it has been desired to furnish it as a church for Sundays. With this end in view a fair was held there on Thursday April 5. It was opened by Mrs M. Quamby who congratulated the stall holders on the splendid display of goods, and wished the fair every success….”.

In the following year another fair as well as a baby competition was held:

“There were four babies entered for the competition - Babies Burn, Buttery, Harris, and Clark. Baby Burn won the silver mug, which was given by Mr. C. Bunton….The rector (Rev. D.B. Blackwood, M.A.) thanked the stall-holders and others who had worked so well to make the fair and baby competition such a success”.

In 1925 there was a report on the Sunday school’s annual prize giving and in 1929 the church was active in raising funds for the Longford flood relief fund. The record falls silent in the 1930s although the State school continued to function until about 1935.

The church’s end was reported by the Examiner in March 1941:

“The buildings on the Cressy-road which belonged to the Church of England and were at one time used for services and State school purposes, have been disposed of for removal. The buildings have been unused for several years”.

There is no record of to where the church was removed and no photograph of the building is available in the public domain.

Notice of the church's opening in June 1871 (Launceston Examiner)

The site of the Cressy Road Church and school.


Launceston Examiner, Saturday 24 June 1871, page 5
The Cornwall Chronicle, Wednesday 12 July 1871, page 3
Launceston Examiner, Thursday 23 March 1876, page 3
Launceston Examiner, Tuesday 22 July 1884, page 3
Examiner, Tuesday 20 March 1900, page 2
Examiner, Tuesday 10 April 1923, page 3
Examiner, Saturday 17 May 1924, page 9
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 12 February 1925, page 8
Examiner, Wednesday 8 May 1929, page 7
Examiner, Wednesday 26 March 1941, page 7


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