No. 1295 - Railton - St John's Anglican Church Hall (1937)

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, orphanages, 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 of those that no longer exist.

Railton is a country town approximately 20 kilometres south of Devonport. Before the 1860s the settlement was known as Redwater Creek but this changed when a tramline was built through the area. The Anglican presence at Railton can be dated to 1885 and in 1888 a simple wooden church was built. [see No. 1157] This was replaced by a new cement brick church in 1953.

St John’s Hall predates the present church being built in 1937. Both the hall and the new cement brick church are heritage listed.

The hall was officially opened on Saturday 13 November 1937 with the opening coinciding with a fund-raising fair. The Advocate’s report of the event follows:

“A very large attendance, both in the afternoon and evening, marked the opening of tho new Church of England Hall at Railton. The official opening was performed at 3 p.m. by Captain D. K. Cameron, while a fair, the first function to be held in the hall, was opened by Rev. J. W. Bethune. The hall has been constructed on an ideal site in grounds owned by the Church of England, adjacent to St. John's Church, and the building will be an asset to the town. In opening the hall and fair, the speakers complimented the organisers on the success of their efforts, in particular the executive officials, who are:-President, Mr. H. R. Lord; secretary, Mr. W. Howard: treasurer, Mr. H. J. Richards. Appreciation was also expressed of the work of tho contractor. Mr. F. E. Watts, of Latrobe. The fair was very successful financially, over £77 being raised”.

The Hall’s heritage listing is described as follows:

“St John’s Hall is located to the north of the church building and is a modest inter-war meeting hall with gabled corrugated iron roof, timber nine-over-nine sash windows and cement sheet wall cladding. The northern wall includes a mural - of local heritage significance - in keeping with other murals in the region”.

St John's Hall 

The original church built in 1888 was demolished in 1953 and replaced by a modern cement brick church. Photographer not known. Presented by Joy Davenport to commemorate the centenary of the church. Photo posted by Deb Andrei - Sheffield Tasmania, History, Photos, Memories (Facebook Group)


Advocate, Friday 29 October 1937, page 6
Examiner, Thursday 4 November 1937, page 5
Advocate, Monday 15 November 1937, page 10

Tasmanian Heritage Data Sheet: St John's Church, Hall and Cemetery. Report Date: Wednesday, December 7, 2022.


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