No. 1338 - Goulds Country - Wesleyan Methodist Church (1890-1905)

Gould’s Country a rural area off the Tasman Highway and is approximately 15 kilometres west of St.Helens. Although it is now virtually a ghost town, it once had a population of about 400 with a post office, school, three churches, council chambers, bank, hotel and a public hall. The town went into decline once tin mining in the district ceased. The district is named after Charles Gould, who was appointed the first Geological Surveyor in Tasmania (1859–69).

In November 1890 The Colonist published a brief report concerning the opening of a new Wesleyan Methodist Church at Goulds Country:

“The new Wesleyan Church recently erected at Gould’s country was opened on Sunday last, when two eloquent and instructive sermons were preached by the Rev. J. Polkinghorne, of Latrobe. Very large congregations were present on both occasions, the weather being beautifully fine. Mrs Alday (wife of our current circuit minister) presided at the organ. The new building is a neat and compact weatherboard structure, 35ft x 20ft, with galvanised iron roof, and is a credit to the contractors, beside being a decided acquisition to the township….”.

The church was built in somewhat controversial circumstances. In 1874 a Union Church had been built at Goulds Country which was used by Methodist, Anglican and Presbyterians. However, the church was located about a mile from the centre of the small settlement. In 1889 a block of land opposite the public hall was donated to the Methodists who set about constructing a new church. The Methodist assumed that the new church would replace the Union Church but this was opposed by some members of the community who continued to worship at the old church. It would appear that this might be the reason why the church was abandoned only a few years after it opened.

In 1905 the disused church was removed to Pyengana. In September 1905 the Launceston Examiner reported:

“The residents of this district [Pyengana] are pushing forward matters in connection with the removal of the Gould's Country Methodist Church to a site directly opposite the Post Office, kindly given by Mrs. Wm. Terry, sen. Most of the money to cover the cost of removal, etc., is already to hand. The people of this place are very fortunate in securing such a fine building….”.

After its relocation to Pyengana the old Goulds Country church closed in 1935 and was sold to Mr John Joseph Healey for use as a barn. The church was destroyed in a fire in February 1939.

I have yet to locate a photograph of this church and have used a generic image of a country church for illustrative purposes.

No photo of the Goulds Country/Pyengana Methodist church is available. The image used is for illustrative purposes only. Image: Duncan Grant 2019


Launceston Examiner, Saturday 4 October 1890, page 3
Colonist, Saturday 8 November 1890, page 19
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 11 November 1890, page 4
Mercury, Monday 17 November 1890, page 4
Daily Telegraph, Monday 1 December 1890, page 3
Daily Telegraph, Saturday 13 December 1890, page 3

Examiner, Friday 8 September 1905, page 3
Advocate, Wednesday 30 October 1935, page 2
Examiner, Tuesday 7 February 1939, page 3


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