No. 1315 - Deloraine - 'Chalmers Presbyterian Church' (1855-1883)

Deloraine is a historic tourist town situated on the Meander River and lies approximately halfway between the cities of Launceston and Devonport. The settlement dates to the 1830s and was named by the surveyor, Thomas Scott, after Sir William Deloraine, a character in Sir Walter Scott's poem "The Lay of the Last Minstrel”.

The first Presbyterian church at Deloraine was founded following a petition to the Governor, Sir William Dennison, requesting a grant of land for a church and manse as well as for a schoolhouse. The petition was successful and a committee was established to oversee the building of a church. In the interim, ‘Mr Humphrey’s schoolhouse was secured as a temporary place of worship. The Reverend R.K. Ewing held the first service here on 12 November 1854.

In 1855 a weatherboard church was built on Goderich Street. The church, known as the “Chalmers Presbyterian Church” was formally opened on Sunday 11 November 1885. Two services were held with sermons delivered by Reverend Ewing and Reverend Garrett. An amount of £16 was collected to meet the cost of construction. The church was referred to as “Chalmers Presbyterian” as it was associated with the Free Church of Scotland which was formed by a large withdrawal from the established Church of Scotland in a schism known as the Disruption of 1843. At a later date the church was dedicated to St Andrew.

The church remained in use until 1883 when it was decided to replace it with a brick building that was built alongside it. The old church was sold to Mr Arthur Eade for an amount of  £10 10s. The church's site was later used for a manse built in 1899. 

Cornwall Chronicle, Saturday 10 November 1855

A postcard from the early 20th century showing the new church (1884) and manse built in 1899.

The Manse which was completed in 1899. It was built on the site of the first church.

A map of Deloraine showing the extent of land granted to the Presbyterians. Libraries Tasmania - Item Number AF819-1-74

St Andrew's Presbyterian Church built to replace the original church (photo: Duncan Grant 2018)


The Courier, Thursday 12 April 1855, page 2
Cornwall Chronicle, Saturday 10 November 1855, page 2
Colonial Times, Saturday 24 November 1855, page 2
The Cornwall Chronicle, Wednesday 28 November 1855
Launceston Examiner, Saturday 24 December 1898, page 12

Skemp, J.R., A history of Deloraine: from the earliest settlement to the present day, [Launceston, Tas. : Foot & Playsted, 1964]


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