No. 1328 - Little Swanport - St Martin's Mission Hall - "The White Hut" (1901)

Little Swanport is a small settlement on the Tasman Highway approximately 20 kilometres north of Triabunna. It is located within a large inlet and takes its name from the Little Swanport River.

The following information about a church at Little Swanport is taken from Geoffrey Stephens’ ‘The Anglican Church in Tasmania’:

“The White was built in 1842 by James Claridge, to replace a wooden one which had been used as a Watch House by soldiers and police stationed there to protect settlers against aboriginals, escaped prisoners and bushrangers. The White Hut was one day’s march from Rocky Hills, Swanston and Spring Bay, and convicts being marched between Richmond, Oatlands and Swansea stayed overnight.

The Council Minutes of 24 July 1897 record that a letter was received from the Public Works Dept. asking if residents of Little Swanport could use the White Hut as a place of worship. A bazaar was held which realised sufficient money to put the building in repair and provide the necessary furniture and fittings, and was arranged by Mrs and Misses Mitchelmore at Muirland. Services were held by the incumbent, Rev’d Thomas Pitt. While being used for religious ceremonies it was called St. Martin’s Mission Hall. The building was frequently whitewashed, and there were no rear windows. It was demolished about 1942 and some of the stone was used in the nearby White Hut Bridge”.

A report published in the Mercury June 1901 contains much of the same information provided by Stephens and indicates that the church had opened in May in that year:

"Members of the Church of England in this district have long felt the want of a suitable building in which to hold their usual services. This want has, however, been supplied by the Government, who have handed over the stone building formerly occupied us constable's residence and watchhouse, but as the building needed alteration and renovation, a bazaar was held a short time ago, which happily realised sufficient to put it in thorough repair, and also provide the necessary furniture and fittings. These, by the aid of some of the lady members of the Church, principally among whom were Mrs. and the Misses Mitchelmore, of Muirland, have been so arranged as to give the little edifice quite a neat and comfortable appearance".

St Martin's Mission Hall (c.1930) - Anglican Diocese of Tasmania 


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.

Mercury, Wednesday 5 June 1901, page 5


Popular posts from this blog

Welcome to Churches of Tasmania

No. 624 - Dunalley - St Martin's Anglican Church - "In grateful memory of the men who fought in the Great War"

No. 592 - Gretna - St Mary the Virgin - "Worthy of Imitation"