No. 1344 - Hobart - Holy Trinity Rectory (1913)

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, 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 those that no longer exist.

Holy Trinity Parish dates back to 1833 when Reverend Philip Palmer was appointed Rural Dean of Hobart. The Penitentiary chapel, or ‘Old Trinity’, was the parish’s first church. In 1845 a Wesleyan chapel on High Street (now Tasma Street) was used as a temporary place of worship. After six years of construction Holy Trinity Church on Warwick Street was finally completed. The church was officially opened in January 1848.

Holy Trinity’s first parsonage was built 6 years before the church was completed. Like the church, it was designed by Colonial architect James Blackburn and built by "Messrs. Cleghorne and Anderson". It was built on the corner of Park and Davenport Streets on the edge of the Glebe. The parsonage was a rectangular two storey sandstone Victorian Tudor building with a coped gable roof.

In 1913 the old Glebe parsonage was replaced by a new parsonage on Church Street in the shadow of Holy Trinity Church. The old parsonage was replaced because it “was inconvenient in position, being almost on the edge of the parish, and was also inconvenient in structure”. The building was sold to Christ College and the proceeds were used to fund the construction the new Church Street parsonage.

The foundation stone of the new parsonage or rectory was ceremonially laid on Tuesday 4 March 1913. The event was described by the Hobart Mercury:

“The foundation stone of the new rectory to be built adjoining Holy Trinity Church in Church-street, was laid yesterday afternoon by Lady Barron, in the presence of a large assemblage of members of the congregation and friends. There was a good attendance of the clergy including the Dean of Hobart and rectors from Hobart and country parishes. There was a procession of the clergy and choir from the school to the site of the new building and the usual religious service was held…..Lady Barron then declared the stone “well and truly laid,” and was presented by Mr. F Stops, minister’s church warden with a silver trowel and mallet suitably inscribed.…”.

The completion of the rectory in mid 1913 coincided with a fund raising fair held inside the new building:

“A fair in aid of the funds of Holy Trinity parish was held yesterday afternoon in the new rectory, for which it served as a kind of housewarming….Amongst those present was Lady Ellison-Macarthey, who was received by a guard of honour composed of boy scouts, and welcomed by the rector (Rev. Nugent 'Kelly) and the office-bearers of the church….. The various rooms in the rectory were turned for the moment into stalls, on which a very varied and tempting array of articles was set out. The kitchen and scullery were put to their proper and accustomed uses in connection with afternoon tea, but it was rather a shock to find the bookshelves of the rector’s study laden with cabbages and similar products of the kitchen garden.…”.

The report went on describe the building in some detail:

“The new rectory is a two storey brick building with a slate roof. It represents a departure from the usual type, in that the offices, which are usually outbuildings, such as the woodshed, are all under the one roof with the main building. The rectory contains 11 main rooms, besides several small storerooms and recesses, to serve as cupboards. The dining-room and drawing-room both look towards the harbour, and two French windows give access from each to a wide verandah. The two rooms are separated by large folding doors, so that on such occasions as yesterday they can be thrown into one. In the study is a fine carved overmantel of the timber known to the furniture trade as "Tasmanian oak," to country people as "stringy-bark" and to the botanist as "Eucalyptus obliquas”. This was carved and presented by Mrs. Payne. The other overmantels and the panelling in the hall are of the same useful and ornamental timber, which is to be used in most of the furnishings of the house. The staircase is of Tasmanian blackwood. The rectory is up to date in every respect, and fitted with electric light throughout. The foundations should be secure, since they go right down on the solid rock, which underlies Trinity Hill. The building was carried out by Messrs. C. Turner and Sons, of New Norfolk, at a cost of about £1,700…”.

The rectory has survived virtually unaltered since 1913. It was sold before Holy Trinity’s closure and is now a private residence.

The former Rectory on Church Street
An early colourised photograph of  Holy Trinity Rectory - Libraries Tasmania - Item Number PH30/1/4699

The old Holy Trinity Parsonage - Photo: Sir Ralph Whishaw - Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office - Libraries Tasmania digital collection N165/1/255 


Mercury, Wednesday 5 March 1913, page 6
Mercury, Friday 29 August 1913, page 2


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