No. 1368 - Nugent - St Andrew's Anglican Church (1901)

Nugent is a rural district approximately 15 kilometres south of Buckland and north of the Arthur Highway. The area was once known as Carlton Scrub. The origins of the name ‘Nugent’ is not known but this was adopted as the name of the district’s State school built in 1878.

Nugent’s Anglican church was closely associated with Mr Thomas Blackmore who was elected as churchwarden in 1882. At this time religious services were held in the State school. in 1898 a report in the Hobart Mercury described a social gathering held to raise funds for a church:

“A pleasant social was held on the 28th ult., in Mr. Blackmore's barn, kindly lent for the purpose, in aid of the proposed Nugent church, but owing to bad weather, the attendance was somewhat small. A good supper was provided by the ladies of the district. Mrs. Blackmore kindly lent her piano, and in addition, a melodeon and violin were secured. Songs were sung by Mrs. Olden, Miss Cornish, and Messrs. Briton and Cornish. The elderly people amused themselves with social intercourse, while the younger and more alert found recreation in dancing….During the supper hour, the Rev. Cockerill, incumbent, stated the object of the entertainment, and was very happy in his felicitous remarks, which young and old enjoyed. The proceeds amounted to nearly £4”.

Construction of a church began in 1900 after a tender was advertised. A small weatherboard church was built by W.A. Walker and William Hayton who had built churches at nearby Copping, Kellevie and Forcett. Land for the church was donated by Thomas Blackmore. The church was officially opened by Bishop Montgomery on Thursday 14 March 1901. While the opening seems not to have been recorded by local newspapers a photograph of the church taken on the day was published in the Tasmanian Mail.

A curious complaint about the church was published in the Mercury a month after the opening:

“How is it that the church door at Nugent is kept locked on the Sunday mornings that service is to be held? Why cannot the door be unlocked at half-past 10, as it is in other parishes, instead of the congregation having to stand about on the road awaiting the clerk's pleasure, when he thinks fit to open the door, whether in wet or fine weather? Churchgoers want to know the reason, as there is nothing in it anyone could steal. There was fuss enough made when the State school door was locked, and the congregation had to wait about. I am sure if the minister will only try and have the door opened, as it is in other places, churchgoers will be very thankful.—Yours, etc.. RESIDENT.”

A more uplifting report about the church concerns the marriage of the Premier of Tasmania, John Earle, which took place in 1914:

“April, 1914, will undoubtedly always count as a memorable month for the Premier (Hon. John Earle), for it contains two red-letter days which he will doubtless remember throughout his subsequent career. On April 6 he was sworn in as Premier and Attorney General of the State of Tasmania….The other day was yesterday, April 30, and the event which marked it was of a more personal and private nature. Yesterday the Premier was married at Nugent to Miss Susanna Jane Blackmore. Nugent is a little farming settlement 14 miles, by road to the north-east of Sorell, surrounded on nearly all sides by the dense bush, out of which, the farms which make up the settlement have been hewn…. It is a quiet, out-of-the-way place, for there is no road through it leading to anywhere in particular.… One would not like to say offhand that Mr. Earle is the only Premier of Tasmania who has ever been in Nugent, for Premiers penetrate into strange places, but certainly it is that he is the only one that has ever been married there, and this unique event naturally caused some stir in the little community. The bride and her relations are well-known people in the district, her father, Mr. Thomas Blackmore, being a farmer there. The wedding took place at St Andrew's Church (Church of England), and the officiating minister was the Rev. D B. Blackwood, of Sorell….The church had been very prettily decorated by friends of the bride with greenery, red leaves and flowers, and berries. The traditional wedding bell was made of white chrysanthemums and ivy leaves….After the ceremony the wedding breakfast was served at the residence of the bride's parents, when the customary toasts were honoured, and speeches indulged in. The Premier and Mrs. Earle left for Hobart later in the day….”.

The later history of the church is not well documented although it was used as a place of worship up until the 1990s. In 2000 local residents were successful in securing ownership of the church and hall which are now used for community events.

Dedication ceremony at St Andrew's, Nugent. Tasmanian Mail, April 1901

Tama Hack's wedding party at St Andrew's Nugent - (undated) Libraries Tasmania digital collection.
Albert Archer Rollings (Aa 'Arch' Rollings) [Photographer] (NG1553)

The church in 2020. Photographer: Marg Davies. 

Mercury, January 1900


Mercury, Tuesday 4 October 1898, page 3
Mercury, Wednesday 24 January 1900, page 4
Mercury, Friday 12 April 1901, page 2
Tasmanian Mail, Saturday 13 April 1901, page 20
Mercury, Wednesday 22 May 1901, page 5
Mercury, Friday 1 May 1914, page 5
Mercury, Tuesday 25 June 1929, page 3
Mercury, Monday 16 March 1931, page 3

Henslowe, Dorothea I and Hurburgh, Isa. Our heritage of Anglican churches in Tasmania / by Dorothea I. Henslowe ; sketches by Isa Hurburgh s.n. 1978 


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"