No. 1456 - Hobart - St Peter's Hall (1904)

This article is one of a series about buildings associated with Tasmania’s historical churches.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 simple record of these buildings, including of those that no longer exist.

St Peter’s Hall is located on the corner of Harrington Street and Brisbane Street Street and falls within St Mary’s Cathedral precinct. The building originally stood on lower Collins Street before it was dismantled and reconstructed at its present site in 1904. St Peter’s Hall was built in 1855 as a Catholic temperance hall and school house as well as for occasional religious services. It was designed by convict architect Frederick Thomas and built by John Gillon and Henry Shaw under the direction of Henry Hunter.

The hall’s removal and reconstruction was completed by early 1904 and it was officially reopened on Sunday 17 April by Archbishop Murray and the Premier of Tasmania, Sir John Evans. The opening was reported by several local newspapers including the Hobart Mercury:

“The opening ceremony at Saint Peter’s new Catholic hall took place yesterday afternoon 17th Inst., and was a most successful function. The hall was filled by a large and very representative gathering. The new hall is externally a considerable addition to the public buildings of the city Internally it is capacious artistic and comfortable….His Grace Archbishop Murphy welcomed those assembled in the hall and congratulated them on the erection of such a really splendid building as that in which they met…. The financial statement read by Father Gilleran revealed that the total expenditure up to date was £1 387 the receipts from all sources £701, leaving a balance of £636 to be accounted for. Before the conclusion of the meeting a sum of £140 was promised and subscribed”.

Over the years St Peter’s Hall has been put to use for many purposes including a meeting place for the Catholic Young Men’s society and as a school hall for St Mary’s College. In the 1940s the hall was extended at the rear of the building.

A photograph of St Peter's Hall taken about the time of the opening in 1904. Libraries Tasmania - Item Number: NS 392-1-748


Daily Telegraph, Saturday 5 September 1903, page 3
Mercury, Tuesday 12 January 1904, page 5
Mercury, Monday 18 April 1904, page 5
Tasmanian News, Monday 18 April 1904, page 3


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