Tuesday, 28 February 2017

St Andrews Church, Campbell Town

A fine Gothic Revival sandstone church built in 1857 and containing an organ and desk that once belonged to Bishop Nixon the first Anglican Bishop of Tasmania. The church with its dominant needle spire is comparable with the best built in Australia at this time. The building has a fine curtilage extending over a complete triangular town block.

The organ was build by J.C. Bishop of London in 1843 for Tasmania's first C of E Bishop (Francis Russell Nixon). The Bishop had the organ installed in his New Town home "Runneymede". When the bishop returned to England in 1863 the organ was purchased for St Andrew's Campbelltown, which had been completed seven years earlier.

The spire of this beautiful little church is a landmark in the town. It is reported that the builders forgot to untie a rope and left it dangling from the top of the spire when their work was finished and the scaffolding taken away. Not wishing to have the unseemly thing in evidence on the day of dedication, a rifleman of repute was asked to come along and shoot it down. After several tries with various missiles, among which it is said, even marbles were used, the offending rope at last came tumbling to the ground.

St. Andrew’s was dedicated in 1855 and was served by the famous Rev. Adam Turnbull, M.D. Dr. Turnbull was born in 1803 and came to Tasmania twenty-two years later. For twenty years he was secretary to Governor Arthur and Treasurer in Sir John Franklin’s term of office. His disagreement with Governor Denison in ’52, concerning transportation, cost him both his office and his pension. Two years later he was admitted as a licenciate by the Presbytery and in August of that year was ordained and inducted. Services before that time had been held in the old Assembly Hall, which later became the library.

In 1871 the Rev. Alexander Michie came from South Australia to assist the doctor, who, full of honour retired in July, 1874. Old Mr. Alick Turnbull, the doctor’s brother and a keen gardener, used to keep the church grounds in perfect order until the time of his death. Here came lovers in the moonlight and children played away the happy hours.

The church itself has been closed for some time and recently was privately purchased and the intention of the new owners is to turn the old church into a café & functions venue.

Main Text & Information Sources – 
Australian Heritage Database

Historic Photos – 

Organ Photos –