Churches – The Weslyan (Methodist) Chapel Evandale

Local identities Henry Reed and John Ward Gleadow helped build the Wesleyan Church although little information is available on its history and as such it was later used as a Druid Hall, Scouts Hall and then by the Returned Services League of Australia (R.S.L.A.) as their Evandale Club Room.

The chapel which is located in Russell Street Evandale was offered for sale in 1975 and was later converted in 2000 into Heritage Accommodation of which it still remains.

Churches – The Deddington Chapel

Built in 1840, this Chapel located at Deddington, Tasmania is on land gifted from Robert Pitcairn. Brothers Robert and Thomas Pitcairn arrived in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land on the ship “Portland” on 10th September 1824 holding letters of Recommendation.

Thomas received a “Grant of Land” of 640 acres at Mills Plains, now Deddington, where he took up occupancy in 1826.

Robert received a “Grant of Land” of 800 acres at Grassy Hut, Bothwell and he took up occupancy of the land, also in late 1824. In late November/December of that year he apparently arranged for an exchange of this Bothwell Land Grant for land the River Nile, adjacent to the land granted to his brother.

Robert subsequently received another Grant of Land of 800 acres in 1829 adjoining and it is from this subsequent Grant that he gave an “Allotment upon which was erected the Chapel. It is understood that this “Gift of Land for this Chapel purpose was made following a request/suggestion from Rev. Robert Russell of the Presbyterian Church of Evandale.

The Chapel was built by Public Subscription on this “Gifted Land” with Land Ownership being transferred to “The Residents of Deddington”, in 1849. From 1865 the Chapel began use as the Local School and continued for this purpose until 1885. It was again used for the same purpose in 1912.

Major restoration work on the building was undertaken by the National Trust of Tasmania in the 1960’s with assistance from local residents and further maintenance was completed by the Chapel Trustees in 1999.Ongoing maintenance is always needed and this has included Grave restoration, fencing, landscaping and Chapel signage.

The graves present include Colonial Artist John Glover and his wife Sarah (nee Young) and their sons Henry & John Richardson Glover.

The Chapel is still in use today.

Churches – St Peters Church and School Nile

The Village of Lymington, later re-named The Nile was established by local landowners James Cox of “Clarendon” and Donald Cameron of “Fordon” to house their Workers.

The Village is believed to have been named by James Cox, after the seaport town in Hampshire. It was renamed “Lymington North” to avoid confusion with “Lymington” near Port Cygnet, and in 1910 was renamed again, this time becoming “The Nile”, no doubt because of the continued confusion, it has been suggested.

The Church Building was originally used as a “School on Weekdays and a Chapel on Sundays”. The Building was erected by James Cox (1790-1866) and stands on three acres of land also given by him.

Thomas Arnold, the Inspector of Schools, visited the establishment on 30th June 1853, when it was apparently newly built and reported that the premises were sufficient for the nineteen children who attended, but that the supply of books was poor and the teaching indifferent. The discipline was good and the children were neat and clean. Fees of 2/6 ( 2 shillings and 6 pence) weekly were paid to the Master, a Johnson, who was a retired Colour Sergeant of moderate attainments. Johnson attended school there day a week, possibly to teach needlework. Arnold’s chief complaint was that there was no kitchen or toilet.

In 1869 the Local Schools Board visited the school and reported that there were forty four children enrolled but only thirty nine in attendance being eighteen boys and twenty one girls.

One Member of the Board,  John Whitehead, reported that he had visited a family by the name of “Green” living on  Robotham’s Farm, more than three miles distant from the Public School. They had six children of which three were old enough to go to school and the parents were willing to pay 1/- (1 shilling) per week for their School Fees.

It was agreed by the Members present to recommend that two children should be admitted at 6d (6 pence), per week each and the third should be admitted on “Free Certificate”.

Other families were also having difficulties paying the school fees and it was decided that one of  Turner’s children be also admitted on a “Free Certificate”, with the other two (2) of his children being sent to school and the required “Fees Paid”. One child of Henry Lodge was to be admitted on a “Free Certificate” for one School Quarter only, whilst another child from the Family to be sent, was to have the required “Fees Paid”.

On payment of the required fees for two children by Larcombe any other from that family fit to go to school would be sent on a “Free Certificate”.

One of Drake’s children was to be admitted on a “Free Certificate” upon the payment for another two children attending.

The Teacher, Light, reported that several families “whose children ought to attend school” did not so attend along with the family names of Boyd, Griffith, Gibson and Sutton.

The Building continued to be used until late in the century at which time the Education Department erected a new school.

Early in 1893 the work of renovating the building commenced with Alexander North was the Architect and J.T. Farmilo the Contractor.

The addition of a Chancel Vestry and Tower were paid for from an endowment left by James Cox.

On St Peter’s Day that year the building was consecrated by Bishop Montgomery.

James Cox is commemorated by “A Tablet in the Nave”.

Churches – St Marys (Catholic Church) Evandale

St. Mary’s Catholic Church was built around 1863 reportedly by Mr. J. Calvin although accurate details are unknown due to lack of existing church records.

The church came under the parish authority of the Catholic Church at Longford.

The wooden church originally was built with a bell tower, which consequently collapsed due to rotten wood and was not replaced. St. Mary’s at Evandale was the oldest wooden Catholic Church in the South Pacific to conducted regular masses.

The church was originally built with the doorway into the porch facing the side. This meant that coffins could not be carried into and out of the church. During 1976 when renovations took place, the original doorway was positioned to the front enabling funerals to be held.  In addition the foundations were strengthened.

On a Sunday in February 2001, saw the last regular Sunday Mass with the final Mass of Thanksgiving being held 10th November 2002.

In June 2003 the now de-consecrated St. Mary’s Church was offered for sale and was eventually brought on the 20th July 2003 by Mr. Ian Hodgkinson for renovation to a family home.

Churches – St Andrews (Uniting) Church Evandale

Reverend Robert Russell was a young Scot when he arrived in Evandale to commence his parish duties on the 9th April 1838. At that time there was no church building and services were then held in private residences.

The Scottish Community of Evandale had raised funds for the building of a Kirk (Church) and along with a grant from the Government this enabled the laying of a foundation stone in 1838 by the Governor, Sir John Franklin and from this the Kirk (Church) became a reality with the dedication of St. Andrews on 5th September 1840.

A much admired example of Greek Revival Architecture, St. Andrews is known as the “best preserved or restored” place of worship in Tasmania.

Since its door opened, St Andrew’s has served the Presbyterian Congregation of Evandale and its surrounding environs and lately as the Uniting Church of Australia.

Churches – St Andrews (Anglican) Church Evandale

In 1834, plans were finalised and St. Andrew’s Church of England was officially opened in 1837 by the Governor of Van Diemen’s Land, Sir John Franklin.  The building was used as a place of worship on Sundays and a school room during the week days. The new building was constructed with bricks which were obtained from the abandoned works of the Evandale-Launceston Water Tunnel. In addition the roof was covered in shingle.

There were two rooms, the chapel/school room and the master’s room. The building was situated at the end of Church Lane in what is now the back of the Rectory. The initial building was later used as a Sunday School before being demolished around 1910.

In October 1838, a larger Church of England was required with a petition requesting the Government assist in the erection of a more suitable building. Consequently work began on a new church in 1841. It was a red brick building with a square tower and the building was completed about 1844.

In 1869, discovery of large cracks were discovered which was caused by faulty foundations, and the church was finally demolished in 1871. The foundation stone for the present church was laid down on 30 November 1871 and building commenced using many of the original bricks. In May 17, 1872 the new church was consecrated and dedicated to St. Andrew.

St. Andrew’s Anglican (Church of England) Church