Thursday, 24 November 2016

St Michael's & All Angels Church, Bothwell

Located at the corner of Patrick Street and Market Place is St Michael and All Angels church which was built in 1891 by the stonemason Thomas Lewis using local stone. You can enter the church and admire Lewis's particularly beautiful stone staircase and the simple, elegant stone seats in the porch. It is a comment on Tasmania's weather that one of the most appealing aspects of the church is the fire place on the western wall which is used to heat the church on winter nights

The Anglicans, with financial support from Mrs William Nicholas of ‘Nant’, built their own church in 1891. St Michaels and All Angels Anglican Church was built owing to disputes and differences between the Anglican and Presbyterian congregations, who until this time had to share the one building. Designed in the French Gothic style by Alexander North in 1887, this small country cathedral was built by Lewis & Son and Hallet from locally quarried sandstone by stonemason Thomas Lewis, St Michaels and All Angels Anglican Church was consecrated by Bishop Montgomery in 1893.

The elegant stone-faced interior incorporates a large fireplace at the west end, double-arcades screening the transepts, with carved column capitals in Oamaru limestone, and a low stone wall screening the chancel which links to a stone pulpit containing a mosaic made by J.F. Ebner, London representing the Saviour preaching the sermon on the mount..

The fittings are to North's designs, including the stone font and the carved kauri choir stalls incorporating stylised fleur-de-lis ends in the shape of fern fronds, a feature also to be seen at St Mark's Church, Deloraine. The windows incorporate plate tracery and include the work of stained glass artists Brooks Robinson & Co., and William Montgomery, both of Melbourne. The tower was added in 1923, though not completed until 1929 and includes a stone staircase.

The organ built by Samuel Jocelyne in 1862 is one of two surviving organs of this type in Australia. The organ has a very fine case in Australian cedar (Toona Australis) and incorporates splendidly carved details. Its overall shape is reminiscent of a fairly standard 18th century English style of organ case, with three major flats and intervening smaller 'harp' shaped flats.

The design and workmanship is comparable with another Joscelyne organ, said to have been built for his home, later in Burnie Baptist Church, and now in St James-the-Great Anglican Church, East St Kilda, Melbourne. The drawstops have script engraving. The organ was moved into the present church for its opening in 1891. Sadly its placement in the base of the tower is not ideal for acoustical projection.

Main Text & Information Sources – 
Interpretive Sign at the site

Interior Photos & Organ Photos Source – 

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