St John the Baptist, Buckland – the Church

St John the Baptist, Buckland –  one of the first ecclesiologically correct churches in Tasmania

Buckland is situated approx. 60km north east of Hobart on the Tasman Highway (A3).  The original inhabitants of the area were the Paredarerme.  Europeans first settled in the 1820s in what was then known as Prosser’s Plains (after the nearby river).  In 1841, a probation station for new convicts was established.  Convicts also worked on the convict road, which ran on the north side of the Prosser River (an 8km walking track is left).[i]  Its oldest house, Woodsden, was built in 1826.  In 1846, the village was renamed Buckland, after William Buckland, professor of geology at Oxford and from 1845 Dean of Westminster.[ii]  However, as contemporary newspaper articles show, both terms continued to be in use for quite some time.

In the early years, the settlement did not have a church.  This changed quickly once the first chaplain, Frederick Holdship Cox[iii], was appointed to the area in 1846.  Born on 21 April 1821, Cox was the son of Revd Frederick Cox, of Walton, Bucks, and had studied at Cambridge. Before coming to Tasmania, he had been appointed assistant curate of Iping-cum-Chithurst, Chichester, Sussex.

St John the Baptist, Buckland – the Church

Church of St John the Baptist, Buckland Tasmania

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St John the Baptist, Buckland, and Ecclesiology

St John the Baptist, Buckland,

and Ecclesiology

Often when you least expect it, you discover something special.  This is also what happened during our recent holiday in Tasmania.  One day, we drove from Hobart north east to Swansea, with some stops along the way.

Our first stop was in Buckland, where we spotted the Church of St John the Baptist. The door was not locked, so we could have a look inside.  We were amazed by the glorious stained glass windows, which were unexpected for a church in a small village.  Trying to find out more about this church, lead me to a fascinating tale, of a church with many architectural features and a fair amount of intrigue around it.  You could make a movie out of it.

St John the Baptist, Buckland, and Ecclesiology

Church of St John the Baptist, Buckland Tasmania

The church is considered to be one of the first ecclesiologically correct churches in Australia.  I have to admit, when I first read the phrase, I didn’t have a clue what it meant. Maybe it’s the same for some of my readers.  Therefore I would like to start with some background on ecclesiology. Continue reading

The Consequence of Coincidences

The Consequence of Coincidences –

A guest post by Julia Redlich

We welcome Julia Redlich to Dottie Tales, who tells us in today’s guest post about finding Richard III as a Consequence of Coincidences.

This is not just a coincidence, but having written a recent contribution to the Richard III NSW Branch website called Not Looking for Richard, this is just a natural consequence. The first feature dealt with finding mention of King Richard in unexpected novels and the pleasure derived from discovering authors who viewed him as a human being, not necessarily a villain. Continue reading

Railway Roundabout, Hobart

Railway Roundabout, Hobart –

looking out over a world-class monument

Australians are quick in calling something world-class.  That was one of the first things we noticed when arriving here in 1998.  A friend mentioned that the food hall of a local department store was “world-class”, which we thought was in that context a rather strange adjective.  However, the Railway Roundabout in Hobart really is world-class:  it was named the Roundabout of the Year in 2015. Continue reading

Henry Bolingbroke’s Reise

Henry Bolingbroke’s Reise –  

the adventures of a young nobleman

in Eastern Prussia

My dad came from the area of Eastern Prussia which is now part of Russia.  He grew up in Insterburg (now Chernyakhovsk)[i], meaning the fortress on the river Inster.  The town is situated approx. 90 km to the east of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad).  My dad had to leave in his teens, when the Soviets came, and never had a chance to visit again, as the area was a military zone, which until the end of the Soviet Union was closed to non-Russians. 

When trying to find out more about my father’s background, I was quite intrigued when I read that more than 600 years ago this town had been visited by a future English king:  Henry Bolingbroke, earl of Derby, who was to take the throne as Henry IV nine years later.  In the later division between the Houses of York and Lancaster, Henry IV would be counted as the first Lancastrian king.  However, not to be biased, a football club in Insterburg, founded in 1921, was called the “Sportverein Yorck”.

In the spring of 1390, after taking took part in an international feat of arms at St Inglevert near Calais, the 23-year-old Henry Bolingbroke was wondering what to do next. So he came up with the idea of going on crusade.  Originally he planned to travel to “Africa” (i.e. Tunesia), but was also considering Prussia.  Due to the medieval equivalent of visa problems, the Tunesian plan did not work out.  So he set off to join the Teutonic Knights on a Reise.  The German word just means ‘journey’, but in this context it refers to a crusading campaign against the Lithuanians.   Henry might also have been influenced by memories of his grandfather’s trip to Prussia in 1351-52. Continue reading