St John the Baptist, Buckland – disagreement

St John the Baptist, Buckland –

a disagreement between gentlemen

The church of St John the Baptist, Buckland, was consecrated on 15 January 1849.  Unfortunately, this did not mean that everyone lived happily ever after.  On the contrary, it seems to have just been the last drop for some long-simmering animosities.  The whole affair eventually ended in the Supreme Court of Tasmania. Continue reading

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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

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