Sydney Architecture Images- Gone but not forgotten

Original St Philip's Church of England


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Church Hill in The Rocks.


Built-  1810  Demolished- 1855 Replaced by current gothic building.


Old Colonial Gothick Picturesque


Rendered brick Stone


Summary Very important building in the early days of the colony. Stands by the parade ground at Wynyard, the commercial and military centre of the colony (seat of power for the Rum Corps).
St Philip's Church of England, Church Hill, Sydney 1809, where effigies of Bligh were burnt, and the first burial place of his son-in-law Lt. John Putland. Reproduced courtesy of Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW.
Christian church architecture began here with two churches of innovative plan. The first church in Australia was built of primitive materials in just eight weeks by Reverend Richard Johnson. He was the Church of England chaplain to the colony at Sydney and paid for the work himself. Divine service was first conducted in the unnamed church on 25 August 1793. His church had a novel plan, with a three-part chamber in the shape of a T, separating three classes of people, one class being convicts. The governor's rule of compulsory church attendance for the convicts was unpopular and the building was burned down in October 1798. The colonial government responded by lending a storehouse for worship and then starting construction of St Philip's, at Church Hill. This had a novel round tower, possibly for reasons of strength, and another architectural pretension in a domed apse. It was built of stone and dedicated for use in 1810, but was replaced by a new stone church in 1855.