St John the Evangelist’s Church exterior, Richmond, Tasmania


Dublin Core


St John the Evangelist’s Church exterior, Richmond, Tasmania


Brian Andrews, buttress, Catholic, Rod Cooper, Henry Edmund Goodridge, Gothic, Gothic Revival, lancet windows, Alexander North, John Bede Polding, pointed arch, porch, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, Pugin, Richmond, St John the Evangelist’s Church, spire, Tas, Tasmania, Frederick Thomas, tracery, turret, Robert William Willson, Bishop Willson.


St John the Evangelist’s Church is in the village of Richmond, Tasmania, and is the oldest continuously used Catholic church in Australia. The present building is an amalgam of two designs. The earliest building was designed by the English (Bath) architect Henry Edmund Goodbridge (1800-1863) after John Bede Polding (1794-1877), Australia’s first Catholic bishop, obtained plans for several churches from Goodbridge before sailing to Australia in 1835. Polding laid the foundation stone in 1835 and the church was completed in 1837. The nave of the present building is from the original church. In 1859 additions were completed under the supervision of architect Frederick Thomas (1817-1885) from a detailed scale model made by the English architect Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) in 1843. The model was made for Pugin’s friend Robert William Willson (1794-1866) who was the first Catholic Bishop in Tasmania. From Pugin’s design come the chancel (including the rear window with tracery), sacristy and spire. The building is in the Gothic Revival style with pointed arch doorways, buttresses, tracery, spire, stair turret, and lancet windows. The present spire is the third and a scaled down version of Pugin's original designed by architect Rod Cooper and added in 1972. The cross on top of the spire is all that remains of the second spire, designed by Alexander North (1858-1945) in 1893.

Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852) played a central role in establishing the Gothic Revival style and is best remembered for his work on the Houses of Parliament in London, and the interior of the Palace of Westminster.

For the interior see

 For an essay on the church by Brian Andrews see


McLeod, Shane (Essay by Brian Andrews)


October 5, 2012


No Copyright (Essay copyright Brian Andrews; Pugin Foundation)


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