‘Tasmanian Gothic’, Compass, ABC TV

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‘Tasmanian Gothic’, Compass, ABC TV


ABC, alter cloths, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, baptismal font, Wendy Boynton, Catholic, chalice linen, church, Colebrook, Compass, cross, Geraldine Doogue, Gothic, Gothic Revival, headstone, monstrance, Oatlands, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, Pugin, Richmond, rood screen, Tas, Tasmania, Tasmanian Gothic, television, transcript, vestment, website, Bishop Willson, Robert William Willson.


‘Tasmanian Gothic’ was an episode of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Compass television programme presented by Geraldine Doogue. The story was researched by Wendy Boynton and aired on June 24, 2012 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of English architect and designer Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852), one of the main instigators of the Gothic Revival. Although he never visited Australia some consider the best examples of Pugin’s work to be in Tasmania, in part due to their preservation. When his friend Robert William Willson (1794-1866) was chosen as Tasmania’s first Catholic Bishop, Pugin provided him with the materials necessary to establish his diocese. These items, including scale models for three churches, were taken by Willson by ship from England to Hobart in 1844. Pugin artefacts in Tasmania include alter cloths, baptismal fonts, chalice linens, crosses, rood screens, headstones, vestments, and a monstrance (a vessel to hold the communion host, first used in the medieval period), the churches at Oatlands and Colebrook, and elements of the church at Richmond. The programme also deals with Pugin’s lasting legacy, including the enduring notion that Gothic style architecture is the most appropriate for ecclesiastical architecture.  

For the episode transcript see http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s3510122.htm

For the Pugin churches see http://ausmed.arts.uwa.edu.au/items/show/1104







Australian Broadcasting Corporation


June 24, 2012


Boynton, Wendy (researcher)


Australian Broadcasting Corporation



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