Art enthusiast. Loves painting, bushwalking and travels. Writing what I love sparks my passion. Sydney, Australia.
Published May 11th 2013
If you love history and architecture, there is nothing better than immersing yourself in taking self guided walking tours around the Balmain Peninsula. Thanks to the Balmain Association, they have provided resourceful information on their website to guide you through locating the iconic historic buildings. Additionally, brochures of various Balmain walks are available for purchase in the Balmain Watch House, including Balmain History Trail, Around Balmain, Old Balmain (Balmain Walks 1) and much more. As a series of exhibitions are periodically run in the Watch House on weekends, you can take the opportunity to look at the exhibition and buy the brochures if you like.
Through the walks you can come across cottages, private houses, pubs and churches which have rich heritage, reflecting changing architectural style. In particular there is a number of historic churches that is well worth exploring. Read on to find out where they are, and check out the website for more information.
1. St Mary's Church
85 Darling Street, 1843 (Chancel: Edmund Blacket 1843. The rest of the church: Weaver and Kemp 1858.)
The original, smaller St Mary's Church was designed by Edmund Blacket. It was rebuilt in 1858 and Gothic elements were retained in their design of the rebuilt church. However, only the original chancel of Blacklet's church remains.
9 Campbell Street, 1868. Organ built by Charles Richardson, 1893.
Designed by the Balmain architect James McDonald in the Early English Gothic Revival style, the Presbyterian Church consists of lancet windows, a nave and a tower with stone octagonal spire. The tower resembles St Andrew's Congregational Church nearby (pictured above), but on a larger scale.
I have a copy of a photo taken in 1860 of the P & O Steamship "Jeddo" when it came to Balmain in 1860. He was the second engineer. On the hill behind the ship. you can see the St Andrews' Congregational Church, Balmain. It may be the earliest photo of that Church. On that journey, he met the lady who would become his wife when he returned to Balmain on the same ship the following year. I can send you a copy of the photo if you are interested.