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Historic Churches on the Balmain Peninsula

Home > Sydney > Places of Worship | Outdoor | Free | Family | Architecture
by Wendy (subscribe)
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.

St Mary's Church Front
Entrance of St Mary's Church


If you take a closer look, you can see that the stone has weathered badly. This is where you can trace the history.

St Mary's church Balmain stone
The stone has weathered badly


St Mary's Church, Balmain
St Mary's Church


2. St Andrews Church
corner Curtis Road and Darling Street, 1855. Organ: J. W. Walker, 1867.

Built in Decorated Gothic style, St. Andrews Church becomes a notable landmark of Balmain as Saturday Balmain Markets are in the grounds of the Congregational Church.

St Andrews Church Balmain
St Andrews Church Balmain


You can go inside the church as it is open during the Saturday market, where you can see colourful windows and beautifully decorated organ.

St Andrews Church decorated organ
Beautifully decorated organ


3. The Presbyterian Church
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.

Presbyterian Church Balmain
Presbyterian Church


4. St. Augustine's Catholic Church Balmain
Eaton Street, Balmain

The foundation stone was laid in 1848 with the old St. Augustine was first opened in 1851. The present church was dedicated on 1 December 1907 in response to Balmain's expansion.

Different from the churches shown above, St. Augustine's Catholic Church has a bit of colour.

St. Augustine's Catholic Church Balmain
St. Augustine's Catholic Church Balmain
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Why? A self-guided way to know more about Balmain's history and architectural style in the old days
When: Any time
Phone: Please refer to the article for more information
Cost: Free
Your Comment
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.
by cdren (score: 1|10) 1602 days ago
Why does the St Andrews Congregation Church in Balmain continue to fly the British Flag upside down inside the Church
by crisp (score: 0|5) 1891 days ago
Great info, Wendy. Cheers, Jo
by jo-si (score: 1|59) 2227 days ago
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