St Thomas' Church | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


St Thomas' Church

Item details

Name of item: St Thomas' Church
Other name/s: St. Thomas Church Group
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Primary address: 34 McLaren Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060
Local govt. area: North Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
34 McLaren StreetNorth SydneyNorth Sydney  Primary Address

Statement of significance:

Excellent example of a Victorian Gothic church, designed by Edmund Blacket. Important regional church and probably the most important historically on the North Shore. Imposing building on prominent hill with associations to surrounding buildings. Associated with a number of important historical figures, such as Rev. Clarke and Conrad Martens and with many prominent attendees. The interior is also of significance.

Heritage Inventory sheets are often not comprehensive, and should be regarded as a general guide only. Inventory sheets are based on information available, and often do not include information on landscape significance, interiors or the social history of sites and buildings. Inventory sheets are updated by Council as further information becomes available. An inventory sheet with little information may simply indicate that there has been no building work done to the item recently: it does not mean that items are not significant. Further research is always recommended as part of preparation of development proposals for heritage items, and is necessary in preparation of Heritage Impact Assessments and Conversation Management Plans, so that the significance of heritage items can be fully assessed prior to submitting development applications.
Date significance updated: 17 May 12
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: E. Blacket/C. Blacket
Builder/Maker: J. Jago
Physical description: St. Thomas Church is a large parish church of fine proportions. The church is located on the highest part of the site and is an imposing building viewed from the south. The sandstone walls are partly rusticated on the exterior and the smooth stone is exposed on the interior. The roof is slate. In plan, the church is a typical large parish church, having a nave, divided from the aisles by columns and arches with clerestory windows above, transepts and chancel. The baptistry, located under the tower, contains a font which was carved by Conrad Martens in 1845. The wooden roof is supported on wooden collar beam trusses. There is some fine stained glass. The present condition of the church is excellent, including the interior. This building is designed in the Victorian Academic Gothic style.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:


Historical notes: The first St. Thomas was begun in 1843, completed in 1845, opened in 1846. The present church was built in two stages, adjacent to and over, the old church, in which services continued during building. In 1877, the first foundation stone for the transept and chancel was laid. This section was opened in 1880. In 1881, the foundation stone for the nave and tower was laid. The nave was built over the top of the 1843 church which was later demolished and carried out through the doorway. The completed church was dedicated in 1884. The Architect, Edmund Blacket had completed the design of the church before he died in 1883. The construction of the nave was supervised by his son Cyril Blacket. The contractor was John Jago. The proposed tower was never built, but subsequent additions were the vestry in 1940, and the raising of part of the tower in 1968.

See St Thomas Church Group

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Creative endeavour-Activities associated with the production and performance of literary, artistic, architectural and other imaginative, interpretive or inventive works; and/or associated with the production and expression of cultural phenomena; and/or environments that have inspired such creative activities. (none)-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship (none)-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria f)
This item is assessed as historically rare regionally. This item is assessed as aesthetically rare statewide.
SHR Criteria g)
This item is assessed as socially representative regionally.
Integrity/Intactness: _
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Local Environmental Plan I088502 Aug 13   
Within a conservation area on an LEP     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
North Sydney Heritage Study Review19930809Tony Brassil, Robert Irving, Chris Pratten, Conybeare MorrisonTB May 1992 Yes

References, internet links & images


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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Local Government
Database number: 2180809

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