St. Alban's Anglican Church | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


St. Alban's Anglican Church

Item details

Name of item: St. Alban's Anglican Church
Other name/s: St Albans Church
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -32.2625882244 Long: 150.8870643250
Primary address: Hunter Terrace, Muswellbrook, NSW 2333
Parish: Rowan
County: Durham
Local govt. area: Muswellbrook
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Wanaruah
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
LOT17 DP668246
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
Hunter TerraceMuswellbrookMuswellbrookRowanDurhamPrimary Address
Brook StreetMuswellbrookMuswellbrookRowanDurhamAlternate Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
St Albans Anglican ChurchReligious Organisation25 Mar 99


Designer/Maker: Sir George Gilbert Scott
Builder/Maker: Edmund Blacket supervised by John Horbury Hunt
Construction years: 1864-1869
Physical description: St Alban's Church is constructed of stone quarried at Atienne and has a slate roof, with a square north -east tower. The interior construction features, chancel with scissor-truss roof and original polychrome application. Carved limestone reredos by Harry Hemes of England designed by Pirie and Clyne, Aberdeen, Scotland. Floor tiles throughout the church were made by Minton and Hollins. Needle point kneelers and cushions were possibly made by early Rector's wife, Mrs Beedle. Chancel arch supported by short shafts and volute corbels. Four bay with south aisle and arcade. Scissor and collar truss with braced principals and polychrome decoration. A complete set of stained glass windows by Howard Bros. of Frome, Somersetshire, England. Original oak pews. Nine shafted carved stone font, built by James Black & Son.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Sir George Gilbert Scott's only known design for a church executed in Australia, supervised by J.H.Hunt on behalf of E. Blacket . The Church is a superb example of English, Victorian Gothic Revival. Complete with 19th century plantings, fence and bellcote.
Date condition updated:13 Jan 98
Modifications and dates: 1880s a fence, believed to be designed by John Horbury Hunt was built on the Brook Street and Hunter Terrace boundaries.
1886 - further maintenance works undertaken: whole exterior of church's stonework was re=pointed and the fence repainted.
1893 - roof repair works and guttering on the tower. Organ reubilt by Sydney organ builder, Charles Richardson, keeping some of the original facade and Walker pipes.
1894 - gas lighting installed by Muswellbrook Gas Co.
late 19th c.: termite damage led to replacing some floor boards and foundations below pulpit re-laid.

1913 - re-roofing carried out in slate for the roof and copper for the church spire. Stone work repointed.
1914 - Archdeacon White memorial clock with chiming bells installed in church tower, detached stand-alone belfry/bellcote/bell tower of timber erected in the church yard to house original church bell (from 1843 church, transferred to new one in 1869). Vestry enlarged on north-west side of tower, moving the wall approx. 4' - sandstone of the same quality as the original and workmanship similar. The only style departure was using copper gutter and downpiping and diamond lead-lighting with clear glass with red border around the edges of the window (CMP, 2012, K12).

mid-1980s - Belfry/belcote/bell tower - major maintenance works done in the mid-1980s based on a 1979 Donald Ellsmore Report.
Current use: Church
Former use: Church


Historical notes: In 1981 the National Trust Classified the St Alban's precinct. Within the precinct are St Alban's Church, the Gothic fence, the bellcote, the Rectory and the Sunday School Hall with attached residence. The Church is Sir George Gilbert Scott's only known design for a church executed in Australia, supervised by J.H.Hunt on behalf of E. Blacket . The Church is a superb example of English, Victorian Gothic Revival. Complete with 19th century plantings, fence and bellcote. The precinct "is closely identified the artistic and religious patronage of the White family, which was responsible more than any other, for much of the 19th century development in the Hunter Valley. The Rectory was built c.1881 and for many years was the residence of Mrs Jane Wilson, sister of the Archdeacon W. E. White, Rector of the Parish from 1860-1900. It was acquired by the Church in 1937 and now forms an essential element of the precinct . It is a good example of late 19thcentury romanticism, featuring a complexity of gables, hipped roofs, tall chimneys and a semi-circular, single storey wing. The Sunday School and Hall, erected in 1874 as the St. Alban's School, was the first non-ecclesiastical building undertaken by Horbury Hunt. It was in pious memory of Sarah White, and Francis, her son, to the glory of God. Special features of this building are bellcote on the roof ridge, a triple arch porch, multiple gables and high chimney stacks. It is constructed of warm red sandstock bricks recovered from the original St. Alban's (c.1840 ). The attached residence was initially for the schoolmaster, later for the schoolmaster, later for the organist and currently for the curate. In 1934, a kindergarten room, stage and porch were added in a style compatible with Hunt's concept. The rear room was dedicated in memory of Lillian Luke, cousin of Mrs Jane Wilson.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-

Recommended management:


Management CategoryDescriptionDate Updated
Recommended ManagementProduce a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) 
Recommended ManagementPrepare a maintenance schedule or guidelines 
Recommended ManagementCarry out interpretation, promotion and/or education 

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
57(2)Exemption to allow workHeritage Act gerneral maintenance

Order Under Section 57(2) to exempt the following activities from Section 57(1):
(1) The maintenance of any item on the site meaning the continuous protective care of existing materials.
Jul 25 1986
57(2)Exemption to allow workStandard Exemptions SCHEDULE OF STANDARD EXEMPTIONS
Notice of Order Under Section 57 (2) of the Heritage Act 1977

I, the Minister for Planning, pursuant to subsection 57(2) of the Heritage Act 1977, on the recommendation of the Heritage Council of New South Wales, do by this Order:

1. revoke the Schedule of Exemptions to subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act made under subsection 57(2) and published in the Government Gazette on 22 February 2008; and

2. grant standard exemptions from subsection 57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977, described in the Schedule attached.

Minister for Planning
Sydney, 11 July 2008

To view the schedule click on the Standard Exemptions for Works Requiring Heritage Council Approval link below.
Sep 5 2008

PDF Standard exemptions for works requiring Heritage Council approval


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - State Heritage Register 0045802 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0045825 Jul 86 1233632

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
Tourism 2007St Alban's Anglican Church View detail
TourismAttraction Homepage2007St Alban's Anglican Church View detail
WrittenJ.M.Freeland Architect Extraordinary, The Life and Work of John Horbury Hunt::1838-1904

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045125
File number: S90/05526, NEP90 342, HC 32968

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