St. Paul's Anglican Church (former) | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


St. Paul's Anglican Church (former)

Item details

Name of item: St. Paul's Anglican Church (former)
Other name/s: St Paul's Church of England
Type of item: Built
Group/Collection: Religion
Category: Church
Location: Lat: -33.7814285558 Long: 151.0546435600
Primary address: 346 Marsden Road, Carlingford, NSW 2118
Parish: Field of Mars
County: Cumberland
Local govt. area: Parramatta
Local Aboriginal Land Council: Metropolitan
Property description
Lot/Volume CodeLot/Volume NumberSection NumberPlan/Folio CodePlan/Folio Number
PART LOT15844   
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
346 Marsden RoadCarlingfordParramattaField of MarsCumberlandPrimary Address

Statement of significance:

St. Pauls Anglican Church is the oldest remaining Anglican church in the region, built by William Mobbs in 1847. A mid-nineteenth century Victorian Academic Gothic former Church which is important for its historic associations with the early settlement of the Carlingford area (Criterion A.4). Its design is architecturally important as a well proportioned example of a small Church of its style (Criterion F.1). It is valued for its aesthetic contribution to the townscape (Criterion F.1). For well over a century the Church had religious associations with the local Anglican congregation (Criterion G.1). It has historic associations with Bishop Broughton, who supported the construction of the Church and consecrated it (Criterion H.1) (National Trust of Australia).
Date significance updated: 26 Sep 03
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.


Physical description: A small sandstone Victorian Academic Gothic former Church with west porch, a nave featuring lancet windows, a bellcote, chancel and later vestry erected at the direction of the Right Reverend W G Broughton, first Bishop of Sydney. The land was donated in 1847 by William Mobbs (National Trust of Australia).

As the land has shale close to the surface, it could not be used for burials, so Mobbs donated another plot which became the burial ground some distance from the Church. Unusually, the Church was entirely paid for when completed and consecrated in 1850. The stonework was carried out by R Marshall, who quarried and dressed the stone on his own property in Carlingford. The lighting in the Church, originally kerosene, was gaslight in 1916 and electric in 1926 (National Trust of Australia).

The site has a large camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) which may be some 50 years old. There were 2 Norfolk Island pines (Araucaria excelsa) - both have been removed - one due to road widening, one due to lightning strike c.2003 (pers.comm., owner, 7/7/2008).
Modifications and dates: c.2003 removal of a lightning-struck Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria excelsa).
Former use: church, book shop


Historical notes: On February 4th, 1847, an acre of land bounded on the north by Marsden Road, (earlier called "Church Street"), was donated for a Church of England Church by William Mobbs and conveyed on that date by B.Lee, William Mobbs and others to Reverend George Edward Weaver Turner, then incumbent of St, Anne's Church, Ryde.

William Mobbs was the son of another William Mobbs who had earlier been given a grant of 33 acres at what is now Carlingford and where he had 'the finest orangery in the State in the 1830's'.

The younger William inherited part of these acres and gave the land on which St Paul's now stands. The gift was intended to provide not only a site for a church but also a burial ground adjacent to the church. Unfortunately, the nature of the shale foundation close to the surface of the ground made it unsuitable for grave digging.

William Mobbs then made a further gift of one and a quarter acres from the family land closer to his own home, "Stonehaven", and on the north of Marsden Road; access to the burial ground being made by a lane leading from Marsden Road. This explains why the cemetery of St Paul's Church is so far from the building itself, William Mobbs himself being the first person laid to rest in the cemetery on 14th July, 1851.

The most unusual aspect of the opening of the church was that the building was entirely paid for when it was completed. In those days, a tremendous money problem always faced the new congregation, 'paying off the church debts'.

On the 4th July, 1850, the Rt. Rev William Grant Broughton, first Bishop of Sydney and previously the only Bishop of Australia, opened and consecrated the Church. The consecration of a Church cannot take place until all debts have been cleared.

The district at that time was known as 'Pennant Hills' and the Sydney Morning Herald observed: "It was truly a delightful sensation of surprise with which we behalf the beautiful little church which has been so unostentatiously raised in the wilderness and of which we had scarcely heard before its consecration was announced. The whole of the chancel fittings and communion service were provided by a few friends of the incumbent (Rev Turner), through the kindness and zeal of Mr. Acton Sillitoe, who, on hearing that there was a lack of means to bring the building to a state of completion, collected in a few days upwards of 35 ponds".

"The Font was presented by Mr. Charles Moore, of the Botanic Gardens, (a well known figure in our history), and a handsome set of books was presented by the Bishop from the Society for the promotion of Christian knowledge. It is highly creditable to the Trustees that, unlike most of our newly erected churches, this building is entirely debt free".

The masonry work was carried out by Richard Marshall, who quarried and dressed the stone on his own property near Jenkins Road, Carlingford.

The Rev. Turner continued incumbent of Carlingford until 1860. In those days the church stood on the edge of a forest beside a track, (today's Marsden Road), which ran past One Tree Hill, near Brush Farm along Marsden Road and Wharf Road to the Ermington Wharf on the Parramatta River. This route was used by the Hills settlers to bring their produce to the wharf for conveyance by ship to Sydney.

The Parish was a large one when Rev. Robert Taylor became rector in 1860 of St Paul's. Castle Hill, St Paul's Carlingford and Dural. This had developed within the extensive parish of St Annes, Ryde until Castle Hill became a separate parish with Carlingford as one of its outlying centres.

With the coming of the railway line through the northern districts in 1886, development began to take place much quicker close to the resultant railway stations than it did around the Church area in the growth of suburbs which has continued ever since, the Church suffered some solation.

However, services continued through kerosene lighting of the church; gaslight in 1916; the First World War; the influenza epidemic in 1919 when meetings were at first prohibited then allowed when conducted in the open air with the congregation wearing masks. Electric light was installed in the Church and the school hall next door in 1926.

In 1942 the Church became a Parish. It was then 93 years old and had served as a subsidiary centre in other parishes for 55 of those years.

There is a much more detailed history of the church given when it celebrated its Centenary in 1950, but its paramount claim to recognition is in its early ministry to an isolated district when the settlers would have been obliged to trudge on foot or by sulky to the more distant churches of Parramatta or West Ryde, taking so much time from their scanty hours of leisure in order to satisfy there desire to attend Divine Service (Parramatta & District Historical Society,1977).

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Environment - cultural landscape-Activities associated with the interactions between humans, human societies and the shaping of their physical surroundings Developing local, regional and national economies-National Theme 3
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Religious worship-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Practising Anglicanism-
8. Culture-Developing cultural institutions and ways of life Religion-Activities associated with particular systems of faith and worship Church-

Procedures /Exemptions

Section of actDescriptionTitleCommentsAction date
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 0005602 Apr 99 271546
Heritage Act - Permanent Conservation Order - former 0005613 Mar 81 411585
Local Environmental Plan  02 Jul 93 763699
Register of the National Estate  14 May 91 1145

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenParramatta & District Historical Society1977(not stated)

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

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Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: Heritage Office
Database number: 5045460
File number: S90/06115 & HC 32164

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