Built on 1
acre of land donated by J. F. Gage which had been part of the 407 acres owned by
his father, John Ogle Gage and known as “Gagebrook”, J.F.Gage had bought it at
public auction for 1,854 pounds after the death of his father who had lived at
Old Beach since 1824.
as originally built, was a rectangular wooden building with a stone foundation
and it measured almost 10 by 5 and a half metres. It had a gabled roof clad
with split timber shingles and supporting a cross at each end. There was a
small porch at the back end of the northern side which also had a gabled roof.
The doorway and windows were of Gothic design. The latter had attractive
mullions and were glazed with plain glaze which was later frosted. Within the
church, the architecture and finish was very simple and typical of that in many
small country churches. The church was lined with tongue and groove pine boards
commonly used at that time. The floor at the eastern end was raised to a height
of one step. There was seating for about sixty persons.
number of churches in Tasmania, the church was named after St. George, the
patron saint of England.
George’s Church there is a small cemetery. This was consecrated by Bishop J. E.
Mercer when he visited Old Beach on the 31st. January 1912 although
the cemetery had been in use before this date. Most of the graves in the
cemetery are for members of pioneer families in the district such as the Clearys,
Gages, Mollineaux”, Newmans, Purdons and Richmonds.
In 1914 a
chancel was added to the eastern end of St. George’s Church in memory of Frances
Gage, nee Howells, a parishioner who died on the 31st. July 1909.
She was the wife of J. F. Gage. Stone quarried at “Baskerville” was used in the
construction of the chancel.
Old Beach is
now an integral part of the Parish of Brighton. In addition to the mother
church – St. Mark’s at Pontville, there are three other churches within the
Parish. They are St. Augustine’s at Broadmarsh, St. Thomas’ at Tea Tree and of
course, St. George’s at Old Beach. Each church has its own cemetery within the
church grounds where pioneers of the district are buried. These churches, all
independently built, and with their distinctly different architectural styles,
have interesting histories and are still in use.
The above notes were taken from a pamphlet written by R.C.
this cemetery were photographed 3rd July 2004