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St George Old Beach

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. 

The church, 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. 

Like a number of churches in Tasmania, the church was named after St. George, the patron saint of England. 

Behind St. 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. Hutchinson.

Headstones in this cemetery were photographed 3rd July 2004

Brettingham-Moore Clive Howells Mary Parker William
Hurst David Nevin Payne Michael Laurence
C Hurst Pearl Isobel Purdon Alfred
Cleary Eleanor Matilda Purdon Alice
Cleary Robert Arthur J  
Cleary Robert Thomas Johnson Harold Wilfred U  
Johnson Sally Jane Unknown Elizabeth  
E Upton Phyllis  
Eaves Patrick John M Upton Mavis Joan  
Mollineaux Ella Mary  
G Mollineaux Henry W  
Gage Frances

Walker Leo Rex

Gage John Frederick R    
Gage Marcia Frances Richmond Judith Isabel    
  Unknown Elizabeth



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