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St Marys Anglican Bridgewater

The following information is taken from a booklet produced to mark the Centenary of the church in 1973. 

The Reverend John Burrows B.A., the first Chaplain of Pontville, Van Diemans Land 1840-1876 was instrumental during his latter years in having the Church of St. Mary Built.  Services were held from 1846 in South Bridgewater.  There are early references to St. Peter’s Church in the 1840’s.  In the early 1860’s, presumably because no services were being conducted, the Rector of Brighton was asked to take an afternoon service each Sunday.  This led to the present Church being built, to be a milestone in the history of the district. The architect of the Church was a Mr. H.R. Baston, who drew up the plans in 1862.  The Governor of Tasmania, Colonel T. Gore-Browne laid the foundation stone on February 12th, 1862. 

Unfortunately, gales damaged the partly built walls of the building and in February, 1863, an appeal was launched to restore the damage.  It took 10 years to complete. On October 18th 1873 Bishop C. H. Bromby D.D. formally opened and dedicated the church to St. Mary. 

It is recorded that 200 persons, four fifths of whom were Church of England, lived within two miles of the Church. 

The cost of the land on which St. Mary’s was built was 35 pounds and the Church itself cost 450 pounds.  Half the cost was met by subscribers, including parishioners, most of whom were poor workers and labourers. 

Bridgewater became part of the Glenorchy Parish in 1876 when a new Rector of Brighton, the Reverend F.B. Sharland B.A. was appointed. Later, when re-included in the Brighton Parish a letter was sent to the Rector of Glenorchy, the Reverend W. Dodson, by the three Church wardens, Messrs. Edward Ricketts, A. Barwick, W.A. Wood, deploring the fact.

The Church was renovated in 1916 and in 1960 major work was carried out on underpinning the Church foundations followed by extensive drainage work to help in its preservation.  Floor repairs and redecoration was carried out in 1962-1963.  In 1971 the church was redecorated and a new carpet purchased due to the efforts of every member of the church.  The roof was painted in 1972.  At this time the door to St. Mary’s was never locked so that parishioners and visitors could enter at any time. 

It is really sad to see this beautiful little church today with its broken windows and even though all the furniture was removed vandals have gained entry and the walls are now adorned with graffiti.  The cemetery itself is well maintained and is well worth a visit.

Headstones in this cemetery were photographed 4 Jan 2004





A_L_P James Donald Marvell Mary Rathbone Amy Blanche
Allwood Kathleen Joyce James Muriel M McDermott Winifed Hilda Rathbone Kenneth Rigaud
  Johnson Annie A McVilly Richard M Rathbone Rossell Rigaud


Johnson Arthur A   Reynolds Catherine Stewart
Bowerman Robyn Pamela Johnson Basil Samson


Reynolds James
Briggs Hilda Campbell  Johnson Caroline Nielson Ada Elizabeth Roach Edward
Briggs Walter Johnson Doris Rose Nielson Alonzo Alexander Rodwell Alfred Harold
  Johnson Edna Irene   Rodwell Eliza


Johnson Eliza Jane


Rodwell Richard Vernon
Clark Henry Johnson Frank Thomas Oakley Alice May Rodwell William
Clark Johannah Johnson Gerald Arthur Oakley Frederick Rowland William
Clark Mary Alma Johnson Graham    
Clark Thomas William Johnson Joseph Arthur



Conlan Letitia Johnson Samson Paice Danny Smith Tracey Lee
Conlan Oscar John Jones Florence Gertrude Paice Emily Ruth  
Conlan Robert Domonic Jones Raymond George Paice Harold S


Conlan Susan Jane   Paul William John Unknown  Sophia


Peacock Emily May Unknown William


Keating Charles Peacock Neville Joseph  
Gerrand Andrew Hamilton Keating Ruby Piesse Margaret Jane


    Pilcher Alice Emily Wilson Mabel Agnes


L   Wilson Max Robert
Hickman Burnard Ling Cecil Douglas   Wittison Annie
Hickman Daisy Ling Doris J P   Wittison William Thomas
Hickman Frederick Neville Ling Wanda   Witzerman Charlotte
Hickman Hannah Winnifred Lovell Lindsay Francis Stanley   Witzerman Louie
Hollis Harriett     Wood Burgess Thomas
Hooper-Bedelph  Gloria Juanita May      




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