The Hall and Rectory

After the parish moved to the new church, the old building was used as a school until it was destroyed in a severe hailstorm in 1878. The site was then sold to fund the building of a new hall on the current site, and the present parish hall was opened on St Andrew's Day 1879.

The new hall was described as "the new room" and was a simple gabled shed. During the rectorship of the Rev'd Herbert Heath from 1888 to 1891 the Hall was extended by construction of two gables to the north and south, resulting in the present cruciform roof shape.

This photo taken in 1896 shows the Church, Hall & newly completed Rectory with Kangaroo Point School and Navy buildings.

History026

In 1988 under a grant from the Bicentennial Authority conservation work commenced on the western end of the hall. The roof had sagged, walls leaned outwards, and there was much old termite damage. Substantial problems in the foundations and walls of the studio area under the hall studio were corrected and structural stabilization of the roof and walls effected.

Also under the grant, several rooms in the rectory were functionally rearranged, the kitchen improved, and conservation work undertaken on damaged flooring, plaster walls and ceilings. The galvanised iron roofing was renewed, the rectory's verandah flooring replaced, and timber handrails repaired or replaced as necessary.

Ten years later, further restoration work on the hall involved structural improvements, replacement of defective timber, painting, and the installation of a new kitchen, rector's office and parish office.

Heritage Register Status

The St Mary's buildings and site are of great cultural significance to the people of Brisbane for both historic and visual attributes. The whole of St Mary's precinct, including the organ, is included in the Register of the National Estate and on the Queensland Heritage Register (where the organ is listed as "the oldest pipe organ in Queensland").The church and rectory buildings have remained unusually intact during continuous occupation since 1873. Preservation of the history encompassed in St Mary's precinct is fundamental in its appeal as a place of worship.

Restoration

Richard Allom, Architects, in June 1985 presented "A Conservation Study of the Anglican Church of St Mary the Virgin, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, and its associated Rectory, Halls and Grounds" and the Parish Council began implementing the recommendations.

On 27th April 1986, The Governor of Queensland, Sir Walter Campbell, launched an appeal for funds for the restoration at a service of thanksgiving also attended by the Primate of Australia, the Most Reverend John Grindrod.

Henry Neylan Pty Ltd re-roofed the church and replaced guttering and down pipes in 1987, and the roof over the sanctuary was insulated to reduce heat damage to the Rivers paintings.

Also in 1987, Mitch Foley was commissioned to carry out conservation work on the stained glass windows, while stone masons John Petrie & Associates repaired the stone jambs and repointed stone work where necessary.

Layers of paint on the walls of the sanctuary were removed by Ray Glancy, painter, under the oversight and direction of architect Brit Andresen to reveal the original colours used. The process also revealed other detail previously hidden.

John Hook, Conservator, Queensland Art Gallery, undertook conservation of the three Godfrey Rivers paintings between July and September 1987.

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