Queensland Places - Ipswich - St. Paul's Anglican Church
St. Paul’s Church of England was originally constructed in 1859, when Ipswich was still part of New South Wales. The revival gothic building is believed to have been designed by Edmund Blacket with the construction supervised by William Wakeling.
The first Church of England services in Ipswich were said to have been conducted in premises in Ellenborough Street. A brick church was constructed in 1850 on the corner of Brisbane and Nicholas Streets, on a site opposite the present day church. With the growth of Ipswich, a new and larger church was soon needed, and the foundation stone was laid in 1855. Construction was of a high quality as a consequence of the boom conditions being experienced at the time, in Ipswich as well as elsewhere. There was also an intense rivalry between Ipswich and Brisbane and the rector was hopeful of attracting the new bishop to the church, thereby making Ipswich a cathedral city. This also influenced the size and quality of the church building, as well as its interior fittings. For instance, the first pipe organ to be imported into the colony, from England, was installed here in 1860.
The church contains a number of fine stained glass memorial windows, including one to well known Ipswich pioneer, George Thorn. Various improvements and additions have been undertaken over the years including the addition of side aisles, designed by F.D.G. Stanley, in 1888-9 and western extensions, designed by G.B. Gill, in 1929.
This photograph, dated 1875, shows the church only some twenty years after the laying of its foundation stone. In recognition of the important place the church buildings hold in Ipswich’s history, the precinct has been listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Brian Randall - Senior Librarian, State Library of Queensland