St Patrick's Cathedral
St Patrick's Cathedral first conducted services from 1851
onwards, the parish of Ballarat was instituted in 1852. The
first Parish Priest was Father Matthew Downing, who
selected in 1853 the two acres site for this church which
was granted under a crown Grant in 1855.
The style of the church is early Gothic from the era of
Edward the 1st in the 13th Century.
Neil Street Uniting Church,
Cnr Neil and Macarthur Streets, Ballarat
The present three-manual organ was built by Fincham & Hobday
at a cost of £1,145 and was opened by G.B. Fentum on 24 October 1890. This was one of the firm’s largest church organs of the period, incorporating a detached drawstop console, tubular-pneumatic action, and a 16ft case. The instrument was rebuilt in 1924 and again in 1954 by George Fincham & Sons Pty Ltd, at which time the action was converted to electro-pneumatic and a new three manual stopkey console installed. The original tonal scheme and pipework remain largely unaltered, however the original decoration of the façade pipes has regrettably been overpainted.
Barkly Street Uniting Church
This former Wesleyan Church dating from 1860 was designed by the Ballarat architect J.A. Doane and constructed in red brick in the Early English Gothic style.
The organ was built in 1889 by Fincham & Hobday at a cost of £450. It remains largely unaltered apart from the introduction of two single-rise reservoirs for the original double-rise reservoir, black & white porcelain stop faces, tuning slides and electric blowing. The original tonal scheme survives intact. The instrument is of particular interest for its casework, with splayed sides and carved transom rails (similar to the former Methodist Church, Albert Park – destroyed, and St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Albury). The original tubular-pneumatic action to the Pedal Organ, with large bore lead tubing, survives.
Wesley Church, Lydiard Street
The first Methodist service to be held in the Ballarat area took place on 28 September 1851 and during the second half of the 19th century a number of Methodist churches were erected in
the city, the most prominent of which was Wesley Church,
Lydiard Street, centrally located in the town.
The present bichromatic brick church was erected in 1883-84 to the design of Terry & Oakden in an Italianate Gothic style, with additions in 1899. In 1922 the choir gallery - originally with a cast iron balustrade - was redesigned. The church is built on the edge of the ‘escarpment’. The main entrance in Lydiard Street is set at a higher level than the apse and the floor follows the slope of the land. The external brickwork is elaborately detailed around the windows and doors with notched brickwork while the external walls have diapered patterns. The amphitheatrical interior is lofty and spacious and includes cast iron galleries at the sides and rear of the nave. The building is comparable with the firm’s Toorak Methodist Church which was wantonly demolished in the 1980s.
The first pipe organ, in the early building, was a large single
manual instrument and probably the first organ in Ballarat.
It was later moved to the Methodist Church, Pleasant Street, Ballarat, St Mark’s Anglican Church, Camberwell and finally
to St Paul’s Anglican Church, Fairfield where it was broken
up in the late 1960s.
Daylesford Uniting Church
The present church in the Gothic style was opened in 1865 and
was designed by noted Melbourne architects Crouch & Wilson.
It is of interest for its brick broach spire, diapered brick façade
and spacious interior with aisles separated from the nave
by slender columns.
The first pipe organ (possibly by Francis Nicholson, Newcastle, UK) was installed in 1871 from the Mt Erica Methodist Church, Prahran and is now at Wesley College, Clunes. The second pipe organ (by Hamlin & Son, London) was installed in 1881 and is now at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Clunes. The present pipe organ, built by the Melbourne organbuilder William Anderson, dates from 1888. It remains in a remarkable state of originality, retaining is fine
casework with painted details and carved impost frieze, ornately stencilled façade pipes, action, console with sloping jambs, wind system and pipework: the metal pipework in spotted metal, apart from the zinc façade, was supplied to Anderson by George Fincham and is still cone tuned:
14 September 1887
Open Dia CC to A zinc front 19 pipes 58
Gamba ten C to A 46
Principal CC to A 58
Twelfth CC to A 58
Fifteenth (stock) CC to A 58
Oboe (black metal) ten C to A 46
Voiced to 3 inches weight of wind
Minor restoration work was carried out in 1979-80 by Leighton Turner, of Ballarat, who presumably replaced the trigger swell
lever with a balanced pedal to the right at this time.
This is one of the finest surviving Anderson organs comparable
in quality with those at St John’s Anglican Church, Flinders,
Victoria (1874) and Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Westbury, Tasmania (1881).
(not included in the 2015 program)
The Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts
is a splendid jewel in the crown for Ballarat, further enriching the cultural and artistic life of the city and Western Victoria.
This recently completed Proscenium Arched Concert Hall boasts an acoustically superior Auditorium consisting of stalls seating and two balconies. The configuration of the seating allows unrestricted views from each of the 857 seats.
With 170 square metres of stage and an additional 60 square metres of wing space the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts is suitable for a huge range of functions. The stage is wide enough to accommodate a symphony orchestra, yet it can be made narrow enough to make even solo performers feel comfortable. This is done with the use of a unique pivot proscenium that can be opened or closed without affecting audience sightlines. Beyond the wings, on stage right, is a street level loading dock allowing single level stage access from street to stage.
Directly under the stage are pivoting walled dressing rooms which allow versatility in layout. The system enables conversion from a single open room into two, three or four smaller dressing rooms in a matter of minutes. An unhindered passageway allows stage access from dressing rooms to either side of the stage via stairs at either end.
The Centre has two spacious foyers, one on either side of the auditorium, on the same level as initial seating rows, making access to the venue easy.
1600 Sturt St
Ballarat VIC 3350
(03) 5329 6100
Loreto College is the oldest school in Ballarat, Victoria. The school has many historical buildings and much heritage that remains present to this day.
Possibly Australia's most magnificent convent church, this building was erected between 1898 and 1902 to the design of W.B. Tappin, of the firm of Reed, Smart & Tappin, and is stylistically comparable with the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Bendigo, Tappin's magnum opus. It was substantially funded through the estate of a German countess, Elizabeth Wolff-Metternich, who had resided for some time in Ballarat. The chapel is constructed in Barrabool stone with Oamaru stone detailing and consists of a large and lofty clerestoried nave and a spacious apsidal sanctuary, all surrounded by an external ambulatory. The elaborate plastered and painted interior, recently restored, focuses upon a marble high altar surmounted by three rose windows placed above elaborate Gothic arcading.
At the rear, a huge rose window, with glass by William Montgomery, is framed by the blue stencilled facade pipes of the divided organ built in 1903 by George Fincham & Son at a cost of £675. The instrument remains largely intact apart from the refitting of the console by the same firm in 1938, when stopkeys replaced the original drawstops and the coupling actions replaced. Restoration work has been carried out by Australian Pipe Organs in recent years.
St Alipius Church
84 Victoria Street, Ballarat
St Alipius Catholic Parish dates from November 1852 when Father Matthew Downing arrived on the Ballarat gold fields and pitched his tent. By 1854 a large tent chapel, reinforced with slabs, was a landmark on Victoria St., watching over the Eureka diggings. Father Patrick Smyth made his name in history for his brave support for the diggers at and after the Eureka Stockade.
The present church was opened in 1874, to the design of the English Gothic Revivalist architect Charles Hanson, supervised by Ballarat’s Henry Caselli.
In 1912 a George Fincham organ was installed in the church, which has been a vibrant Catholic community since the 1850s, very proud of its goldfields heritage.
Craig’s Royal Hotel
As one of the first Grand Hotels in the colony, Craig’s Royal Hotel was born from the wealth of the Australian Gold Rush Era. Established in 1853, Craig’s soon set the standards for unparalleled hospitality and service. Hosting poets, princes and prime ministers over its 155 year history, the hotel is a true icon of the Victorian period.
Now, after nearly 6 years extensive restoration, the magnificent accommodation, dining, meeting and banquet facilities are re-establishing Craig’s as the finest boutique heritage hotel in Australia. Located on historic Lydiard Street in the heart of Ballarat, this Victorian landmark invites you to experience the legend that is Craig’s alone.