St Mary of the Angels Basilica, Geelong

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Coordinates: 38°09′10″S 144°21′38″E / 38.15278°S 144.36056°E / -38.15278; 144.36056

St Mary of the Angels Basilica
St-Marys-church-geelong-victoria-australia.jpg
St Mary's Basilica west facade viewed from Yarra Street
Basic information
Location Yarra Street, Geelong. Australia
Affiliation Roman Catholic
District Archdiocese of Melbourne
Country Australia
Year consecrated 1872
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Minor basilica
Leadership Fr Kevin Dillon
Website www.stmarysgeelong.com.au
Architectural description
Architect(s) Messrs Dowden and Ross
Architectural style Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1854
Completed 1937
Specifications
Capacity 1,000
Length 200 ft
Width 130 ft
Height (max) 210 ft

St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, formerly St. Mary's Church, is a basilica located in Yarra Street, Geelong, Victoria, Australia.

Since the completion of the Gothic revival bluestone building in 1937, St. Mary of the Angels has had the tallest bluestone spire in Australia, at 150 feet (46 m), and has the fourth-tallest non-cathedral spire in Australia. In 2004 it became Australia's fifth basilica, after gaining Vatican approval for the change of description.[1]

It is the tallest building in Geelong, with a total height of 210 feet (64 m) from the pavement, and is a major landmark in the city.

History[edit]

St. Mary's Church, 1932

The first St. Mary's church was a small wooden chapel in Yarra Street, opened on 27 November 1842.[2] The congregation quickly outgrew the chapel and a stone replacement was constructed in 1846.

The optimism the Victorian gold rush brought to Geelong led to plans for a cathedral-like landmark church for the city. The architects were Messrs Dowden and the foundation stone was laid in 1854.

However, as Geelong's boom slowed, work ceased two years later, leaving Geelong with an incomplete landmark for over a decade.

Construction was revived in 1871 when Archdeacon R. S. Downing contracted builder Clement Nash to continue works, which ceased in 1872.

Work on the spire did not commence until 1931 and was completed by June 1937.

Architecture[edit]

Rear of the basilica

The phosphor-bronze cross at the top of the spire was cast by Evans & Co. in 1935, and is 8 feet (2.4 m) high, .[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Honour just heavenly for church". The Age. 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2016-05-05. 
  2. ^ http://www.stmarysgeelong.com.au/history.html
  3. ^ R. A. Vowels, Victoria's Iron lacework,, Part C, Vowels, Melbourne, 2016, p. 1035.

Further reading[edit]

Morrow, W.J. A chronological survey of Geelong in 1870, Investigator (Geelong Historical Society nagazine), February 1970, p.10

External links[edit]

Media related to St Mary of the Angels Basilica, Geelong at Wikimedia Commons