St Mary of the Angels Basilica, Geelong

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St Mary of the Angels Basilica
Basilica St Mary of the Angels, Geelong.jpg
St Mary's Basilica, Geelong, south view
St Mary of the Angels Basilica is located in Victoria
St Mary of the Angels Basilica
St Mary of the Angels Basilica
Location in Victoria, Australia
38°09′10″S 144°21′38″E / 38.15278°S 144.36056°E / -38.15278; 144.36056Coordinates: 38°09′10″S 144°21′38″E / 38.15278°S 144.36056°E / -38.15278; 144.36056
Location Yarra Street, Geelong, Victoria
Country Australia
Denomination Catholic
Status Minor basilica
Consecrated 1872
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Messrs Dowden and Ross
Architectural type Gothic Revival
Groundbreaking 1854
Completed 1937
Capacity 1,000
Length 61 metres (200 ft)
Width 40 metres (130 ft)
Nave width 26 metres (86 ft)
Height 64 metres (210 ft)
Archdiocese Melbourne
Priest in charge Fr James Clarke

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.


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.


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]


  1. ^ "Honour just heavenly for church". The Age. 2004-06-17. Retrieved 2016-05-05.
  2. ^
  3. ^ R. A. Vowels, Victoria's Iron lacework,, Part C, Vowels, Melbourne, 2016, p. 1035.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wynd, Ian, St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, 2nd edition (St. Mary of the Angels Parish), 2006
  • Morrow, W.J., A chronological survey of Geelong in 1870, Investigator (Geelong Historical Society magazine), February 1970, p. 10

External links[edit]

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