Thursday, 16 March 2017

St Johns Church Camden NSW

St John’s Church Camden

6-22 Menangle Road, Camden, NSW 2570
Lot 1 DP 1024949
Lot 1 DP 2399467


St Johns Church Camden 2010 (I Willis)

History and Description

The St Johns Church Precinct includes the church and church grounds, and also includes the
cemetery, the Rectory and Stables, and church hall.

The church is set within a fine group of other ecclesiastical buildings that includes the Rectory
(1859) and church hall (1906), together with the cemetery in a rural landscaped environment
resplendent in native and exotic mature trees, fence lines, paths and memorials. (NSWSHI)

1874 Chancel extension complete.
Rectory built 1859. The rectory and associated lands remained in the ownership of the Macarthur family up to November 1905.
St Johns Parochial School located at the intersection of Hill and Broughton Streets was founded in 1850 as a denominational school.
Original church hall built 1906 and second hall in 1973.
The church cemetery forms part of the original Macarthur family endowment of 1841. The first burial is believed to be that of Thomas Budd of Narellan made in March 1843. (NSWSHI)


Condition and Use

Split timber shingled roof replaced with terracotta shingles in 1929.
Electric motors replaced manual winding mechanism of clock in c1950.
Tower lourves replaced in 1970.
Render of the spire removed and replaced in 1973.
The church, rectory, stables, churchyard and slopes retain good integrity and intactness. (NSWSHI)

Heritage Significance

 St John the Evangelist at Camden was the first 'archaeologically correct' Gothic church to be completed in the colony of New South Wales. It was probably designed in England by Edward Blore under instructions from the Macarthur family.   In its architectural innovation and picturesque placement in a controlled landscape, it is among the most important parish churches in Australia. (Hector Abrahams, Christian church architecture, Dictionary of Sydney, 2010)


St Johns Church is perhaps the finest example of early Picturesque Gothic Revival style church architecture in Australia. The church, with its tower and spire, is a landscape monument in the rural lands and town of Camden. It is also a monument to the pioneering pastoral Macarthur family, who built it, and has become an icon in consideration of these values. (Noel Bell Ridley Smith and Parters Pty Ltd, Conservation Management Plan Addendum 2010, St Johns Anglican Church Precinct, Camden. Sydney, p7)

The church precinct is rare in New South Wales as a complete ensemble. The church building
is complete with tower, spire, clock, stained glass and all its furniture. Its relationship to the
town and landscape are deliberate. It possesses an equally well-treated, though not grand, rectory, graveyard and originally had a church school. It can be said to be one of the most
complete church groups achieved in New South Wales in the nineteenth century. Equivalent
groups are rare. (Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners Pty. Ltd., St. John’s Anglican Church Precinct
Menangle Road, Camden, Conservation Management Plan. Sydney, 2004, pp. 43-44)

Heritage Listing

Local Environment Plan                       Item 63
NSW State Heritage Inventory
Australian Heritage Commission        National Estate Database

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