Honouring ‘The Cathedral of the Hawkesbury’

Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor have joined with St Matthew’s Anglican Church for some special events and exhibitions this October, when the iconic Greenway-designed church celebrates 200 years. On Saturday, 14 October there will be a Big Birthday Bash, with a free bus operating between the Museum, the church, and the Regional Gallery, which will also be showing a special exhibition, titled Pure Greenway. As part of the special ongoing museum exhibition, The Cathedral of the Hawkesbury, there will be a white gloves session and Curator’s talk on Saturday, 28 October.

By foundation stone, St Matthew’s is the oldest Anglican church in Australia. It is also acknowledged as one of Australia’sAlfred T Clint, St Matthew's Windsor c1920, watercolour on paper - Image most beautiful buildings. In fact, it looks so perfectly situated today that it is hard to believe that it was not always so – the original church was half built and then demolished after Macquarie sent Greenway to find out why work was proceeding so slowly. He took one look and declared the work to be of inferior quality, with both mortar and bricks below-standard. Going by what is known of Greenway, this harsh assessment could have come about because he was not involved in the original construction. Whatever the reason, the building was demolished, and the builder sacked.

Greenway designed a new structure, and directed the building himself, overseeing a team of four bricklayers, four stonemasons, two carpenters and some labourers .The building was sufficiently finished to be used for church services in September 1821, but not used immediately, and not consecrated till the following year.St Matthew's Church Windsor 1906 RAHS - Image

As for the rejected bricks, they turned out to be not so inferior after all. They were appropriated by Richard Fitzgerald, moved to his Macquarie Arms Hotel at the other end of Windsor, and used to build a substantial wall, which, almost 200 years later, can still be seen, having survived the Great Flood of 1867. A section of the wall runs through the Museum foyer, and is very popular with visitors.


NEW EXHIBITION NOW OPEN ‘The Cathedral of the Hawkesbury’: 200 years of St Matthews Anglican Church On display are never-before-seen objects including a beautiful 1835 wedding dress, and items from the church vault including the original communion cup. FREE – all welcome. At Hawkesbury Regional Museum, 8 Baker Street, Windsor.

Saturday, 14 October

A FREE bus will operate all day between McQuade Park, the Museum and the Gallery. Community and family celebrations including entertainment, stalls, food, tours and a RAAF fly-over.

From 14 October – a selection of works focusing on the architecture and aesthetic of the church, and its brilliant architect, Francis Greenway.

Saturday, 28 October 2pm

Join Curator, Rebecca Turnbull for a hands-on session (they provide the gloves) and a close look at some of the fascinating objects in the exhibition. $5 – bookings essential via Eventbrite hawkesburymuseum.eventbrite.com or call 4560 4655 - Refreshments provided.William Wells, St Matthews by Moonlight - Image


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