Church Street Precinct Heritage Panel

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Church Street Precinct, Heritage Panel 13

St. Paul's Anglican Church graveyard, Church St., Canterbury Unveiled by Councillor Kayee Griffine, Mayor of Canterbury on 19 April 1997. Research for this panel by Lesley Muir and Brian Madden.

This precinct has a number of historic buildings and sites within a small area - St. Paul's Anglican Church and churchyard, the former Church of England schoolhouse, the original public school building and the house "Beulah Vista", St. Pauls Church and churchyard is built on part of Robert Campbell's Canterbury Estate, on land donated by Sophia Ives Campbell, his daughter. The church was designed by Edmund Blacket, the most fashionable architect of his day, and built from local sandstone. It was completed in October 1859, and consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese on April 12, 1860.

The Campbell family was responsible for the foundation and much of the early financing of this church. The churchard has many examples of the local stonemason;s art in the headstones. The Church of England schoolhouse on Canterbury Road behind the Church was also built by the Campbell family and opened in 1861. It closed prior to the Public School opening. Opposite St. Paul's is Canterbury Public School, opened in 1878 in a new sandstone building designed by architect George Allen Mansfield. "Beulah Vista", on the corner of Church and Vincent Streets, was built by George Tomkins, a stonemason, in 1888, and was restored by Canterbury Council in 1982. There was some controversy over the site: three alderman each offered a block of land, and for several years, the Council was unable to make a final decision on which alderman's property should be purchased.

In 1887, John Campbell Sharp's allotment was chosen, and W.H. Monckton, an architect from Parramatta, designed a Victorian classical building with a two storey frontage to Canterbury Road and a central tower. Construction began in 1888 and the building was opened in April 1889 by Sir Henry Parkes, Premier of New South Wales.