Monday, June 21, 2010

A very goth church

My friend Elizabeth in Canada has just taught me something about my own city. I knew that this church had been moved to Canberra after a former life as a railway station. I didn't realise it had been a station for Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney. And it hadn't occurred to me that the train lines and stations servicing cemetaries (necropolis) were as much for the transport of the dead as for the mourners.

All Saints Church is a pretty noticeable landmark in Canberra, being such a young city. Apparently after it had fallen into disuse as a receiving station, and lost its roof in a fire in the 1950s, the church purchased the stonework for a mere £100. The transport to Canberra and rebuilding in Ainslie would have cost a great deal more - apparently it was 782 tons of stone, requiring eighty-three semi-trailer loads.


Elizabeth McClung said...

Thank you for the link to the description of the building of the church - it has a very good description of the building itself as well as another view of Necropolis (odd that the locals wanted the city name changed). Also the quotes about it being the 13th century embodiment of 19th century Australian ideals (of death?) was...well, for a Goth geek like me, exquisite!

Thanks again, a great read, so lucky, I had wondered if they had used rail to get it to Canberra (some irony) but it was trucks. I need to go look up the history of the trans-Australia Railway (I keep assuming there is one because if Canada can put a railway 2000 miles to the arctic and Churchill (population 1100) which has to be relaid every year, I assume anything can be done in the name of rail and nation.

Alwen said...