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Sacré Cœur

Architect: George Wharton (Byrnmawr) and Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy (Chapel and Convent buildings)

South | S31

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Sacré Cœur is a Catholic Independent School for girls established by the French order of nuns, the Society of the Sacred Heart (RSCJ) at Burke Road, Glen Iris in August 1888. A local landmark on campus, the heritage-listed Brynmawr was built in 1859 by architect George Wharton. Subsequent owners made extensions to the property before its purchase by the RSCJ in 1888. An imposing three-storey red-brick building designed in Tudor Revival-style by architects Tappin, Gilbert and Dennehy was added in 1890, followed by construction of a Gothic Revival-style Chapel (Tappin) with a bluestone plinth supporting tuck-pointed brickwork and slate roof in 1904. The Chapel contains many historic treasures sent to the school in 1905 for safekeeping after the closure of convents in France: the marble altar is from Lille, the oak stalls from Angouleme, the clock on the exterior south face is from Bordeaux, and the organ is from the convent at Marseilles. Along with stunning stained-glass windows, also within the Chapel, there is a magnificent 19th century brass-and-oak organ (National Trust listed) housed in the choir loft. It was built by Merklin and Cie, Paris and Lyons, for St Joseph’s Convent, Marseilles. This is a rare example of French romantic organ building and one of only three in Australia. Located on the ground floor, the Parlour is characterised by the large fresco ‘Blessing The Children’ painted in 1908 by Mother Mary Philippine Zahel RSCJ.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 1 January 10am-1pm - Booking required for this building

  • What's Open: Chapel, Mater’s Chapel, Grand staircase, Parlour and Heritage Room. Brynmawr (external viewing only)

  • Special Note: Clean footwear

  • Tour Type: S31

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  • Tour Details: First release Friday 13 July 8:30 am until booked out, second release Friday 20 July 8:30 am until booked out, small booking fee applies. Tours at 10am, 10.45am, 11.30am, 12.15pm, 1pm, running for 30minutes, in groups of 20

  • Access: Pram accessible, Fully accessible

  • Building Type: Education

  • Facilities: Toilets

  • Special Programming: Heritage and art display

  • Transport: Tram stop: Burke Rd/High St on route 6

  • Photo Credit: Copyright held by School


172 Burke Road, Glen Iris 3146, VIC


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