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Scots’ Church and Assembly Hall

Architect: David Mitchell 1871, Henry H Kemp 1915

City of Melbourne | C33

Building Description

First founded in 1838, the church's original temporary wooden building at the west end of Collins Street made way for one of Melbourne's most iconic buildings. Constructed between 1873 and 1874, the Gothic Revival style Scots' Church was designed to be the most beautiful building in Australia.

Designed by architects Reed & Barnes and built by David Mitchell, the father of Dame Nellie Melba, the church's Gothic style is unusual among Presbyterian buildings. Along with housing one of the country's best pipe organs, the church is known for its magnificent stained-glass windows, timber fittings and 37 metre high spire.

Constructed on the site of the old Scots' Church manse, the Assembly Hall was a sympathetic later addition designed by renowned architect Henry H Kemp in 1914-15. The façade, return and tower feature rock-faced sandstone with dressed stone mouldings. The careful attention paid to style, materials and massing ensures the hall sits comfortably with the neighbouring church. The Gothic theme continues inside the building, most notably in the foyer, stair and hall. Initially three storeys high, it housed the church offices, committee rooms, writing rooms and caretaker’s quarters. The hall is also the rumoured site of the Liberal Party's first meeting.

What's On

See visual presentations showing the inside of the spire and inner workings of the organ.
Guest organists will play the Rieger organ, see an art exhibition, enjoy light Refreshments in the Assembly Hall, read short stories that inspired the windows and sit and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Need to Know

  • Open: Saturday 27 July 10am–4pm & Sunday 28 July 1pm–4pm

  • Tour Type: Open Entry, Self-guided

  • Access: Fully accessible, all ages.

  • Notes: Refreshments available

  • Kids Activity: Colouring, dot to dot and find items in the windows

  • Building Type: Place of Worship

  • Architecture Era: Victorian (1851-1901)

  • Transport: Tram stop 8: Collins St/Exhibition St on routes 11, 12, 48 and 109

  • Photo Credit: Courtesy of Scots' Church and Assembly Hall

Location

156 Collins Street, Melbourne 3000, Melbourne VIC

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