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St Michael’s Grammar School – St George’s Church

Architect: Albert Purchas

South | S25

A brick Presbyterian Church of 1877–1880 by the architect Albert Purchas, with a strikingly tall (33.5 metre) banded bell tower and triangular epitrochoidal rose window, and an ample internal volume on a ‘T’ plan. The aisle-less nave with raked floor and broad transept partnered with a shallow sanctuary and no chancel, represents a Protestant reduction of the ideas of British architects like Pearson and Butterfield, enhanced by the almost sheer internal surfaces of bichrome brick in gentle red and cream, and the stained glass, of which the earlier non-figurative windows by Ferguson & Urie are particularly fine. Included in the heritage classification is the T C Lewis organ of 1881, which is in harmony with its architectural setting. The organ was originally built as a two-manual organ of 16 stops. This instrument was rebuilt with tubular-pneumatic action and enlarged to three manuals in 1935 by Melbourne organ builder Fredrick Taylor; retaining the Lewis tonal scheme and pipework on the great, swell, and pedal divisions. One of five Lewis organs exported to Australia, it is of significance for its bold and brilliant voicing, a characteristic of its builder’s work, and its ornately diapered façade pipes.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 1 January 10am-4pm

  • What's Open: Main church hall is open to the public. No access to the bell tower.

  • Tour Type: S25

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility

  • Building Type: Place of Worship

  • Special Programming: Choral music performance at a scheduled time.

  • Year Built: 1866

  • Transport: Tram stop: Chapel St/Dandenong Rd route 5 and 64

  • Photo Credit: Jack Lovel


4 Chapel Street, St Kilda 3182, VIC


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