MARYBOROUGH’S first Catholic Mass was held in August 1852 by travelling priest Father James Hanley. In 1858, a timber building, doubling as a church and school was erected. By 1867, parish priest Father Tissot and his congregation considered the 1858 building inadequate.
Queensland Government architect, Charles Tiffin (designer of Old Government House and Parliament House in Brisbane) designed the new church and the foundation stone was laid on 29 July 1869. St Mary’s was completed and opened on 4 February 1872. The church was described as ‘Early English’ and was built of brick, with stone quoining and detailing.
Provision was made in the original design for extending the church and this occurred from 1877. Tiffin’s successor, F.D.G. Stanley prepared plans for the alterations which included the extension of the nave by three bays and the erection of a large chancel.
In 1912, a new organ, then the largest built in Queensland, was installed.
Substantial alterations were made in 1936 to the design of local architect, P. O.E Hawkes. Again, the length of the building was extended, north and south chancels were added, as were sacristies, confessionals and a baptistery. The interior was reoriented and a new entrance formed from Adelaide Street, while the building
was rendered externally. A freestone high altar was made by local craftsman, Mr Prout.
A major restoration was completed in 1993 by architect Maurice Hurst. A place of public worship for more than 150 years, St Mary’s retains its important spiritual associations with the Catholic community in Maryborough.
Open 10am - 3pm
WHILE YOU ARE HERE: You can visit the church museum via Bazaar Street.