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All Saints Anglican Church

  • 600168
  • 32 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill


State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
21 October 1992
Religion/worship: Church
8.1 Creating social and cultural institutions: Worshipping and religious institutions
Backhouse, Benjamin Joseph
Construction period
1861–1869, All Saints Anglican Church (1861 - 1869)
Historical period
1840s–1860s Mid-19th century


32 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill
Brisbane City Council
-27.46452117, 153.02804683


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

All Saints Anglican Church is important in demonstrating the pattern of Queensland's history, in particular the development of the Anglican Church in Brisbane.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

The Church demonstrates rare aspects of Queensland's cultural heritage, in particular, as one of the oldest surviving Anglican churches in Brisbane containing the oldest stained glass and containing the organ from St John's Pro-Cathedral.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The building is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a Gothic influenced, 1860s stone church in Brisbane.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

All Saints Anglican Church is important in exhibiting a range of aesthetic characteristics valued by the Brisbane community, in particular, the siting of the church and surviving early grounds, and their contribution through scale, form, materials and planting to the Wickham Terrace and Ann Street streetscapes and Brisbane townscape. Also highly valued is the quality of the stonework and interior, including stained glass, timber joinery, early furnishings, sculptures and artwork.

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

All Saints Anglican Church has a strong and special association with the Brisbane Anglican community as one of the oldest surviving Anglican churches in Brisbane, and with the Anglo-Catholic movement in Queensland.

Criterion HThe place has a special association with the life or work of a particular person, group or organisation of importance in Queensland’s history.

The building has a special association with the work of noted architect RG Suter and noted Brisbane artist/sculptor Daphne Mayo.


This single-storeyed porphyry stone church, the oldest Anglican Church in Brisbane, was erected in 1861, and rebuilt in 1869, for the Wickham Terrace District Anglican congregation. It is one of the few remaining parish churches in Queensland owned under the colonial provision of private trustees of church property.

The Church of England was the first church to be established in Queensland. In 1849 the site for St Johns church was granted, with the church being consecrated in 1854. The Wickham Terrace land was granted to the Anglican Church in 1856, although the first deed of grant was dated september 1865, and was intended initially as the Episcopalian Cathedral site. The Diocese of Brisbane was formed in 1859, with Bishop Tufnell, the first Bishop of Brisbane, taking office in 1860, and designating St Johns as the pro-Cathedral.

The early 1860s growth of Windmill Hill and Spring Hill as residential areas, prompted Bishop Tufnell in 1861 to promote the establishment of an Anglican church on the former Cathedral site on Wickham Terrace. The original church, a rubble structure, was designed by noted architect Benjamin Backhouse in 1861, and opened on 23 February 1862 by Bishop Tufnell. It was known officially as the Wickham Terrace Episcopalian Church, or the Wickham Terrace District Church, and unofficially as the Tabernacle, with a parish carved out of St Johns parish, and extending as far as the present parish of Milton.

As the small Anglican community grew, the decision was taken to enlarge the church. Architect Richard George Suter, church warden, Cambridge graduate and proponent of the Gothic style which dominated Anglican church architecture in Australia, designed the alterations which were carried out in 1869.

The dedication took place on 5 April 1869, with Governor Samuel W Blackall laying the foundation stone, a time capsule being deposited and Bishop Tufnell naming the church All Saints. Soon after the western extension was begun, structural problems were found with the first church were realised, resulting in the demolition of the rubble walls. Only the original floor plan, flooring and roof were retained. The church was increased in length by 20 feet, wall height was increased by 6 feet and the roof by 8 feet. A chancel and vestry were added, and Brisbane tuff (porphyry) was used for the walls. Provision was made for a baptistery or large western porch to be added, but this was not carried out. The church was constructed by Mr George Ely, stonemason of Spring Hill, and was completed at a cost of £1,864, excluding architect's fees. It was opened on 8 September 1869 by Bishop Tufnell, who designated it as All Saints Church.

In 1873, the parish was divided, with the parish of Milton being established. An adjacent rectory was built in 1880, and a hall/school building in 1884.

By the early 1900s, the services at All Saints were considered the most Anglo-Catholic in the diocese. In 1923 the use of incense in public worship was introduced, and three years later the pulpit crucifix was installed. In Brisbane, All Saints developed as the high Church of England while St Johns Anglican Cathedral (QHR 600076) remained the low church.

The east end of the church contains the oldest stained glass windows in Brisbane, installed in 1870. The altar lights, presented in 1884, were the first in Brisbane. Artwork includes plaster Stations of the Cross sculpted by Brisbane artist Daphne Mayo in 1935, and a bronze and wood sculpture entitled Christ Accepting The Cross, by Andre Meszaros, erected in the forecourt to celebrate the centenary of All Saints in 1962.

The organ, made in London by TC Lewis and originally installed in St Johns Pro-Cathedral in Queen's Park in 1873, was transferred to St Lukes Church (QHR 600083), Charlotte Street, and later refurbished and moved to All Saints in 1957. The organ loft with circular cast iron stair, are later additions and are located at the western end of the church. The original shingle roof has been replaced a number of times, currently with ribbed metal sheeting.

The church floor was replaced and walls repointed in 1933, and in 1934 the stone fence facing Wickham Tce replaced a timber fence constructed in 1871. In 1988, both hall and rectory were sold and demolished for the construction of an adjacent highrise tower. A new church hall and office complex fronting Ann Street was constructed in 1993.

A substantial section of the stone wall along Wickham Terrace was demolished in 1993.


This single-storeyed porphyry stone church sits on a raised triangular site at the junction of Ann Street and Wickham Terrace, Brisbane.

The rectangular plan has a raised pulpit, projecting chancel and vestry. A transept is suggested by gables on the north and south elevations, and the building shows gothic influences in its design. The gabled roof is clad with ribbed metal sheeting and features double-ridge ventilation. The chancel has a similar roof, but at a lower height, with a small section of clerestory. The vestry has a skillion roof.

The western elevation has twin stone entrance porches, three lancet windows and a stone cross at the top of the gable. Dressed stone work is used around windows and to the top of the gable, and an inscription reads DOMUS MEA DOMUS ORATIONIS (my house shall be called a house of prayer). The chancel gable has three lancets, two quatrefoils and a rose window surmounted by a vesica. The eastern nave gable is surmounted by a carved stone bellcote from which a bell is hung.

A timber entrance porch with a stone base and gabled roof is located on the northern elevation. There is also a plaque commemorating the dedication of the church. The southern elevation has brick banding to the corners of the stone plinth. The transept gables have two quatrefoils and a rose window with dressed stone surrounds.

Internally, walls are rendered and all windows feature stained glass. The nave has hammer-beam trusses with a boarded ceiling. The chancel has scissor braces with a boarded ceiling. An organ gallery has been installed at the western end of the nave. This is supported by metal posts and is accessed via a spiral cast-iron stair.

Fluorescent lights are fixed to the underside of the hammerbeams. A carved and painted timber screen surrounds the side chapel, and plaster mouldings feature around windows and above the arch to the chancel.

The floors are of timber, with the sanctuary and chancel raised above the nave. Two stone arches, which have been infilled with stone blocks, appear on the western elevation and to the south side of the chancel.

The grounds include remnants of a row of palm trees, and stone fencing, masonary gate posts with a gothic-style gas lantern (electrified) along the Wickham Street boundary, and a large jacaranda to the southwest of the nave.

Image gallery


Location of All Saints Anglican Church within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
14 November 2022
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