Anglican Church Bishop's Lodge, Townsville, 1903

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Location: Townsville, Queensland.


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Owner: State Library of Queensland, Australia
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naturaldisasters weather building townsville storms state library queensland collection anglican church bishops lodge large timber gothic style verandahs lawn trees three crosses people

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    • 05/Mar/2023 10:26:32

    The Bishop's Lodge was constructed in 1897 to the design of Tunbridge and Tunbridge, an important Townsville architectural firm, as the residence of the Anglican Bishops of North Queensland, it has continued as the official residence ever since. Of the bishops who have resided at the Lodge, John Oliver Feetham is particularly well known, partly because of his 35 years in office. Feetham was an attractive and eccentric personality, born in England in 1873 as the son of a vicar. Intelligent and well-educated himself, he took an interest in the provision education which was to be a focus for much of his work in North Queensland. The Lodge, like many buildings in Townsville, has suffered damage from cyclones, notably in 1903 and 1971, followed by extensive repair work. In the 1970s a bathroom was added on the south west verandah and the Feetham chapel was created on the north east verandah by glassing in this area. This has preserved a view across the bay seen beyond the altar of the chapel. During the 1970s, a considerable portion of the Lodge's land was subdivided. The house is still the official residence of the Bishops of North Queensland. The Bishop's Lodge is a large timber building situated on an exposed northerly ridge of Castle Hill. The ground falls away from the house on three sides and the Lodge is visible from the surrounding suburb and from the sea. In turn the house has splendid views of Cleveland Bay towards Magnetic Island from its verandah. The architect has used this position to advantage, creating a striking house which is a flamboyant blend of Victorian Gothic and vernacular architecture; perhaps appropriate for an English church transplanted to tropical Australia. It also responds well to the climate with wide verandahs right around the house to obtain the best of both breeze and view. A terrace at the front of the house has a lawn with trees and flowering shrubs. Source: