1869: St Peter’s Pebble Church, Carapooee, Victoria.

St Peter’s Anglican Church Carapooee.

St Peter’s Church at Carapooee is known as the Pebble Church and is about thirteen kilometers south of St Arnaud in western Victoria.

Originally the area was called ‘St Peter’s Diggings’ but known by the local Aborigines as ‘The Carapooee’, (“an earthly paradise”). The church was designed by architect Leonard Terry and Mr. Valentine Nott Mogg of ‘Swanwater Station’ laid its foundation stone in May 1869. The church is constructed of white quartz pebbles in varying sizes which are set in pinkish colored mortar. The pebbles were collected by locals from miners’ claims in the nearby hills. Valentine Mogg’s ‘Swanwater Station’ was also constructed of quartz pebbles in the same manner but there is supposedly no other church in Victoria constructed this like this.

The first service was held in St Peter’s in July 1870 with a formal opening taking place in October 1874.

The simple stained glass windows are of plain diamond quarries with red and blue stained glass borders and were supplied by the Colonial Victorian Stained Glass firm Ferguson & Urie of Melbourne.

Photos taken 11th June 2011.

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6 comments on “1869: St Peter’s Pebble Church, Carapooee, Victoria.

  1. My partner Janet De Vivo nee Coombe originally from Anglesea Victoria believes either or both of her two great great grandfathers Edward Peters or John Read who lived at Carapooee were in someway involved in the building of St.Peters Church at Caropooee. Do any of your records indicate that. Janet’s great grandfather James Wilkie Peters married Annie Harriet Read her great grand mother at Carapooee as well as John James ( Jack) Read, Annie’s brother, who married Sarah Elizabeth Peters who was James’s sister. A bother and sister married a brother and sister. It was a dual wedding and the marriage ceremony was in 1899. regards Eddie De Vivo Brookfield Q’ld

    • Hi Edwin,
      I have no records that indicate individual names in the construction of the Carapooee church. It is recorded that all the Carapooee locals and families were actively involved in collecting and carting the pebbles to the site and many of those with trades were involved in the actual construction. It’s a fair bet that if your ‘Read’ connections lived in the vicinity of Carapooee when the church was built in 1869 then the family lore story that they helped would certainly be very likely.

      Ray

  2. Thanks for your reply, Ray. I have another query. Did your firm supply the stained glass for the St. John`s Catholic Church built 1912 at nearby Stuart Mill ?If not would you know who did.
    Regards,
    Leonie Martin

    • Hi Leonie,
      I’m sorry but I haven’t been to Stuart Mill before to see the towns little churches and I haven’t seen any photos of their stained glass. In any event, the Ferguson & Urie company closed in 1899 so it is highly unlikely that there are any of their windows in St John’s, unless they came from another demolished or deconsecrated church at some time.

      Ray

  3. I would like to know if you have a register of the men who helped supply the stone or built the Pebble Church at Peter`s. Lloyd folk lore has it that my g grandfather, Edward Lloyd used his baker`s cart to supply some of the stones.

    • Hi Leonie, I don’t have any specific detail as to who collected the pebbles for the church but it is known that the whole parish community were involved in some way for the collection and transportation of the pebbles and assisting in the building of the church. It’s probably a fairly accurate story that your ancestor assisted with his bakers cart.

      Ray

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