The Brief History of St Peter’s Church:
St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church was designed by the architect William Wardell (1823-1899)
In a manner strongly influenced by the English architect Charles Hansom.
Construction started in 1863 on land the church had reserved in 1855 and the church was consecrated and opened in 1865.
The church is a simple form with a five bay gabled nave containing geometric decorated gothic windows and stepped buttressing. The gable roof is of slate and the side walls of rough hewn stonework.
The church originally had a turret to the south west corner, which is a feature of many Hansom inspired churches, but this was removed in 1888.
The west end of the church was rebuilt at this time. It was at this time that the stained glass windows depicting various saints were installed.
The interior contains extensive stencilled decoration, particularly in the chancel, but this work is believed to have been done during the twentieth century and is not believed to be part of Wardell’s design.
A grey waterproof coating was applied to the building in 1984.
The current presbytery was the first purpose built residence for the Catholic priests in Daylesford and was constructed in 1891. It is a two story brick building with verandahs to two elevations, decorated with cast iron columns, cast iron lace work and timber lattice work.
St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church and Presbytery, Daylesford is of architectural significance for demonstrating the presence of the Roman Catholic Church in the Victorian goldfields. The Catholic Church had a strong presence
Throughout Victoria and the Victoria goldfields during the nineteenth century.
The results of this was a vigorous program of church construction.
The church also demonstrates the level of wealth derived from gold which made it possible to construct a substantial stone building designed by a prominent architect.
Fr Gary Jones PP