04 February, 2020

Saint Mary's Cathedral circa 1913

This wonderful colour-tinted postcard was produced circa 1913.  The photographer was looking down along Prince Albert Road towards Saint Mary's Cathedral.

No motor cars can be seen, but inside horse and cart and a tram trundling down the road.  In the right foreground is the famous statue of Queen Victoria, set in that place in 1888.

On the left can be seen the newly-completed structure of the NSW Registrar General's Office.  It was designed in a modified form of Victorian Gothic in order to harmonise with the adjacent Gothic Revival mass of Saint Mary's Cathedral.

At this time, the Cathedral was only half completed, having been built in stages from 1868 : chancel and sacristies; transepts; two bays of the nave and finally, the Crossing Tower.  These were all built exactly to the designs of the architect William Wardell.

To the right of the Cathedral is the historic remnant of old Saint Mary's Cathedral, in particular those extensions designed by AWN Pugin, which were being built throughout the 1850s and 1860s before the old church was gutted by fire in 1865.  This facade of the old building was preserved for 50 years, before being demolished to make way for the completion of the nave of the present Cathedral.


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