19 July, 2021

The Old Cathedral of Saint Mary 1839

In the Mitchell Library is found an old and greatly faded pencil sketch of Old Saint Mary's Cathedral, dated 1839.  It gives considerable detail of the appearance of the Cathedral, adjacent buildings etc., even though there are problems with proportion and perspective.

This digital restoration attempts to bring the old sketch to life without correcting the artist's original concept.  We have attempted to make clearer the creamy colour of the building's stone walls, its plain glass windows comprised of many small square panes, and its roof of timber shingles.  We also see clearly the intersection of the road to Woolloomooloo with College Street.  A little down the slope of the land (on the left of the drawing) is found the old chaplain's house and Saint Joseph's Chapel, built under the direction of Father Therry, but which by 1839 had become Saint Mary's Benedictine Monastery.

Later this year, we commemorate the bi-centenary of the foundation of the old Cathedral by Father Therry and Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

Click on the image for an enlarged view.


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