By Reg. A. Watson
THIS weatherboard church, St Margaret’s ex Anglican, is one of the few remaining wooden churches from the colonial era with many of the pioneers of Risdon buried in its churchyard.
St Margaret’s is situated off Saunderson Road in East Risdon and is part of a very historic area of Tasmania.
It stands close to the first British settlement of Tasmania in Risdon Cove where Lt John Bowen RN – a 23-year-old young man – and his party settled in September 1803.
The church was built as a private one in 1867 by the Cleburne family, with the last family member, Miss Eleanor Cleburne, leaving a small annuity for its continuation.
Its graveyard is home to 316 headstone records.
The church ceased as a functioning one in 1954 and it was hoped that it could have been used for community purposes.
Sadly, the church is now neglected and has been vandalised.
Perhaps it is beyond repair. The church and grounds are now in private hands.
Overlooking the River Derwent, it knows its glory days have long since gone.
It is only a matter of time before it passes from our heritage, as has so many churches.
So much is being lost and afterwards, forgotten.