RBA are busily documenting conservation works to the landmark Former College Church (VHR H0394) on Royal Parade, including repairs to the Oamaru limestone, brickwork, and render.

Repairs are planned for the church’s distinctive crown spire which has been in poor condition for some time. The stone has deteriorated and metal scaffolding is being used as a temporary support for the buttresses. The upper part of the crown was removed more than 20 years ago.

The crown spire was the choice of the first minister, the Reverend Alexander Yule, and is based on that of the King’s College Chapel (1498-1509) at Aberdeen University in Scotland where Rev. Yule was a former student. It is the only known example of a crown tower in Victoria, and is possibly unique in Australia.

The College Church was opened in August 1898, built to a design by architect Robert A Lawson. Since 2008, the church building has been owned by the Melbourne Mar Thoma Church.

College Church, Parkville, in 1978 – prior to the partial dismantling of the crown spire.
(Source: J T Collins, State Library of Victoria, H98.250/1482)
DATE
21 May 2018
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