Bass Strait Maritime Centre

Pioneering spirits

SIGN NUMBER 1 – Pioneering spirits

Mersey Heads, 1881. Drawn by Lt-Col G. F. Angelo based on his own line-drawing below.

The first Church of England services in the area were held at Police Point in the early 1850s at the police station. Later in 1854, the first church — St Mary’s — was built on the reserve facing Drew Street. As the congregation grew, St Paul’s church was built starting in 1876 and consecrated in 1882. The architect and builder was William Gadsby who constructed a number of other buildings around Torquay and Formby. These two towns would combine to become Devonport in 1890.


Mersey Heads, 1881. Line drawing by Lt-Col G. F. Angelo.

The manse in its current location next to the church, was blown down in 1898 during a hurricane.

St Paul’s Anglican Church and Sundy School, East Devonport. BSMC-4030.

The Wesleyan minister’s home was at the corner of Wright and Thomas Streets.

Further information on the original dwellings in this area can be found on an informative walk supplied by the Bass Strait Maritime Centre’s volunteer historians. You can download it by clicking here (.pdf).


  • St Paul’s Parish Council records
  • “With The Pioneers” by Charles Ramsay
  • Organ Historical Trust of Australia website
  • Bass Strait Maritime Centre
  • Eastside Village People