on the site of the convict stockade. Originally known as St Scholastica's,
the foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Polding in 1849. The
church was designed by the architect Augustus Pugin, who worked
on the design of the Houses of Parliament in London.
the town of Berrima was planned in 1830, provision was made for
a Gaol and a Court House. Berrima was to be the administrative centre
for the county of Camden.
Berrima is a unique and historic village, established in 1831, it
is the only example of an existing and largely preserved Australian
Georgian colonial town.
28 January 2008 Pugin's Church of St Francis Xavier, Berrima, New
South Wales, was placed on the New South Wales Heritage Register.
does have at least one fine example of Pugin's genius, Brian Andrews
(Pugin Foundation) describes St Francis Xavier's in Berrima as "the
most perfect Pugin".
says: "It looks as if it had been picked up by helicopter from
somewhere in the English countryside and dumped in the middle of
his greatest impact on Australian culture is not physical but intellectual.
"Pugin's notion was that Gothic was Christian and Christian
was Gothic," Andrews says.
"It became the way people built churches and perceived churches
should be. Even today if you ask someone what a church should look
like, they'll describe a Gothic building with pointed windows and
"Right across Australia, from outback towns with tiny churches
made out of corrugated iron with a little pointed door and pointed
windows, to our very greatest cathedrals, you have buildings which
are directly related to Pugin's ideas.
"There's not a city in Australia that wasn't influenced by
Welby Northmore Pugin (1812 -1852)
Englishman commissioned by Sydney Archbishop John Bede Polding to
design a number of churches in Australia including St Francis Xavier's
Church in Berrima, St Stephen's Church, Brisbane, and extensions
to old St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney which was destroyed in a 1885
fire along with its stunning Pugin organ case, interestingly, he
never visited Australia.
displayed a talent for Gothic design at an early age, and at 15
he was entrusted to design the furniture for King George IV's refurbishment
of Windsor Castle. His most celebrated commission came when he was
asked by Sir Charles Barry to design the interiors of London's Houses
of Parliament- Although Barry was the official architect, he asked
Pugin to draw the sketches of the now world-famous exteriors.
his life he produced thousands upon thousands of designs for buildings,
and for the applied arts including textiles, woodwork-, metalwork,
ceramics and stained glass.
converted to Catholicism in 1835 and embarked on a massive rebuilding
program. He believed that if he could re-create the principles of
Gothic architecture and design, the reinvigoration of spiritual
values would follow.
from a SMH article (4 Feb 2003) "A genius in his Gothic splendour
For more information about the Pugin Foundation
and further information about the Berrima church and other Pugin
churches please visit their website: Pugin