Historical information

The St Kilda Presbyterian Church is now part of the St Kilda & Balaclava Presbyterian Church. Its first service was inaugurated by the Free Church Synod of Victoria in May 1855, in a building at the corner of High Street and Alma Road. In October 1855 the congregation moved to a wooden building in Inkerman Street, purchased from the Independent (Congregational) Church. The present church site was purchased and the first church opened in 1860. The foundation stone for the present church building, the second to be built on the site, was laid by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Brougham Loch, on 27 January 1885. The building was opened on 30 May 1886. Wilson and Beswicke were the architects. Ralph Wilson designed the Methodist church on the corner of Princes and Fitzroy Streets and lived diagonally opposite the Presbyterian church. Charles Beswicke had toured Britain and the Continent in 1886 armed with a camera and returned to Australia with photographs of what he considered the greatest examples of architecture. He was responsible for the town halls in Brighton, Malvern, Hawthorn and Essendon and Wesleyan churches in Camberwell and Dandenong. Thomas Corley was the builder. The lofty spire was ‘a landmark to the mariner’ used by sea captains sailing up Port Phillip Bay. On a prominent position, the highest point in St Kilda, the church attracted wealthy people with legal, merchant and pastoral backgrounds.

Physical description

colour photograph