Historical information

Christ Church was constructed in 1854-57 and designed in Decorated Gothic style by Albert Purchase & Charles Swyer. It was enlarged in 1874 and 1881 to the designs of Sydney W Smith. It is one of four main buildings constructed on land granted to the Church of England in 1855 and named Church Square. The other buildings are the bishop's residence, vicarage and parish hall. Heritage Victoria describes it as a 'rare and significant square in the history of town planning in Victoria which demonstrates the importance of the church to the community'. It is built from rarely used undressed random coursed sandstone from Point King Sorrento. It is located at 14 Acland Street, St Kilda.
The triangular rose window is said to have been modelled on Lichfield Cathedral and shows outstanding craftsmanship. According to Heritage Victoria, the only other known example in Victoria is at St Georges Presbyterian Church in East St Kilda, designed by the same architect, Albert Purchas.
The Church has a varied collection of stained glass, including work by leading stained glass firms and artists in Victoria in the nineteenth and early twentieth century: Ferguson & Urie, William Montgomery and Brooks Robinson. The 'shipwreck window,' north west transept, is an historically significant memorial window dedicated to Miles and William Dalzell Nicholson, the second and third sons of the Hon. William Nicholson, M.L.A, a Lord Mayor of Melbourne and Premier of Victoria in the 1850s. Miles, died in England on 27 April 1874. His younger brother William died in the wreck of the ‘British Admiral’ off King Island on 23 May 1874.


The images show the condition of the church at the time they were taken (c 2012). Signs of deterioration can be seen. The bell is not rung any more because of damage to the stonework.There has been some remedial work since and the National Trust of Australia conducted a heritage restoration appeal.