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St Mark's Church, Pontville

An unusual Romanesque church built in 1839-41 to a design of convict architect James Blackburn from very finely tooled Brighton sandstone. Few travelers driving through Pontville could fail to notice the striking exterior of St Mark’s Church, standing on the top of the hill on the north side of Pontville.

Convict Architect James Blackburn had been transported from England in 1833 for forgery. Because of his academic qualifications, he was attached to the public works department and within a few years, he had proved his worth by designing plans for a number of churches and public buildings in Hobart and nearby districts.

As far as it is known the foundation stone, which unfortunately can no longer be seen, was laid by the then Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania, Sir John Franklin in 1839 but delays resulting from its convict labourers being diverted to other projects, such as the Pontville Bridge and the Watch House meant that the building was not completed until February 1841. It was dedicated on the 21st February that same year by Archdeacon Williams Hutchins.