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Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Day 5; Glebe III (pt. b)

There was a lot of protest to the demolition of the old rectory, with proposals made to hand it over to the Canberra Historical Society. Though the government of the day was determined to proceed with the development of Civic and the building was sold to Acton Football Club on the basis the building was to be pulled down and debris removed: the demolition started on 26 June 1956 and was completed by November of the same year, with the bricks used to build a new clubhouse in Forrest (I’m yet to track this down). Many letters were written to the Canberra Times in support of preserving the old rectory, with one sentimentalist from Reid reflecting on the bricks being made in the swap behind the house, commenting: “nowadays they come from Bowral!” (The Canberra Times, 08/04/1954.) Though back to my cup of tea: why was the rectory built so far away from the church? Through a variety of sources there is mention of two allotments of land given by Joseph Campbell and what I have concluded to be: two acres for the establishment of the St. John Anglican Church and a hundred acres to the Anglican Church for use as a Glebe (the plaque commemorating Glebe House mentions an extra 18 acres though I’ve not seen any other reference elsewhere). Looking through maps of the region around the time of land acquisition for the Federal Capital, it’s interesting to note that no reference is made to the Glebe or land owned by the Anglican Church. Though all maps have the 2 acres of land and position of the church clearly marked. In a 1912 map (image 4) we see a slim piece of land to the west of the church that is marked as a separate allotment to Duntroon Estate: could this have been the 100 acres? The boundaries of this allotment of land can be identified in a 1913 (image 3) and 1915 (image 5) map with the rectory also marked. My original theory was that the rectory was built at the closest point on the Glebe to the church, though the maps seem to disprove this theory. Though what about those bricks and swap land behind the house? Could the rectory have been positioned at the closest point, that was the most appropriate land for building on?