Bendigo, VIC - Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Address: McKenzie Street, Bendigo, Victoria, 3550

Architect: William Tappin

Traditional Owners: Dja Dja Wurrung people

Last Updated: 23/06/2023

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History and Architecture:

Sacred Heart Cathedral is renowned for being one of the last completed gothic cathedrals of the twentieth century.  The cathedral owes its existence to the legendary Rev Dr Henry Backhaus (1811-1882) from Paderborn in Germany, who was the pioneer priest on the Bendigo (Sandhurst) goldfields around 1852. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral is 75 metres long and has a ceiling height of 24 metres. The main spire is 87 metres high. It was built in the Gothic Revival style from sandstone quarried from the Geelong area. The nave was built between 1896-1901.

It was commenced in 1897 however after a long interval, work recommenced on the cathedral in 1954 and was completed in 1977. The later works were designed by Bates, Smart and McCutcheon, the successor of Reed, Barnes and Tappin.


This list may not contain every serving cleric, past or present, for this church.
Further submissions welcomed.

Years Name Annotation D.o.B D.o.D
1947 - 1950 Father David Kilmartin


Built by Bishop & Son of London & Ipswich in 1904. It was opened in 1906, rebuilt in 1951 by Hill, Norman & Beard (Australia) Pty Ltd. Again rebuilt between 1986-87 by Australian Pipe Organs Pty Ltd. It has 4 manuals, 51 speaking stops, 11 couplers, with electro-pneumatic action.

A full description can be seen here.


1. Wikipedia.
2. Church website.
3. Organ Historical Trust of Australia with permission.