Brisbane, QLD - St Stephen's Catholic Cathedral

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Address: 249 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, Queensland, 4000

Architect: Benjamin Backhouse

Architectural Style: Gothic Revival

Traditional Owners: Turrbal people

Last Updated: 15/02/2024

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History and Architecture:

Work began on the little stone church in November 1848, using a design of Gothic revival architect, AWN Pugin.

The first St Patrick’s Church in Fortitude Valley was a wooden structure built around 1860 with a frontage in Wickham Street, opposite where Duncan Street now adjoins it.

The Church Cathedral is a gothic revival cathedral with a cruciform shape in plan. On 26 December 1863, the Feast of St Stephen, Bishop Quinn laid the foundation stone for a grand cathedral designed by Benjamin Backhouse, but this did not at first proceed beyond the foundations.The cathedral is made predominantly of Brisbane tuff and freestone. The Blessed Sacrament Chapel is made from reinforced concrete and the restored spires from glass reinforced concrete.

By the 1980s the cathedral had fallen into a state of disrepair. The interior layout of the building was also unsuitable for the new Catholic liturgy.

A Foundation stone of the Chapel reads, " St Stephens Chapel was dedicated on 5th February 1999 by J.A. Bathersby D.D. Archbishop of Brisbane marking its restoration for Liturgical use.


There are currently no clergy recorded for this church. Submissions are welcomed.


The Cathedral’s Jubilee Pipe Organ was completed in 2000 by the Melbourne firm of Knud Smenge. A medium size instrument with 47 speaking stops and three manuals, its case was designed by the architect of the Cathedral restoration, Mr Robin Gibson.