Goulburn, NSW - St Peter & Paul's Catholic Cathedral

Year Built: 1843

Denomination: Roman Catholic

Saint: [Multiple]

Address: Bourke Street, Goulburn, Goulburn, New South Wales, 2580

Architect: Unknown

Architectural Style: Gothic

Last Updated: 27/02/2024

See Street View

Send your photos

Click on the image to view larger

History and Architecture:

The first Mass in the Goulburn District was celebrated by Father Therry in 1833 at Matt Healey's Inn (now called Riversdale). The second of the original southern N.S.W. missions was served by priests from Yass until Rev. Michael McGrath was appointed in 1840.

The Cathedral was built in two stages and was constructed around the original 1843 church (when the cathedral exterior was completed the old church was demolished and the materials were removed outside through the cathedral doors). The foundation stone for the cathedral nave was laid in 1871 and sixteen years later the foundation stone for the additions was laid, the additions consisting of the transepts, sanctuary, chapel, sacristy and tower.

Gothic in style and built of local greenstone the completed cathedral was opened and blessed by Cardinal Moran on 29 June 1890. Costing £13,575, Goulburn Cathedral the first stage was designed by Charles Spadacini and the second stage by Andrea Stombuco and was built by C J O'Brien and Wilkie Brothers.

Renovations were made in 1927-1928 under Bishop Barry. The floor was replaced with a swung concrete floor and covered with wooden parquetry. The aisles were covered with bitumen adhesive and rubber tiles in the 1957 renovation. The sanctuary floor was raised, the main altar and reredos were moved back to the eastern wall and the sanctuary was lined with marble.


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
1840 - Father Michael McGrath
1846 - Father M. Brennan an approx date
1847 - 1851 Father Richard Walsh 1814 1868
1851 - 1851 Father Kavanagh
1851 - 1856 Father Richard Walsh 1814 1868
1856 - Father Kavanagh
1856 - 1866 Father Richard Walsh 1814 1868
1867 - Bishop William Lanigan 1900
1900 - Bishop Gallagher 1923
1905 - 1906 Father Patrick O'Riordan 1879 1933
1924 - Bishop Barry
1938 - Bishop McGuire
1953 - Bishop Eris O'Brien 1974


Built by Hill & Son, London in 1890. It was ordered in 1889 as a gift from Mrs J.G. Dalghsh The organ was installed in 1890 and was the gift of Mrs. Dalglish. The total cost at the time was 1,350 ($2,700) and was opened in 1890 by W.T. Best who was in Australia principally to perform the opening series at Sydney Town Hall.

The organ was originally powered by hand operated bellows and later by water power which operated a large pair of bellows. The large bellows appear to have been operated by a type of hydraulic ram with which its valves alternately opened and shut. Whilst fairly heavy on water consumption it would provide a positive bellows drive. About the only evidence of water power left is the large water meter still outside.

For more information visit the organ Historical Trust here.


1. Claire O'Loughlin, names and dates of some clergy 2023


1. Deceased Clergy in Australia, 1788-2024.
2. Organ Historical Trust of Australia with permission.