Snake Valley, VIC - Uniting
Year Built: 1892
Previous Denomination: Presbyterian
Architect: J.J. Jackson
Traditional Owners: Wadawurrung people
Last Updated: 16/07/2022
History and Architecture:
Formerly a Presbyterian Church it was built in 1892-93 and was wholly endowed as a memorial to the squatter The Hon Philip Russell (1822-1892). It cost more than £10,00 to build, a phenomenal sum at the time.
The architect was J.J. Jackson, of Beaufort, and D. Brown the builder; the designed was modelled upon that of The Scot's Church, Melbourne.
The main faade is flanked by a tower and spire on one side and a porch on the other. The spacious interior focusses upon the apse and a large Oamaru stone pulpit with Gothic traceried panels. The pews are of carved blackwood, of unusual thickness, while a panelled dado lines the walls. The elaborate four-light window at the rear is an early example of the work of Brooks, Robinson & Co., clearly showing the influence of the English firm of Clayton & Bell.
There are currently no clergy recorded for this church. Submissions are welcomed.
The organ, sited to the left of the pulpit, was built by Fincham & Hobday at a cost of £320 and opened on 30 January 1894. It remains largely intact, retaining its original console, tubular-pneumatic action, polished blackwood cases, ornately diapered faade pipes and slider-less windchests, possibly the last of this design to survive. This was among the final organs built by the firm before the great 1890s financial depression that curtailed its Australian work until the end of the decade. In 1897 Arthur Hobday, who would have designed and voiced the organ, departed for New Zealand and the style of the firm's instruments irrevocably changed. Renovation work was carried out by Leighton Turner in 1986.