St Francis Xavier Catholic Church

61 Adelaide Street, South Hobart

Architect: Walker and Johnston Architects (1933)

St Francis Xavier Church is one of the few churches in Tasmania to have been built in the Romanesque style, and was designed by architects Alan Cameron Walker and Archibald Johnstone. After fundraising during the Depression, the church was opened in June 1933, becoming the first Catholic church to be built in Hobart for 60 years.

The interior of St Francis Xavier is quite imposing, with one central aisle, woodwork of Tasmanian oak and blackwood and a spacious choir loft. The ceiling structure features arc vaulted blackwood trusses and, of special note, is the Pugin crucifix on the main marble altar. An extensive and light-filled hall is to be found under the main building.

Alan Cameron Walker, known for his interest in classical and Romanesque Revival architecture, had been articled to the great colonial architect, Henry Hunter and later studied in London. He also designed the National Mutual Life Building (1906), the General Post Office (1901), the Public Library (1931), the cloisters (1929) and tower (1931) of St David’s Cathedral, St Raphael’s Church Fern Tree (1892) and his own home, Huonden (1895), in Macquarie Street. In 1926, several of Walker’s designs were included in an exhibition in London of architecture from the Commonwealth.

Archie Johnstone designed the Hobart Mercury Building in the early 1930s.

Open: Saturday 12 November, 10 am–4 pm


South Hobart

Building Type

Place of Worship

Architectural Period

Interwar (1919-1940)



New to Program


Wheelchair Friendly

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