St Paul's Anglican Church

The organ was built by Hamlin & Son, London around 1866

The former church was built in 1859-60 on a different site, in Fraser Street, and as a single nave. It was subsequently extended with transepts and was moved to the present site to become a Sunday school. Its principal interest lies in the external skin of board and batten treatment seen rarely in Victoria, but more common in New Zealand and North America, used here with Tudor label moulds over the openings. There are also early painted finishes surviving internally, including an ornamental stencilled dado, band.

The later church, built in 1870-71 of bluestone with cement dressings, is in the Decorated Gothic mode, and is the only identifiable Australian work of the architect Thomas Austin of Austin and Johnson, an able protege of the famous English Gothicist Sir George Gilbert Scott. It consists of a large and broad nave and porch. The intended sanctuary and vestry have not been constructed. [Victorian Churches: their origins, their story & their architecture, edited by Miles Lewis. East Melbourne; National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1991, p.150]

The organ was built by Hamlin & Son, 8 Brook Street, Euston Road, London, around 1866. Robert Hamlin was a former employee of Hill & Son and this instrument bears characteristics of their work, particularly the two tapered ranks in the Swell Organ and style of drawstop engraving. The only instrument by the Hamlins known to survive in Great Britain is at Holy Trinity, Torbryan, Devon. The firm sent out two organs to Victoria in the 1860s, one a single manual instrument initially placed in the Baptist Church, Collins Street, Melbourne, and the second, now at Clunes, for a private residence. When it was installed at the Wesleyan (Methodist) Church, Daylesford in March 1881, it was stated that "it was manufactured at the express order and under the personal supervision of a Melbourne gentleman who intended it for his son, but the young man died before it arrived and the instrument has remained unused. The timber in the organ has had 15 years seasoning."

In 1888 the organ was sold to St Paul's, Clunes and erected by William Anderson at a cost of £200.00. Apart from the addition of an electrical blower outside the church, the instrument remains in a remarkable state of originality. retaining all of its original action and pipework, which remains cone tuned. The Pedal Bourdon 16 at the rear of the organ appears to be a later addition. The organ is of interest for its overall intactness, classical style casework in veneered walnut, with gold-leafed dummy facade pipes, highly attractive bright sound in a fine acoustic, and its attractive console fittings. Generally, it is need of a sympathetic restoration.

Open Diapason
Stop Diapason Bass
Swell to Great

Stop Diapason Swell
Viol di Gamba Swell
Gemshorn Swell

Great to Pedals




1-12 zinc, at side of organ



Compass: 56/30
Lever swell pedal
2 composition pedals to Great

The Great manual pushes in, to enable the sliding console doors to be closed
The original builders' nameplate survives
The hand blowing is still operational

Photos JRM and Simon Colvin

JRM (Dec. 2007)

Photos: Trevor Bunning (Oct. 2008)