St Stephen’s Anglican Church
Church Street, Richmond

1865 J.W. Walker, London
3 manuals, 29 speaking stops, 5 couplers, mechanical action



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond: exterior from the west
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]

 

Historical and Technical Documentation by John Maidment
© OHTA, 2006 (last updated January 2016)


St Stephen’s Parish, which dates from 1849, was the first to be established in the eastern suburban area. An acre of land was offered in this year by the Revd Joseph Docker, a local landowner, after whom Docker’s Hill was named, and by the end of the year Arthur Newson and James Blackburn had been engaged to design a church building. The foundation stone was laid in June 1850 and the unfinished church opened in November 1851. Further work, mainly on the interior, was carried out in 1854 under the supervision of architect Charles Webb. In 1863 the north aisle was erected to the design of Nathaniel Billing, and the west wall of the church rebuilt. In 1876 the south aisle and chancel were erected under the supervision of architect D. Goldie while in 1923 the choir vestry was erected by Clements Langford, thus completing the fabric of the building as it stands today.

At one stage, Robert Speechly, a pupil of English architect Gilbert Scott, produced a fine design for the south aisle, chancel and a tower and spire, in the idiom of English architect G.E. Street, to be placed at the western end of the south aisle, while at a later stage, D. Goldie designed a tower and spire to be placed at the north-east end of the building, adjacent to the sanctuary, neither of which were built.

There are other substantial church buildings on the site, including the massive Jubilee Hall and School Hall some dating back to 1857.



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond: western porch
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]


St Stephen’s is built in bluestone and comprises a nave of five bays, with wide flanking aisles (originally filled with galleries), chancel and vestries. The interior was refurbished in the 1980s, with the removal of many pews, overall carpetting, and installation of chairs. The original chancel, however, remains intact, with its choir stalls, tesellated tiled floor, wall decorations and altar furnishings.

The church contains important stained glass by prominent local firms including the east and west windows, by Ferguson & Urie, of North Melbourne, by Brooks, Robinson in the aisles, and an unusual window at the west end of the south aisle 'Noli me Tangere', one of the very few known examples of the work of August Fischer, who worked in Melbourne from 1893-1910. There are several modern windows in the aisles, one including references to the pioneering Docker family.

The most significant object in the interior is the three-manual pipe organ built in 1865 by the noted London organbuilder Joseph Walker at a cost of £650 for the music room of 'Rose Hill', a large residence near the corner of Glenferrie & Toorak Roads, Toorak, owned by William Philpott, the firm’s job number 776. In 1869 the organ was sold to St Stephen's replacing an earlier organ by Bevington of London which is thought to have ended up at St Matthias' Church in North Richmond, and was broken up for parts in 1971. The Walker organ remains substantially intact (apart from the addition of a few stops to the Choir Organ) in part due to the vigilant attitude of the organist of the 1960s and 70s Bruce Evans; it is considered to be of international significance for its size and level of originality. It has an oak case, with spotted metal façade pipes, and an attached console, retaining the original keyboards and drawstops. Its tonal quality and range is outstanding.

The instrument is notable for its solidity of construction and the lavish use of materials. The casework and console fittings are of oak while all of the metal pipework is of spotted metal. The provision of upperwork is very generous, with 14 ranks above 4ft pitch.



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
organ from the west with choir stalls (since removed)
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]


GREAT
Bourdon
Open Diapason
Gamba
Stop’d Diapason
Principal
Wald Flute
Twelfth
Fifteenth
Sesquialtra
Trumpet
Swell to Great
Octave to Great

SWELL
Bourdon
Open Diapason
Stop’d Diapason
Principal
Piccolo
Twelfth & Fifteenth
Mixture
Cornopean
Oboe
Tremulant

CHOIR
Keraulophon
Flute Harmonique
Stop’d Diapason
Dulciana
Vox Angelica
Concert Flute
Harmonic Piccolo
Clarionet
Tremulant

PEDAL
Open Diapason
Bourdon
Great to Pedals
Swell to Pedals
Choir to Pedals

16ft tone
8ft
8ft
8ft tone
4ft
4ft tone
2-2/3ft
2ft
3 ranks
8ft




16ft tone
8ft
8ft tone
4ft
2ft
2-2/3 & 2ft
5 ranks
8ft
8ft



8ft
8ft tone
8ft tone
8ft
8ft
4ft tone
2ft
8ft



16ft
16ft tone












15.19.22











15.19.22.26.29




(enclosed 1908)



TC Fincham 1890
TC Fincham 1908

Walker 1963
TC Fincham 1890









Compass: 56/30
Mechanical action to keys and stops
Balanced mechanical swell pedals (later alteration)
6 composition pedals




St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
organ viewed across chancel
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
console
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
left-hand stop jamb
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
right-hand stop jamb
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
console and casework
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond: chancel
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]




St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Walker cast iron bellows weights
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Double-rise reservoir and pedal C windchest
[photograph by John Maidment (13 April 2006)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Swell reeds looking through Swell shutters to the Great
[photograph by John Maidment (8 December 2009)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Swell pipework C# side
[photograph by John Maidment (8 December 2009)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Great Trumpet 8ft (fitted with Fincham dust bonnets)
Sesquialtra and Wald Flute 4ft
[photograph by John Maidment (8 December 2009)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Great Trumpet 8ft
[photograph by John Maidment (8 December 2009)]




St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Great pipework showing the flared, ear-tuned Gamba 8ft and Bourdon 16ft
[photograph by John Maidment (8 December 2009)]



St Stephen's Anglican Church, Richmond:
Choir pipework showing Concert Flute 4ft and Harmonic Piccolo 2ft
[photograph by John Maidment (8 December 2009)]

 

St Stephen's Richmond 1988 [booklet]

Victorian Churches: their origins, their story & their architecture, edited by Miles Lewis.  Melbourne: National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1991

Robert Owen White, Lawrence John Wilson.  St. Stephen's Church of England Richmond.  ([History IV] 1967 research essay, University of Melbourne, Faculty of Architecture, Building & Planning)

Notes prepared for a Melbourne Autumn Music Festival function 'Historic Churches & Organs of Richmond', Saturday 3 May 2003 compiled by John Maidment