An ancient craft still in high demand

Posted: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 1:21pm

The old Catholic presbytery on the corner of Byrnes and Hood streets is gradually taking on a new face.Simon Pandle and Jamie Davis

Heritage Stone Restoration stone masons Simon Pendle and Jamie Davis spent three days last week working on the stone repointing.

Simon, who is from Bristol and Jamie who hails from Birmingham, both in the UK, have worked on a number of stone buildings in Wilcannia. Germaine said she is really please with the high quality of the work. The work is being partly funded through Central Darling Shire Councils local heritage fund.

History of the Presbytery

At the conclusion of the 1885 Synod, the Catholic Bishops applied to Rome to form a new see in Western NSW. At the time, Wilcannia was known as the “Queen City of the West”, so the Bishops felt it was the natural town in which to base the new Diocese and that it would      eventually become a Cathedral City.

Work had commenced on the building of the  Presbytery in 1883 when Father Curran built the stone building with a kitchen annex. He lived in the kitchen annex and the stone building, which was still a shell, was used as the first church. The new church/school did not open until 1892.

Germaine and Gus Bates purchased the building in 1989 and it became their private residence