1870c Baptist Church, Collins Street


A photograph of the Baptist Church at 170 Collins Street. The first Baptist service in Melbourne was held in 1838 under a tent where the Regent Theatre now stands in Collins Street (almost across the street from this building). Their first chapel was build on the current site in 1845, but soon proved too small for the growing congregation. The current building was designed by Joseph Reed (responsible for many magnificent buildings in Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia) and it opened in 1862. The chapel was designed along neo-Greek classical temple style rather than the popular Gothic style. Since then Heritage Victoria has described it as "the grandest classical church in Victoria".

This delightful and unique building still stands, although the Scots' Church School on the right of the photo made way for the building which later became the fashionable department store, "Georges". The cart in the centre bears signage of "Samuel Moor's Napier Street Fitzroy Licensed Van - Furniture Van".

It seems that the location on the left of the photo has been popular with chemists for nearly 150 years. The early beginnings of Martin & Pleasance commenced there in 1855 with a Mr Kinder opening his homeopathic pharmacy at 85 Collins Street East (now 178 Collins Street). Eventually a Charles Pleasance joined one of the later owners, a Mr R. Martin, and renamed the business as Martin & Pleasance, who traded at this address for many years. The beautiful building at 178 is known as the Pleasance Building.

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Photograph attributed to Charles Nettleton.

Notes from the State Library tell us that this image is a "Photograph of the Baptist Church, Collins Street, Melbourne, ca.1870. Also in picture is Scots Church School (c.r.), sign for John Sayce Chemist (c.l.) and two horse drawn carts, one reading: "Sam Moors Napier Street Fitzroy Furniture Van" (l.l. & l.c.). A man stand in front of closed gates with hands on hips, looking toward camera.".

This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.

Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.

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