378 Nicholson St, Fitzroy North (St Brigid’s Primary School)

Parish schools had a long tradition in Fitzroy, although lay teachers have largely replaced religious as the mainstay. St Brigid’s Catholic Church and school was built in 1869.

The church was constructed in 1869, originally as a ? gabled nave structure to the design of architect T A Kelly. The contractor was Fortune and the tender price was 1,200 pounds (Illustrated Australian News 7 Aug 1869, p.156; Argus 1 Mar 1869, p.3; and Building Times 1 Oct 1869). In 1873 the side aisles were added by Kelly to create a three gable church, a scheme revived and used by Pugin. A more recent detraction has been the replacement of the slate room (visible in an early photo) by terracotta tiles which is totally out of character with the construction materials. The ?? the column capitals are of an abstracted ornamental form reminiscent of Viollet le Duc’s capitals at Alilant-Sur-Tholon (1865-7). Otherwise there is little of note internally. The design of the church is clumsy in conception. ?? the original scheme was debased by the 1873 additions. However St. Brigid’s is an important landmark to Nicholson Street. (North Fitzroy Conservation Study 1978) (Glossary)

St Bridgid’s, 1869
Image held by Fitzroy Library. A souvenir photograph of the opening of St.Brigid’s new school. 8 June 1924
Image held by Fitzroy Library. St. Brigid’s Catholic Church, Nicholson Street, North Fitzroy. Also pictured, the hall on the left and the presbytery on the right. Photo is by Sister Camilla c.1950.
Image held by Fitzroy Library. Photograph taken during St. Brigid’s 75th anniversary celebrations. 1958
Image owned by Fitzroy Library. Sister Margaret taking Grade 5 at St. Brigids in 1956. Unknown photographer.
St. Brigids Catholic Primary School, Nicholson Street, North Fitzroy. Image held by Fitzroy Library – 1965
Image held by Fitzroy Library. 1978

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: