Stone's Throw


This week we travel a stone's throw away while, at the same time, heading back to mid 19th Century.

In 1855, the surveyor responsible for mapping out the anticipated community of Myrniong was John Hardy, whose legacy is commemorated in the naming of Hardy Street. Interestingly, the area that now serves as the Recreation Reserve was initially earmarked for a cemetery. While no cemetery exists in Myrniong today, it is worth noting that The Plough once housed a morgue during this era.

By 1857, the landscape of Myrniong was evolving. A map from that year outlined plots allocated for 3 religious denominations and the Recreation Reserve. Out of these, the Church of England was the only one to materialize in 1867. The Catholic Church was established in Korobeit in 1864 and the Presbyterian Church found its home further up Pentland Hills Road for the convenience of that strong-Scottish community.

Before the construction of the Pentland Hills' Presbyterian Church, the community gathered for worship in 1859 at Thomas Fairbairn's flour mill, situated along Myrniong Creek. In this makeshift setting, the Presbyterian congregation would gather, perching themselves on sacks of wheat.

In the same year, on March 14th, a meeting was convened, chaired by Mr. Thomas Hamilton of Glenpedder, with Mr. Robert Lawson, owner of the Landsberg Estate, serving as the secretary. This meeting marked the decision to build a church to cater to the predominantly Scottish residents of the area.

Affectionately known as the "Kirk on the Hill," this church was perched at an elevation of 1,500 feet above sea level, a site generously donated by Mr. Charles McLaughlan. The construction relied on sandstone sourced from William Dunbar's quarry who supplied cartage free of charge. The pews were masterfully crafted by George Drysdale. The entire project came to a cost of £775.

Reverend James Scott from Bacchus Marsh assumed the role of the inaugural preacher for this newly erected church. On September 20, 1861, the foundation stone was finally laid, and the church was opened later the following year.

To this day, the location of this foundation stone is still unknown.

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