St Matthew's Anglican Church Windsor

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The Glebe at Windsor is land set aside and owned by the Church of England under Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s instructions at the southern end of the settlement. There are a number of interesting buildings on the Glebe. The main focus is the Church of St Matthew’s which was designed by Francis Greenway in 1817. Soon after construction had commenced Greenway had an argument with the builder that the bricks and mortar were of poor quality and demanded they be torn down. These bricks were sold to Richard Fitzgerald, a publican who used them to build a wall fronting onto Thompson’s Square. The wall still stands in 2008 as solid as the day it was erected 190 years ago.

St Matthews church Windsor
St Matthews church Windsor

The Rectory, designed in the style of Greenway, is a handsome two storey building featuring internal shutters on the windows which were considered necessary protection should there be armed conflicts in the colony. William Cox, famously known as the man who built the road across the Blue Mountains, built the Rectory and the Stables. Pastoral work by the clergy necessitated they ride their horses throughout the district and it was vital that the horses be suitably housed. The stables were an essential element in the Anglican Church complex. Restoration work has been undertaken to ensure the building is retained. A close examination reveals the colonial brick and woodwork and the way everyday use of the building was carried out. St Matthew’s Church, associated cemetery, stables and rectory built between 1817 and 1826, are a wonderful reminder of the dedication and skill of the pioneers of the district.

Trevor Patrick is a local historian of the north-west of Sydney, Australia. His latest book, In Search of the Pennant Hills, recounts some of these stories (and others) in more detail.