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11 July 1858 St Francis Xavier Cathedral

 11 July 1858 St Francis Xavier Cathedral

On 11 July 1858 the first part of St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral was dedicated. This was the culmination of much effort by the first Catholic Bishop of Adelaide, Francis Murphy, who arrived in South Australia from Sydney in 1844. A meeting held on 6 February 1848 considered the building of a cathedral but it was some time before plans were underway. The design of architect Richard Lambeth was selected and work on the foundations began on 12 April 1851, but work ceased in December. In 1854 Bishop Murphy obtained revised plans from England and on St Patrick’s Day 1856 the foundation stone was laid and the first portion of the building measuring 85 feet by 52½ feet with five bays and arches was constructed. In 1860 the chancel was sanctified and the church remained in this stage for 20 years until it was enlarged in the 1880s. In the 1920s further work was done to enlarge the cathedral and complete the facade and tower. The tower remained at a truncated height until it was finally completed in 19??

City of Adelaide Heritage Survey, 1986, Vol. 4 Young Ward, pp.2-3.

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