St Patrick’s Catholic Church Binalong – Interesting History
The pioneers of the Binalong district were predominantly of Irish Catholic stock and the buildings they raised are testament to the strength of their faith. The township’s first Catholic Church, the Church of Saints Petr and paul, once stood on nearby hill – top land – still know as Church hill – donated by the prominent settle Edward Ryan, whose family home, Galong Castle, is now part of the St Clément’s Redemptorist Monastery at Galong. The Church’s foundation stone was laid in March 1859 and it was completed in 1860. It was later demolished.
The foundation stone of the existing St Patrick’s Church was laid in September 1911 by the Catholic Bishop of Goulburn and the Church was completed in June 1913. This impressive Church is built on local bluestone quarried from granite only 150 metres away, with freestone buttresses, as a cost of $3,000 (pounds). Its interior includes a choir stall of polished redwood and pews of polished kauri, with magnificent lead light windows, endowed by the parishioners.
The bluestone cottage on the right of the Church, originally the presbytery and now a private home, was built in 1909. The extensive brick building in its own grounds to the left of the Church and designed in the more decorative Federation style, was consecrated in July 1920 as the Convent of Our Lady Immaculate, and served as such until it closed in 1968. Daughters of many of the local prominent Catholic families were educated there as boarders. The modest brick Convent School house immediately adjacent to Church dates from 1901 and also closed in 1968.