Monday, August 14, 2017

Zoar Church and Cemetery

AKA Penfield, Peachey Belt chapel

The name Zoar came from the Bible (Isiah 15:5) where is denotes a place of refuge. In 1857 Keen described those converted at Zoar during the previous year as 'twenty who escaped thither for their life'."
The church area was first granted to Thomas Long, 1849.  He is buried in the cemetery along with his widow, Catherine later Catherine Way, wife of Rev Way.  Thomas Long was granted section 4069 (church area) 4070, 4071, 4108.  The church received one acre of land on 19 May 1854, trustees were Samuel Keen, Henry Pritchard, William Baker, William Worden and Thomas Long.  Services were originally conducted under a large tree and home of Thomas Long.   Foundation stone laid by Mrs Keen and Mrs Long.  The building was opened by Rev James Way.

The new church foundations tone was laid by Thomas Hogarth in March 1865.  It was built of bluestone rubble from the Gawler Hills.  The front gable had three windows of stained glass.  Four buttressed on each side and the walls are 18 inches throughout. The interior fittings were of cedar.

The church was opened on 28th March 1855 and was demolished ten years later when a larger church was built.  The church, a small brick building was also known as Peachey Belt chapel.   The original chapel could seat 110 people but was found to be too small and Daniel Garlick was commissioned to design a new church which opened on 3 Sept 1865.  The church cost £800.  An iron building was constructed near the church to be used as a Sunday school, conducted for many years by James Talbot.
Zoar acquired a reputation as a very popular anniversary venue.  Families and people from all over the plain would arrive in gigs and traps or on bikes to worship.

In the early 1940’s with the acquisition of land by the Commonwealth Government for the munitions factory the local population declined and the church eventually closed.
Due to neglect and vandalism the church was demolished in the 1960's.  All that remains is the cemetery.

The cemetery in the 1970's
 

No comments:

Post a Comment