St Joseph's Catholic Church
Market Street, Burra

The building of this new church was not without its dramas, but it was finally completed in 1874. According to the "Harp and Southern Cross Summary" (Vol. VI No. 285, Dec. 4, 1874 p 3 & 4):

St Joseph's Catholic Church
Market Street, Burra

"The church is 60 feet long in the clear and 32 feet wide. The sanctuary ... is carpeted with more than the customary magnificence, is 21 feet in width and 17 in length. The ornamentation of the altar is striking, and the various appurtenances seem to have been well chosen to consort with it.

The walls are 22 feet high, and the roof 21, making 43 from the floor to the highest part of the ceiling. The top of the cross on the bell tower is 86 feet from the ground, and when the elevation of the foundations above the level of the road is considered, it may be said to stand at an altitude of about 100 feet.

The style of the building is early gothic, and the structure has been constructed to accommodate about 700 persons - 600 on the ground floor and 100 above the entrance in a gallery, which also serves as an organ loft."

Other accounts advise the the seating figures were exaggerated and a total of 300 would be more accurate. It would also appear that over the years, the altar is no longer as ornate as it once was, simple ornamentation seemingly being preferred.

The official opening tool place on Sunday, November 8, 1874 and the Right Rev. Dr Reynolds, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Adelaide, performed the ceremony.