The Congregational Chapel

Rare 1872 photograph of the town showing the Grammar School site from 1864-? Probably built as the Congregational Chapel

Plot 301, Kooringa Map 1849

The following is extracted from Ian Auhl's, "The Story of the 'Monster Mine', p.302:-

"Early in 1850 the Baptists and Congregationalists (or Independents) were granted leases of land in Kooringa on which to erect chapels. A Congregational chapel, sited across the road from the Bible Christian Chapel was completed in September. Designated the "Union Chapel" it is likely that the chapel, "a good and substantial building of stone, capable of accommodating 200 bearers" was also used by other denominations.

The new chapel was opened in great style on 29 September that great champion of ecumenical principles, Rev. Thomas Quentin Stow of Adelaide. Costing £300, the chapel was opened almost free of debt.

The South Australian

7 October 1850

On Sunday week the new congregational chapel at Kooringa was opened for public worship, the Rev. T.G. Stow preaching in the morning and evening, and the Rev. W. Lowe, Wesleyan minister of the township, in the afternoon. A tea party and public meeting were held the next evening at which Mr Giles the South Australian company's manager, presided. The new building, which is called Union Chapel, is a neat stone edifice, capable of accommodating 200 persons; the cost was £300 which has all been paid by subscription, including the opening collections of £40, except about £30 which will no doubt shortly be paid off.

The first Congregational service in Burra had been conducted in the residence of the mine storekeeper, Thomas Burgess by the Rev. Henry Cheetham in March of 1850. Cheetham was to be Burra's first and last Congregational minister.

Following the news of the discovery of gold in Victoria, miners abandoned the chapels and consequently, the Congregational chapel closed and neither the Congregationalists nor Baptists held services in Burra again.

The Welsh congregation took over the Congregational Chapel in 1851

Welsh Chapel became the United Presbyterian Church in 1855

Burra Grammar School opened in the building in 1863

Burra Grammar School closed in 1873

In 1884 the Burra Grammar School was demolished and the Kooringa Hotel built by E.C. Lockyer who was Managing Director of Burra’s Unicorn Brewery.