History of Yandoit Cultural

Yandoit’s Methodist (now Uniting) Church was constructed in 1875

This hand-made brick building was the third church constructed on the same site: the first, a canvas tent erected by early settlers from Scotland, who arrived during the 1850’s gold rush and farmed the land. The second, a timber building brought across from nearby Clydesdale. In the early 1870’s a clay pit was dug from the adjacent Morrison farm and a kiln made to fire the hand-made bricks. These bricks were then carried across, wheel-barrow-load by wheel-barrow-load, to construct the third and final church building which stands strong some 150 years later.

In a remarkable turn of fate, the wheel from that same barrow was incorporated as a feature window into the back wall. Sitting on the hand-made timber pews, our eyes are drawn to the illuminated stained glass between each spoke of the wheel. Like the six side windows, which frame the surrounding eucalypts, the glass is tinted with the three primary colours- red, yellow and blue.

The new settlers ensured church was within walking distance for all parishioners. Consequently, churches were constructed 1 mile apart. Yandoit’s ex-Methodist church, like other local churches, was built, furnished and maintained by locals, in a spirit of generosity. Pews were made from locally sourced timber; cushions on the pews were sewn by locals. The bell, perched high on its timber post with its long tolling chain, not only called parishioners to the Sunday service, but also doubled as a potential air-raid warning during war-times, and a fire alarm during hot dry seasons.

Once construction of the church was completed, further bricks were quarried and fired, again from the Morrison’s paddock, this time to build the Yandoit Mechanics Institute and Free Library in 1883 and then Yandoit’s Anglican Church, also during the 1880’s . All three buildings remain and stand strong. In another twist of fate, the kitchen and toilet extension of the Uniting church, constructed some 120 years later, in 1995, was built by a descendant of the original bricklayer.

Unearthing Yandoit History - the Church in the Bush

Yandoit nonagenarian Don Morrison, great grandson of James Morrison, whose family arrived in Yandoit from Scotland in the 1850’s, shares some history of the church and why this building is precious to those who live in Yandoit and surrounds.
Play Video