Launceston's St Johns Anglican Church clock celebrated at National Trust History Festival

OUR HISTORY: Jenny Gill shares her knowledge of the St Johns Anglican Church for the National Trust's History Festival. Photo: Neil Richardson

OUR HISTORY: Jenny Gill shares her knowledge of the St Johns Anglican Church for the National Trust's History Festival. Photo: Neil Richardson

LAUNCESTON’S St Johns Anglican Church may be one of the oldest buildings in town, but it still holds its secrets, according to one historian.

Jenny Gill presented her public lecture, The Controversial Clock of St Johns Anglican Church, on Sunday as part of the National Trust’s History Festival. 

Ms Gill has been trawling through the church’s archives and managed to sort through the fact and fiction of the church’s history. 

She said the clock had caused controversy throughout history but had always been an important and prominent feature of the city’s past. 

“The second clock is still up there ticking away … it’s seen a lot of Launceston since 1835 and it’s coming up to its 200th birthday,” Ms Gill said. 

“They really built the clock as the township grew so that people down the south direction could see what the time was.

“There was the mad controversy through the 40s, 50s and 60s when they said it had been a gift from King George and the church people said that it belonged to the town so they should be paying, not the congregation.”

Churchwarden Gail Gill said the National Trust’s History Festival had enabled the church to celebrate its legacy and history.

“It’s fascinating to see what is coming forward,” she said.