Sydney’s Historic St. Mary’s Cathedral and St James King Street

A private tour through 2 of Sydney’s historic churches.

A National Trust Way Day Tour

Meet at Hyde Park side entrance of St. Mary’s Cathedral.


The foundation stone for the first St. Mary’s was laid on 29 October 1821 by Governor Macquarie. Built by James Dempsey it was a simple cruciform stone structure which paid homage to the fashion for the Gothic style in its pointed windows and pinnacles.   On 29 June 1865, the church caught fire and was destroyed. The foundation for the present cathedral was laid in 1868, but it was not finished until the richly decorated crypt which enshrines the bodies of the early priests and bishops was completed in 1961.

For many years the two squared-off towers of the facade gave a disappointing appearance to an otherwise elegant building. With the assistance of a grant from the Government, the spires were eventually built in 2000.

Walk to St. James Church in King Street


St. James Church, King Street, is an Anglican parish church in the inner city Sydney. Consecrated in February 1824 and named in honour of St. James the Great it became a parish church in 1835. Designed in the style of a Georgian town church by the transported convict architect, Francis Greenway during the governorship of Lachlan Mac2quarie, St. James is part of the historical precinct of Macquarie Street.

Tour through the church then, visit the crypt, and the Chapel of St Mary and the Angels, known as the children’s chapel. The murals were designed by Ethel Anderson and painted as a collaborative project by the Turramurra Wall Painters Union, a group of modernist painters founded by Anderson in 1927.

Morning tea will be served in the crypt of St. James.

A free lunchtime concert will be performed in St. James Church from 1.15 pm.

Cost (including morning tea) $35 NT members, $39 non-members

Bookings essential : phone 9363 2401 or book at


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St Mary's Cathedral