After leaving Rokeby, we weren’t back on the main road long before the bus deviated again; this time through the suburb of Clarendon Vale. There is a significant building here. As some sort of counterpoint to the modern Catholic Church next to the John Paul II Catholic School, down the road before reaching the main road you can see a heritage quality, beautiful old sandstone church. This is St Matthews Anglican Church which comes with a reasonable size cemetery full of ancient headstones. Would be worth a stop-over on a future excursion.
Here’s some additional information to whet your appetite.
From http://members.optusnet.com.au/~tacplaci/rokeby.html#r13, “The first service in the area was conducted by the Chaplain of Van Diemen’s Land, the Reverend Robert Knopwood in 1821, and he agitated for a Church for many years. Whilst the first burial, that of Catherine Chipman, took place in 1827, the foundation stone for the church was laid in 1840 after Knopwood’s death (1838). Knopwood is buried here, in a plain coffin with no name plate. The Church and its fittings and furnishings, the churchyard and burial ground are on the Register of the National Estate.”
From http://www.ohta.org.au/organs/organs/Rokeby.html you can gather further information including photos by John Maidment of the simple but striking building (see below) – all the more so because there are no other grandiose buildings nearby.
Once the bus was back on the main road, we passed the suburb of Oakdowns on the left and the Tasmanian Police Academy on the right (the latter overlooking a glorious panorama of Ralph’s Bay) before taking a bend in the road and coasting down into the main drag of Lauderdale, a seaside suburb. The tide across Ralph’s Bay was out leaving the rippled mudflats visible.
With suburban build-up left behind after Lauderdale, the scenery became entirely rural, except for the short line of houses in the shopless village of Sandford.