The chapel overlooks the Nile River in Deddington, after which it was named.

Nile Chapel Today
Photograph courtesy of Terence Talbot

It comprises a simple painted brick chapel, built around 1840, with gabled roof; the front elevation has central double doors with two narrow recessed panels at the side. The sides are divided into three bays with plasters and frieze and the windows have mullion and transom in the form of a cross.

The design and erection of the chapel is now considered the work of The Presbyterian minister Rev. Robert Russell at Evandale and Robert Pitcairn Esq. the donor of the land on which the chapel is built. Research continues on the identity of the man who undertook the construction of the building, thought to be one Williams; he was a ship carpenter who is reported to have constructed several chapels in N.S.W. and was in the Deddington area at the time. 

The Church at Deddington was opened on the 10th. May 1841 on land presented by Robert Pitcairn to the residents of Deddington and was financed by subscribers who paid 30/- annually for a pew and 5/- for a single seat.

Nile Chapel, Front View, drawn by John Glover

Drawing by John Richardson Glover with the kind permission of the Allport Library, part of the State Library of Tasmania.

The chapel was to have been used primarily for Presbyterians or the resident minister of the Scot's Church, Evandale - such body to have the use of the chapel for twenty six (26) Sundays during the year. If its ministers should fail to carry out such services then the ministers of another Protestant Body may supersede them in the use of the chapel. The grand plans for the district of Deddington did not come to fruition, and the Presbyterian Church gave up their exclusive usage and the Chapel was open for use by Protestant ministers - you will note that the Catholic religion was precluded from using the Chapel under these arrangements.

Nile Chapel, Rear View, drawn by John Glover

Drawing by John Richardson Glover with the kind permission of the Allport Library, State Library of Tasmania

Both the drawings depicted above, formerly attributed to John Glover Senior the famous colonial artist, are in fact not by him, as both depict his actual grave, the fenced square in the foreground of the work. The drawings have now been recognized as the work of John Richardson Glover, the illegitimate son of John Glover Senior. You can learn more about John Glover Senior here.

The Chapel is currently open for use by all Christian Denominations; but is owned by no one religious body. The Trustees are permanent residents of Deddington, who maintain the Chapel on behalf of its owners, the permanent residents of Deddington.

As farms were cleared and homes built in the valley, the need for a school became apparent, and on June 1st., 1865, a school began in the Chapel with the approval of the Managers and the Board of Education. That a Chapel should be used as a school was not unusual in country districts in the early days of settlement - such schools being known as Church schools and not under government authority. The school facilities were moved to a cottage in the area in 1885.

The Chapel was again used as a teaching venue circa 1912, then a school was built nearby; this venue was closed in 1946 and the children were bussed to Evandale daily.

Regular services have not been held in the Chapel for many years. The last time the Chapel fulfilled its original function was a candlelit marriage ceremony in August 2002. There is no electricity connected to the building.

Burials - (The records so far located are incomplete and further research is being undertaken)

  • John Glover senior d. 9 Dec 1849 aged 82
  • his wife Sarah (née Young) d. 19 Nov 1853 aged approx 92
  • their son Henry Glover d 27 July 1860 aged 57
  • John Richardson Glover, son of John Glover and Mary Richardson, d. 22 June 1868 aged 78
  • In the small grave adjoining the Glover crypt are two infant sons of Henry Thomas d. 1 Jan 1845 aged 7months and James William d 25 Nov 1847 aged 2 months
  • R. Saunders
  • Phillips family
  • Donald James Panton who was shot by his brother in a hunting accident at Patterdale.
  • Russ Carrier (1976) of Sydney
  • Oliver White, drowned being swept away in a flood of the Nile River.

The last burial in 1996 was that of a Trustee of the Chapel, Mr. Tony Ferguson, formerly of London.

John Pole (Poole?), who committed suicide, was interred outside the general grave area under a slab of stone. 

Regulations: Because farmers were in the habit of lighting up their pipes whilst taking their horses from the stables at the back of the Chapel, it was minuted in 1898 that "It is unanimously agreed the meeting disapproves of any smoking on the Church premises and that it will be prohibited." One of the first "smoke free" areas in Australia?. There was no water connected to the chapel then as now.

The grounds of the Chapel are open to the public but not the actual building except by appointment. Local resident Terence Talbot is happy to open the building to visitors and group tours can be arranged.

Contact Terence by email, at P.O. Box 48 Evandale, Tasmania 7212 Australia, phone 03 63 986 287 or mobile 0428 986287.