St Patrick’s Hall, on Bourke St between William and Queen streets, was designed by Samuel Jackson and built in 1849 on land purchased by the St Patrick’s Society.
It became a place for meetings and a school for Irish children. To its left is the first synagogue in Melbourne erected in 1848 to provide services for the large influx of Jewish families.
St Patrick’s Hall acted as Victoria’s first parliament house and was leased from the St Patrick’s Society of Victoria in 1851 until Parliament House was constructed in 1856.
After this, using rent paid by the government, the St Patrick’s Society built a large three-storey stone frontage, bringing the building out to the street path.
St Patrick’s Hall was demolished in 1857. St Patrick’s Alley remains in the area as a reminder of the building.
The Royal Historical Society of Victoria is the peak body for local history in Victoria. It has a significant collection of library materials, photographs and manuscripts. It holds a busy program of lectures, exhibitions and events.
For further information: www.historyvictoria.org.au
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