Contact Person Nick Jarvis

Ashes to Ashes- Demolition of the RDH Chapel

I haven’t posted in a long time, but I thought it was important to document this sad event.

Today I learnt of the demolition of the old Royal Derwent Chapel or St Lukes it was referred to by some. The Chapel was a non-denominational chapel that was used by many church groups over the years.

At one time there was church services held there but it was poorly attended, patients that wanted to go to church were normally taken to the local churches.

Staff used it for special occasions in their lives. It was always a quiet place and people would go there to chill out. There were rumours it was used for more adult activities at times.

The Chapel is a site that many people in New Norfolk who may have no connections to the hospital have some connection too. It was used by St Peter’s Catholic Church and St Brigid’s for their Christmas Eve Mass. St Brigid’s would do a Nativity play there and we would sing Christmas carols, but the words were changed in the carols to more Christian theme. It was great, I loved gong there. I can remember this occurring from around 1990 -2000.

In June 2009 I found the large Nativity scene painting stored in the side building of the chapel. I wanted to keep it safe but was too worried about taking in case I got in trouble, so I altered the Council and also rang St Brigid’s School to inform them that it was there and it should be saved. Not long after it was gone, I don’t know what happened to it, but I hope it was saved!! If anyone knows, please let me know.

Approximately 2014 it purchased by a private investor and was going to be transformed into the “Bootleggers Bar”. Below is one of the first Facebook posts about the bar in October 2014

Bootleggers Bar was born on Facebook on the 28/10/14 and shortly after posted “Hold on to your web browsers …. Bootleggers Bar, Blues@OVC and Crave India web sites are about to explode onto your cyberspace.” Bootleggers will have Blues music accompanied by Indian Food “Crave India”.

As you can imagine just like all the remaining building at Royal Derwent that were left abandoned or semi abandoned, they were constant vandalised which impacted on the development of the Bootleggers bar among other factors. Sadly, the Bar never opened.

The Chapel was also victim to two Arson attacks in 2024 which ultimately sealed its fate, just like the majority of its fellow Royal Derwent Buildings

Rest in peace, I have many fond memories as a kid in there at Christmas time. I will never forget it.

News Articles about Arosn attacks 2024

Jan 2024

April 2024

Thanks to Kane Inches, Thomas Ryan & Libraries Tasmania for some of the photos.