History: The Vicarage, Vicars, Parish and Town

The Geraldine Vicarage, opened in October 1900, is an important monument from a bygone time. Once a spiritual and social hub in the middle of town, a place of learning and teaching and community leadership.

Built in 1900 for 850 pounds 

The Rev. Staples Hamilton was appointed to the Anglican parish of Geraldine in February 1899. At the annual parishioners meeting in April 1899, the new vicar announced his intentions to construct a new vicarage and church hall in Geraldine. Rev. Hamilton argued that the current vicarage, which had been built for Rev. Preston in 1875 was over nine miles from the church site on the Pleasant Valley Road and thus was too far away to be practical. Rev. Hamilton argued for the construction of a new vicarage on the site of the old church, but this was opposed by many of the older Geraldine colonists who refused to see the old church removed. It was instead decided to construct the vicarage adjoining the first St. Mary’s Church. The architect was James Turnbull of Timaru and Clinch and Lloyd won the tender to build it. At a cost of 850 pounds the new vicarage was opened in October 1900. A stables and workshop were added the following year and riverbed land was leased to graze the Vicar's horses. This photograph taken in 1905 shows the vicarage building standing on Reserve 421, flanked by the old and new St. Mary’s Churches. The vicarage building continues to stand at 69 Talbot Street.

The new Vicarage is visible with the new St Mary's church behind to the right. The old church to the left.




Canon Staples Smith with his family outside the Vicarage that he was instrumental in building. 1916