St Mary's Cathedral viewed from Hyde Park, Sydney.

St Mary's Cathedral. Photo (c) David Liddle

St Mary’s Cathedral

Sunday 3 November

St Mary’s Road, Sydney

See on map

Built

1882 (first stage), 1928 (second stage), 2000 (spires completed)

Architect

William Wardell

While cathedrals across the world traditionally face the liturgical east, St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney is oriented north–south, conforming not to ecclesiastical orthodoxy but to the city grid and the site’s contours.

A Gothic Revival landmark opposite Hyde Park, the Cathedral was designed by architect William Wardell and completed by John Hennessy. Its form and finish richly express the architecture of divinity and worship: its cruciform shape, the soaring vaulted timber nave (22 metres high and 107 metres long), the exquisite linings of alabaster, granite and limestone (crafted by master tiler Peter Melocco), intricate stained-glass panels by Hardman & Co, and the yellowblock sandstone of the honey-coloured exterior quarried in nearby Pyrmont.

This is actually the third St Mary’s Cathedral on this site. The first, completed in 1821, burnt to the ground in 1865, as did its temporary replacement a few years later. The present St Mary’s, ostensibly finished in 1928, sat uncrowned until 2000, when its twin sandstone spires were finally added.

One year earlier, Cook + Phillip Aquatic Centre by BVN was completed on the doorstep of St Mary’s Cathedral, with a landscaped ‘piazza’ by Spackman Mossop, increasing the prominence and public domain around St Mary’s.

Reminding us that Sydney is a secular city, the Australian Museum – the country’s oldest natural history museum – stands just across William Street. The temple of Darwinism, face to face with the House of God.

  • Interior photograph of St Mary's Cathedral, taken during Sydney Open 2018.
  • St Mary's Cathedral, Crypt taken during Sydney Open 2018.

On Sunday 3 November


What’s open?

Cathedral, Cathedral Crypt


Talks, tours & more

St Mary's Cathedral welcomes the public to 5pm Vespers and 6pm Mass following Sydney Open. For additional service times please visit St Mary's Cathedral website.


Need
to know

  • Photography restricted
    No flash

  • Lines expected

  • Toilets available

  • Pram friendly

  • Accessible
    Please use disabled access located off St Mary’s Road (near College Street).


Opening hours

1pm-4pm

Last entry

3.45pm

Address

St Mary’s Road, Sydney

Entry via

College Street

Accessible entry

St Mary's Road (near College Street)


Acknowledgements

Find out more about St Mary’s Cathedral.