13. St. Matthew's Church Complex
St. Matthew's Anglican Church dominates the small village area of Rokeby and was important in the early development of the community. The first service in the area was conducted by the Chaplain of Van Diemen's Land, the Rev'd Robert Knopwood in 1821, and he agitated for a Church for many years.
Whilst the first burial, that of Catherine Chipman, took place in 1827, it was some time after his death in 1838 before his dream of a church was fulfilled. The Church itself is on the Register of the National Estate as are its fittings and furnishings, the churchyard and burial ground. Knopwood himself was buried here, in a plain coffin with no name plate.
The story of the two fine parsonages, one built c.1857 on private land, the other in 1886 on the Clergyman's Glebe, is told on the sign near the driveway. In the original stone parsonage the fittings were cedar, and it contained four fine Italian marble mantels and fire surrounds. These disappeared after it fell into disuse. In the latter building, noted for its 'bow' windows, the maid climbed into her doorless room via a steep ladder.
It is now a short walk back to the trail start, but we invite you to learn more early history by visiting the rural areas on the Trail.