Festival Venues

St John's Church, built in bluestone in the gothic style, was begun in 1861 to the design of prominent Ballarat architect, Henry Caselli. The pinnacled tower and gallery were added in 1869 and the brick sanctuary and timber vestry in 1892.

St John’s is noted for its outstanding collection of 10 stained glass windows and for its lofty internal proportions.

With the closure of the Barkly Street Uniting Church in Ballarat in 2015, the congregation of Barkly Street and the Presbytery of Western Victoria generously gifted their precious, State registered 1889 Fincham and Hobday tracker action pipe organ to St John’s Church and the Parish of Springmount.

Henry Caselli’s visionary design for St John’s elevated height was a critical factor in the decision to gift the organ to the church.

St John’s underwent significant structural and restoration work to house the magnificent instrument and to adapt its space for performing arts, as well as to enhance its beauty as a sacred place of worship.

With the discovery of gold at Clunes, St Paul's Church was originally designed to be the Cathedral of Western Victoria.

Its lofty gothic proportions provide an excellent acoustic space for music and choral performances.

Built in 1870-71 to the design of Thomas Austin, protégé of the famous gothic architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott, St Paul’s is Austin’s only known Australian work.

The church replaced the earlier building of 1859 which was a prefabricated construction from North America and had a unique American architectural style.

St Paul’s mechanical action organ was originally built for private use in 1860 by Hamlin and Son of London and found its way to the Daylesford Methodist Church. It was later acquired for St Paul's by the then Vicar, the energetic Rev’d Dewhurst.

The organ is one of only two remaining Hamlin instruments in the world and it includes a national classification