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Clements Langford : 16-September-2011
Clements Langford : 16-September-2011
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

Tablet and clerestory window commemorate Clements Langford, lay canon & master builder who built the spires and towers of the cathedral and was involved with St Stephen's, Richmond for 50 years. 

In 1881 Langford had formed a partnership with Robert Hutchison and they set up as builders and contractors in Bridge Road, Richmond. From 1886 he continued the business in his sole name. Having insufficient capital structure to be vulnerable to the building boom collapse of the 1890s, the firm was involved in several major projects, by 1909 employing 300. Incorporated as Clements Langford Pty Ltd in May 1923, by 1930 it encompassed 'shop and office fitters, plumbers, painters [and] decorators', and boasted large joinery, timber-machining and plumbers' shops.

The culmination of his career as builder and churchman was the erection of the St Paul's Cathedral spires, which he commenced in 1926, following a 1925 trip to England, and whose completion he bequeathed to his son George.

Six memorials in St. Pauls Cathedral were unveiled and dedicated by Archbishop Head at Evensong yesterday. The dedications were a simple part of the service. Archbishop Head, accompanied by clerical and lay canons, passed down one aisle and back along the other, stopping for a few moments at each memorial. Archbishop Head first unveiled and dedicated a tablet to the memory of James Moorhouse, Bishop of Melbourne from 1876 to 1886, whose efforts resulted in the building of St Paul's Cathedral. Archbishop Head then dedicated a cross which was set in a stone taken from the walls of Christ Church, Canterbury (England) and which was first dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury with a number of similar crosses at an Empire service in June, 1935 at Canterbury Cathedral. Set in the wall a few feet from this cross a stone from Westminster Abbey was dedicated. This stone was sent to St. Paul's Cathedral in 1934 with the good wishes of Westminster Abbey to mark the Centenary of Melbourne. Near the main entrance doorway from Swanston street, Archbishop Head dedicated a wooden cross taken from the grave of an unknown soldier in Flanders and set in the wall of the Cathedral to be a permanent memorial to all men who fell in the Great War. Finally Archbishop Head unveiled a large stained glass window and dedicated a tablet in memory of Mr. Clements Langford, who was a lay canon of St Paul's for four years, and who built the three spires of the cathedral as a gift. One of Mr. Clements Langford's sons was among those who accompanied Archbishop Head, and several men who helped to build the spires were in the congregation.
Argus (Melbourne), 6 October 1936.


Address:Flinders & Swanston Streets, St Paul`s Anglican Cathedral, Melbourne, 3000
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.81716
Long: 144.967846
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 5th October, 1936
Front Inscription

As Honourary Master Builder
Clements Langford
Born 25th March 1853 - Died 6th February 1930
Erected The Towers And Spires Of This Cathedral
Almost To Completion.  A Churchwarden And
Sunday School Superintendent Of St. Stephen`s
Richmond For 50 years.  A Lay Canon And
A Generous Benefactor Of The Church.

This Tablet And The Clerestory Window
Above Are Dedicated To His Memory By The
Cathedral Erection Board.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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