Hamilton Pit Disaster Memorial PulpitPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Sandra Brown
The pulpit of the church commemorates the men and boys who lost their lives in the Hamilton Pit Disaster of 1889. 

Shortly after the opening of the church, the Hamilton Pit disaster occurred on 22 June 1889. The pulpit of freestone was erected in memory of this disaster. On this occasion 11 men and boys lost their lives, amongst them one of the church choir, Herbert Pettit.

A hundred men were working in the Hamilton Pit at the Glebe Mine, Merewether, on the morning of 22nd June 1889 when the roof began 'working' and collapsed in several places. Many of men fled for their lives but their lamps went out and they were plunged into darkness, rocks and coal continued to fall and blocked their escape. Eleven men lost their lives in the disaster, some were caught under fallen coal unable to be moved by work mates and four died of starvation while trapped in a small section of the mine.

Special services in connection with the unveiling of the memorial pulpit, which is erected to the memory of the men who lost their lives in the Hamilton pit disaster, were held on Sunday afternoon. The Rev. Canon Selwyn conducted the services, and unveiled the pulpit. At the conclusion of the sermon, a collection for the purpose of defraying the cost of the memorial pulpit was taken up, and amounted to £8 16s 2d, while the total cost is estimated at about £30. It is built of Pyrmont stone, and the work was done by Mr. Dumbrell, of Newcastle. At the foot of the pulpit is a beautiful polished brass plate, the work of Mr. Blackburn, of Newcastle, with the following inscription engraved upon it:-" To the glory of God, and the memory of the eleven men who lost their lives at the Hamilton pit disaster. June 22nd, 1889."  Mr. Menkens was the architect of the work, and it was admitted by all those who examined it, that it was a splendid piece of workmanship.
Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (NSW), 
10 February 1891.


Address:Llewellyn & Winsor Streets, St Augustine`s Anglican Church, Merewether, 2291
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -32.941579
Long: 151.750793
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Religious Object
Monument Theme:Disaster
Actual Event Start Date:22-June-1889
Actual Event End Date:22-June-1889
Designer:Mr Menkens (architect) Mr Dumbrell (pulpit)
Monument Manufacturer:Mr Blackburn (brass plate)


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 8th February, 1891
Front Inscription


              To the Glory of God 
                        And The 
of the eleven men who Lost their Lives in the Hamilton pit Disaster 
            →  June 22nd 1889 

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