Tyrrell House History

Tyrrell House is named after William Tyrrell, first Bishop of Newcastle. Consecrated as a bishop in Westminster Abbey, he was installed as Bishop of Newcastle in January 1848. He revived the plan to build a proprietary school in the Hunter region and sought to use the funds originally subscribed for this purpose in 1840.

He was opposed in this, however, by some of the remaining shareholders, who wanted the accumulated funds returned to the original subscribers. In 1874, to advance his plan to found the School, Tyrrell brought a suit in the Supreme Court aimed at forcing the trustees of the fund to proceed with the plan to build a school. In 1879 the Master in Equity ruled that plans for the School should proceed.

Although there were further obstacles to overcome before the plan went ahead – not least of these a proposed Act of the NSW Parliament to wind it up and another appeal to the Supreme Court – the School was eventually built, but in Armidale, not Newcastle as originally planned. Had it not been for Tyrrell, however, the accumulated funds would have been dispersed and the plan to found the School would have been abandoned in 1874. Bishop Tyrrell died on 24 March 1879.

He was much loved and admired and is regarded as one of the great pioneers of Anglicanism in Australia.