St. George’s Church is set next door to the Penang State Museum & Art Gallery. Built in 1817 by the East India Company using convict labour, it is Southeast Asia’s oldest Anglican church and one of the oldest buildings in Penang. The architecture and design is largely Greek and relatively unpretentious.
The gracefully proportioned building was designed by Captain Robert Smith (a military engineer) whose beautiful oil paintings still hang in the Penang State Museum. The interior is a cool pastel blue with marble floors and outside the main building on the church grounds is a memorial to Sir Francis Light in the form of a Greek temple – an elegant pavilion with definite Victorian style to it. It was built in 1886 on the centenary of the founding of Penang; just down the road is the double-spired Cathedral of the Assumption.