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Campbell Town - Tasmania
Campbell Town was one of the early coaching stops
and is the centre of the fine wool and sheep-farming region.
Sitting on the banks of the Elizabeth River - around 69 km from Launceston and 133 km from Hobart - Campbell Town was one of the early coaching stops and has a population of 781 (2011 census).
The town is the centre of the sheep-farming region and was named by Governor Lachlan Macquarie, after his wife’s family, during a visit in 1821.
Start your visit to Campbell Town by stopping in at the Campbell Town Visitor Centre, located in historic 'Quondong Cottage', at 15 Old Menangle Road (nestled between the Arts Centre and Catholic Club).
Centre opening hours are 8.30am - 4.30pm Weekdays; 10am - 4pm Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm on Public Holidays.
Built in 1840, 'Quondong Cottage' was used as St Patrick's School House,
Inside you will find a replica school room featuring artifacts from school life in the 1800s.
Well worth a visit is Campbell Town's impressive Red Bridge, dating back to 1838 and designed by well known architect and engineer James Blackburn.
Convicts fired and laid over two million locally baked bricks to build it.
Originally designed for horse-drawn transport, the bridge now carries more than two million vehicles annually and has required little maintenance since it was constructed.
The best vantage points for photography are from the adjacent foot bridge or at the foot of the stone steps on the North West corner.
A large sign at the site tells the history of the bridge.
A small park at the northern end of the bridge features a number of interesting pieces of chain-saw art.
Campbell Town Visitor Centre
Out And About In Campbell Town
Real Estate For Sale
Campbell Town Weather
Campbell Town was one of the nine police districts established in 1827 by Governor Arthur with a stipendiary magistrate, a detachment of troops, a doctor, postmaster and lecturer or catechist.
The causeway over the Elizabeth River was done away with when the present bridge was built in 1837, and a brewery, which supplied the three hotels, was built near the stream.
While some of the settlers had been grinding their own grain years before this - with water wheels and stone rollers - a flour mill to supply the village was also put up.
The larger estates were practically self-supporting with carpenters and blacksmiths, nail-makers and all the other tradesmen needed for independence.
The township itself had been laid out, as Macquarie had ordered, by Meehan, and included a common and streets covering an area of about three miles long and a mile wide.
Nearly every bushranger recorded in Tasmanian history seems to have robbed, murdered or burned his way through the Campbell Town district at one time or another in his career.
In 1828-30 Eliza Forlong walked through Saxony (Germany) buying sheep.
She selected the best fine-wool Merino and drove them to Hamburg for shipping to Great Britain.
She traveled by foot, buying sheep for her son’s voyage on the Clansman in 1829 and for her own voyage on the Czar in 1830.
In all, Eliza and her sons walked across Saxony three times, leading flocks of 100 sheep to the port at Hamburg.
In June 1829, 16-year-old son, William, sailed for New South Wales with a flock of seven rams and 90 ewes.
The Clansman stopped at Hobart en route, where Governor Arthur recognised the value of the flock and persuaded William to take up a large grant of land near Campbell Town.
On reaching Van Diemens Land in January 1831, Eliza, John (her husband), Andrew, and a second flock, joined William at the Kenilworth property.
These sheep formed the basis of the Winton superfine stud, Australia’s pre-eminent superfine wool stud, at Campbell Town, as well as much of the surrounding area.
The fine-wool industry grew to such grand proportions that, in 1847, an elegant carriage cloak, woven from the fine merino wool of the Wanstead property, was presented to Queen Victoria.
A description in 1831 says, “the delightful [Wanstead] estate comprises 8,000 acres plus a garden of 15 acres, and two orchards.
Beside the main house is a smaller one in which he previously resided, two substantial stables, granaries, threshing and corn mills and other out houses”.
The Wanstead mansion was built by the enterprising pioneer migrant, Richard Willis, in the 1820’s and is said to be the oldest remaining substantial building made of pise (rammed earth) and brick in Australia.
A description of Campbell Town c 1852
Campbell Town [is] a town in the parish of Campbelton and county of Somerset, 89 miles (143 km) from Hobart, and 42 miles (68 km) from Launceston.
It is situated in a level pastoral country, on the Elizabeth River, and the main road from Hobart to Launceston passes through it.
The town consists chiefly of one long street, in which are four large inns, a brewery, some stores, small shops, and an assembly room.
There are in the town an episcopal and presbyterian church (St. Luke's and St. Andrew's), a Wesleyan Chapel, and schools.
The river is crossed by a bridge or causeway, 200 yards long, and on the southern side are numerous fine farms.
The road to Avoca, Fingal, and the eastern coast here branches off from the main line.
There is a resident police magistrate.
The population of the town and police district is 2,319, and the number of houses, 255 of which are of stone or brick, is 386.
It is considered to be the middle district of the colony, and the Midland Agricultural Association originated here.
In addition to the wonderful Red Bridge there is also:
Built in 1838 the Fox Hunter's Return is rated as the best preserved of this early Colonial style in Australia and now boasts a second-hand bookshop in the basement.
Campbell Town St Michaels Catholic
Campbell Town Anglican Cemetery
'A Cheapskate's Guide to Exploring Tasmania By Car', 'A World of Trivia' and 'Dear Grandpa Pencil'
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