Day 677 – 686 19/3 – 28/3 Longford/Launceston

Longford is around 20km south of Launceston, we have based ourselves here until we move into our house sit at Railton.

Woolmers Estate was established in 1817 by Thomas Archer a free settler from Hertfordshire & was continually occupied by the family to 1994. It is one of the most intact 19th century homesteads in Australia. The reason it is intact is that after the first two generations the family did not reside their full time & enjoyed the money made by the first two generations. Originally it was 4200 hectares of grant land. The Government took most of it back over the years as it was not being used. The last Archer of this clan died unmarried & alone in 1994.  Unfortunately no photos were allowed to be taken inside the homestead.

They have a magnificent rose garden with over 400 varieties & 5000 individual plants. The area was originally an apple orchard.

Brickendon is next door to Woolmers & was developed by William Archer the brother of Thomas above. The difference in the two properties is stark. This is still a working property by the 7th generation. Amazing family story. They lived next to each other over the years but hardly conversed. One family spending the inheritance the other building a dynasty. Currently this farm has 4000 sheep & grows oats, poppies, potatoes, etc.

Great gardens. They still live in the new house so it is unusual that you can get so close. On the way out the current Archer was rounding up his sheep dogs at the gate.

Found a train in the park at Perth & some chainsaw carvings.

H Class #6 Built Lancashire 1951

Franklin House was built by convicts in 1839 by Britton Jones an ex convict turned Innkeeper. It went through a number of owners. The National Trust in Tasmania was formed in 1960 to save it.

More gardens that inspire.

Wild Blackberries picked from along the railway line.IMG_3383

The railway line & bridges in question. The racetrack mentioned later in the blog went under the viaduct.

Next house & estate on the list is Clarendon. It was built in 1838 by James Cox for his second wife Eliza. Originally it was on a 6000 acre land grant. Four generations of  family stayed at Clarendon until 1917 when the Closer Settlement Act reduced the land holding to 700 acres. There were a number of owners until in 1962 it was donated to the National Trust by its last owner Mrs Menzies.

Evandale is a cute little village on the way to Ben Lomond. They have Pennyfarthing races every year. We missed out by a couple of weeks on seeing it.

Flinty Creek Viaduct was built in 1868 from 800,000 bricks. It closed in 1983 as the trains became too heavy for it.IMG_2907_edited-1

A couple of stray churches from the area.

Drove to Ben Lomond which is 60km east of Launceston. It is the second highest point in Tassie.  During winter there are extensive ski fields on the plateau around the village. To get there you have to drive up Jacobs Ladder. Nothing open, tourist opportunity if they had the ski lift open to the summit and maybe a cafe.


Found a couple of Wedgetail eagles hiding in the clouds.IMG_2958

Its amazing the history you find when you go to the pub for dinner. There was a 7km road circuit around Longford. The Australian Grad Prix was held on it in 1959 & 1965. All the greats raced on the track. Unfortunately there is not much of the track left. It’s great the pub is keeping the history

Entally House was built in 1819 by Thomas Reibey. It stayed in the family until 1919 & then went through a number of owners until purchased by the Tasmanian Govt in 1950. It then became the first House Museum in Australia.IMG_3048_edited-1

Conservatory & Gardens. The Conservatory was shipped from England in boxes in 1850.

Cart Collection is the best we have seen.

Pearns Steam World at Westbury is a collection that was put together by the Pearn family. It is now run by a volunteer group.

A bar with a Harley shop or Harley shop with a bar?

Stray old buildings from a drive in the area.

So we have spent the last few nights away from the caravan in Launceston at Hatherley House. It is an 1830’s Italianate grand mansion listed on the National Estate Register & is one of Launcestons oldest houses. Not bad digs.

Duck Reach Power Station was built in 1895 & closed in 1955. It it situated in Cataract Gorge & supplied Launceston with power. Because of its position it got flooded often.

This is what it looked like in 1930.Duck_Reach_Power_Station_Picture_1

Launceston has more grand old churches than any other city we have been to.

A trip to the Queen Victoria Museum turned up a couple of trains as well as other assorted things.

The precint around the current museum & University was the old Inveresk Railway Workshops. There is not much left of it. One of the good things still there is the Tram Musuem. There were 29 trams built for the Launceston system. They started in 1911 & finished in 1952.

And some dinosaurs for Haydon.

More old buildings around Launceston.

Another Car Museum. The 2015 Devaux Coupe is the one I want. They only want $230k for it. What a great looking car.

IMG_3298 - Copy
Devaux Coupe 2015

A walk around City Park came up with a surprise. They have a display of Japanese Macaques, I’m sure I saw someone I knew in there.

So as good tourists we went to Cataract Gorge.

Lake Trevallyn Dam is the dam upriver of Cataract Gorge. Built in 1955 it has a Hydro Power Station at its base. It even has an Elver ladder to allow eels to migrate upstream to breed.


Question of the Day

“Dams – Hydro Power, cheap & clean, clean water for all & irrigation for crops to feed the masses. Why do the Greenies hate them? What’s the alternative?”

Peter Macrae




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