LONGFORD is a historic town that boasts 2 world class, historic estates in Woolmers and Brickendon. Touring these estates is an experience, as close to the 19th Century, as you are going to get in Tasmania. Both estates are easy to access and tour. Longford is also a town with a supermarket, plus some cafes, hotels and commercial facilities as well as a variety of accommodation venues.
PERTH is just east of Longford,
WOOLMERS is just south of Longford
BRICKENDON estates is just south of Longford.
Longford is located just west of the A1 Midland Highway very close to LAUNCESTON. From Longford you are 15 minutes from EVANDALE, CARRICK and LAUNCESTON. You are 30 minutes from WESTBURY, CAMPBELL TOWN and DELORAINE. Nearby places are described in the MIDLANDS REGION page.
Longford is one of a number of towns on the A1 Midland Highway, which is called the Heritage Highway by the tourist industry. The other historic towns are: CAMPBELL TOWN, EVANDALE, ROSS, CARRICK, DELORAINE, OATLANDS, KEMPTON and PONTVILLE. For further information go to my MIDLANDS REGION page or telephone any visitor information office in these towns or contact www.heritagehighway.com.au
View Midlands in a larger map
FACILITIES: There is a modern supermarket, plus shops, cafes, hotels and a petrol pump at Longford. There is also a cafe at Woolmers Estate. There is some accommodation at LONGFORD and nearby PERTH, plus much accommodation at LAUNCESTON.
TOURIST information is located at the JJ BAKERY, Wellington St, Longford. The telephone number is (03) 6397 7321
SIGHTS: The Longford area was first settled by Thomas Archer and his family from 1817. He strove to turn this area, called the Norfolk Plains, into a landscape that resembled his native Hertfordshire in England. He succeeded and the result is that nearly 200 years, much of this area really does look like his native England.
There are some lovely heritage buildings in Longford itself, particularly in the Heritage Corner area. In the grave yard behind CHRIST CHURCH, you can find the grave of Anne Edmunds. She was the mother to the first European child born in northern Tasmania.
The really outstanding attractions of Longford are the two Archer estates: WOOLMERS and BRICKENDON. They are both south of the town. These estates will give you a very powerful glimpse into life in 19th Century Van Diemensland. Woolmers is also the site of the NATIONAL ROSE GARDEN, which is an attraction in its own right.
PERTH is a town on the main A1 Midland Highway with some historic assets. It is a few kilometres east of Longford.
ESKLEIGH House has some of the best ceiling decorations in Tasmania. It is on the southern edge of Perth.
ILLAWARRA is a locality north west of Longford. It has a lovely old church, plus the humble grave of the great painter Tom Roberts.
ROUTES: From LAUNCESTON drive south for 15 minutes on the A1 Midland Highway, until you see the sign in the town of Perth pointing west to B52 Illawarra Road leading to Longford. You then turn south from this road into Longford.
You can also reach Longford on the A1 Bass Highway by turning south onto B52 near CARRICK.
PERTH is just north east of Longford. Drive north from Longford town onto B52 and turn east to reach Perth.
ESKLEIGH HOUSE is reached by turning east at the bridge on the southern edge of Perth.
ILLAWARRA is reached by driving north on B52 the road to Carrick.
Both WOOLMERS and BRICKENDON are south of Longford. Drive south on C520 Wellington Street, which becomes Woolmers Street. Brickendon is on the southern edge of the town, while Woolmers is about another 5 minutes further down this road.
- Rose Garden
- Tom Roberts
1/ Longford's Christ Church is a Gothic Revival style, Anglican Church that was built in 1839. It shows the strong lines of classic late 19th Century architecture. The church dominates a large park on the northern edge of the older part of the town. This impressive church is the symbol of Longford.
2/ Behind Christ Church is an old grave yard. The plethora of European trees and old graves that you see make the grave yard seemed to be a part of the Old England that the settlers came from.
3/ I was very fortunate to discover this grave lying horizontal on the ground on the far western end of the yard. It was in a deplorable state, but when I darken the letters, I could read the following very interesting text: "Sacred to the Memory of Anne Edmunds Who Departed this life October 184? Aged 86 Years And Who was the Mother of the First Child of British Descent born on the northern side of Van Diemensland ..." Until 1852 Tasmania, then called Van Diemensland, was divided into northern and southern colonies. I would make a guess that Anne Edmunds had a child in Yorktown about 1804.
4/ This lovely old church is St Augustine's. It is a Catholic church built in the Gothic Revival style, which was popular in the late 19th Century. The grave in the front shows a fine example of a Celtic cross. St Augustine's is in the southern part of Longford.
5/ This is the lovely Uniting Church. It is also built in the Gothic Revival style. It is located in the southern part of Longford.
6/ This view is of an old section of Longford photographed from near Heritage Corner. It shows Wellington Street, which has this impressive array of Victorian era buildings showing a complete 19th Century streetscape.
7/ The heart of historic Longford is the corner of Wellington and Marlborough streets. This former hotel has now been transformed into a lovely cafe.
8/ The Big Store is a grand old example of a 19th Century emporium. It was built in 1889 and is one of the largest surviving buildings in the older part of Longford.
9/ This old mill towers over the older part of Longford. At present (2015) it is not being used.
10/ I presume that this interesting old building is some kind of 19th Century factory.
12/ Longford has a lovely state school built in 1934. Its lovely gardens make it an attractive example of early 20th Century architecture.
7/ The old Tabernacle is a former church. It was built in 1880 and is today used as a funeral parlour.
8/ Longford has many fine examples of the different kinds of 19th Century houses. The 19th Century extensions to this old cottage show that it has an interesting tale to tell.
9/ This lovely house is a classic, Victorian era, working man's cottage. It was what every average, colonial family aspired to own.
10/ This large, Victorian era house is built in the late colonial style. The two halves design, plus the large joining verandah suggest that it may once have been a hotel.
11/ This quaint old house is a classic example of a mid 19th Century, Georgian era cottage.
12/ The double storey, plus the elaborate, stone porch attest to this being a 19th Century manor house. I am sure that it too has a tale to tell.
13/ Longford has a war memorial located in a lovely park. This park is opposite the Christ Church shown above and marks the beginning of the older part of Longford.
14/ This is the Racecourse Inn, which is located on the southern edge of Longford. It was built in the 1840s to service the Longford race track, which it is just opposite. Today it offers patrons older style accommodation.
15/ This is Kingsley House. It is a Victorian era, colonial style hotel with an unusual balcony. It is located on the northern edge of Longford near a modern supermarket. It also offers patrons older style accommodation.
16/ This large, Victorian era hotel is located in the Heritage Corner area of Longford. To the right you can see the new mobile phone tower, which many local residents say spoils the appearance of the older part of the town.
17/ This Victorian era hotel located in the northern part of Longford has a very good display of the car races that were held in Longford in the 1950s and 1060s.
18/ This is the South Esk River near Longford. Its banks are lined with willow trees and give the whole area a very European appearance. Unfortunately, willow trees in Tasmania are now known to clog rivers and are now, thus, considered to be pests.
19/ This is one part of the old South Esk Railway Bridge. It is an impressive example of mid 19th Century, industrial architecture. It is located near the northern entrance to Longford. There is a large open area at its base.
20/ This is the other section of the old South Esk Railway Bridge. It is adjacent to the bridge shown above. I can easily imagine that these two structures could be the centre piece of a great river, adventure park. These bridges are located on the northern edge of Longford.
21/ This is the view of the old South Esk Railway Bridge from the western side, where there is pretty park and walking track. It would be good, if this park could be extended to the other side of the river.
BRICKENDON is an estate just south of Longford in the Midlands of central northern Tasmania. It was developed by William Archer, the brother of Thomas Archer, the founder of the nearby Woolmers Estate, from 1824 to the 1850s. Like Woolmers, it is also on the National Heritage list. Today it offers guest accommodation, plus receptions. You can telephone on 6391 1383 or 0418 127 767 or the contact is accommodation@brick end on. com. au or www.brickendon.com.au
1/ The Brickendon homestead was built in 1829 in a grand Georgian style. It was made out of 300,000 bricks that were baked on the site. It is surrounded by a very large garden, as was the custom of the gentry at this time.
2/ The rear of Brickendon shows the adjoining wings to the main house. On the left is the guest and storage block and on the right is the female servants block.
3/ This view looks directly at the court yard. This was where the servants did many out door jobs. The bell in the centre was used to summon the servants working further away.
4/ This photo shows a long range view of the homestead from a path into the garden. Note the variety of foliage.
5/ This photo shows the coach house of Brickendon Estate. The possession of this facility attests to the relative wealth of the Estate.
6/ The gardener of Brickendon had such a high status on the Estate that he merited his own independent cottage. Note the size of his cottage compared to the Homestead.
7/ The effects of 170 years of growth can be seen in this beautiful monkey puzzle tree.
8/ This shows one of 3 very large barns that now form the entrance to the Brickendon Farm. The farm village part of the estate was started in 1824. In 1829 William Archer moved from the cottage in this area to the Homestead, which was located a mile away.
9/ These three barns form the work court of Brickendon. The barn to the left is today used for receptions, while the central barn is today the entrance.
10/ The Brickendon barns are called "Dutch" barns. They were positioned on stilts as part of the building method.
11/ The tiny building on the left is the smoke house, where meat was smoked to preserve it. Next to it is the cottage that was first used by William Archer, before he moved to the Brickendon Homestead.
12/ The Brickendon Farm is made up of a number of streets with many buildings. In the centre you can see the William Archer Cottage. Behind it is the chapel. To the right is a worker's cottage and to the left is the Smoke House. The church makes Brickendon a hamlet.
13/ This is the Blacksmiths Shop. His skill was vital to the independence of the Brickendon Estate.
14/ Every decent estate had its own chapel. Religion was considered vital for the reform of convicts, so Sunday attendance was mandatory at Brickendon.
15/ The Brickendon Chapel was quite well furbished. The stain glass windows show that quite some expense was involved.
16/ The rear of the Brickendon Chapel looks quite rustic.
17/ This photo shows a view of the large grounds of the Brickendon Estate. Note the ditches dug to move water and the hawthorn hedges planted to confine stock. An important painting was done from this point.
18/ This photo shows the shearing shed. Wool was an important product of the Brickendon Estate.
19/ The stables at Brickendon were adjacent to the shearing sheds. Note the large size of the buildings.
20/ The Brickendon Estate is a working farm and still rears many animals.
1/ The National Rose Garden is a separate entity from the Woolmers Estate. It sits on the site of Woolmers original orchard. Above is the original house of the orchardist, which now looks out on a vast rose garden.
2/ Rose Garden Lane looks down at the Orchardists House and the Woolmers Estate. Beyond is the Macquarie River and the Tiers Mountains.
3/ Another view of the pretty cottage of the orchardist of Woolmers. It really did remind me of a house in Toyland.
4/ This is the lovely grove that leads into the heart of the National Rose Garden at Woolmers. To the left is a rose decorated arcade.
5/ The rose arcade was an enchanting place to walk through with all its rose blooming. It is a major attraction of the National Rose Garden at Woolmers.
6/ This interesting modern sculpture is a recent addition to the National Rose Garden at Woolmers.
7/ At the centre of the National Rose Garden at Woolmers is the rotunda and its water feature.
8/ The rotunda adds an interesting piece of geometry to the lovely colors and shapes of the National Rose Garden at Woolmers Estate.
9/ A major supporting feature of the National Rose Garden at Woolmers is the lanes of topiary. This really adds to the effect of the roses.
10/ The lanes of clipped trees and topiary reminded me of some of the best features of classic Italian gardens.
11/ This was one of the lanes leading to the rotunda, which you can see on the left.
12/ This photo shows the plethora of colors and shapes that made up the National Rose Garden at Woolmers.
13/ This lane lead towards the top of the garden with its toyland orchardists house.
14/ A lovely pond bedecks the edge of the Rose Garden
15/ Beyond the Rose Garden is Woolmers' original house. This was an earlier house, which is now being restored by the Estate.
16/ The old Woolmers House includes a verandah and a servants annex. The open door leads to the court yard.
17/ The old court yard of Woolmers was in the process of being refurnished with a stone court yard like it originally had. Colonial houses often included a court yard where servants could work outside, while still being surrounded by the house.
18/ The verandah at Woolmers had an excellent view across the fields to the Macquarie River beyond.
19/ The old Woolmers house look out over the flooded Macquarie River. The immediate fields were once part of the orchard.
Woolmers is English style estate just south of Longford in the Midlands of central northern Tasmania. It is just south of the Brickendon Estate. Woolmers was built between 1819 and the 1840s. For more information the telephone is 6391 2230 or contact www.woolmers.com.au
1/ The entrance to Woolmers is through the old Commissariat Store on the left. This was built in the 1840s. The main house, on the right. was built between 1819 and the 1840s.
2/ These cottages at Woolmers were for the bakers and are adjacent to the Commissariat Store, which is on the right.
3/ This 1890s windmill at Woolmers is believed to be the last of its type still working in Australia. It pumps water from the Macquarie River to the high ground for the use of the Estate's live stock.
4/ I took this photo, because I was impressed at how peaceful, timeless and Old English the scene at Woolmers appeared to me. A smug little cottage framed by ancient trees. A good subject for a painting.
5/ The main house of Woolmers was very large and included servants quarters and a cellar. This area under the verandah is now used as a restaurant.
6/ It was easy to imagine the Archer men seating here and smoking their pipes as they discussed the affairs of the Colony and the British Empire.
7/ This view allows you to appreciate how large the main Woolmers house was. It was built in stages from 1819.
8/ The owners of Woolmers even provided their gardeners with a retreat, where they could take a break from their chores.
9/ The coach house of Woolmers shows the proud lines of Victorian architecture from the master's side. It is just north of the garden fronting the main house.
10/ This side shows the servants view of the same coach house. It fronts a court yard where the work was done.
11/ The large house on the left is Tally Ho, the coach man of Woolmers cottage. It is now used as a guest house.
12/ The coach house now houses the veteran cars of the Archer family. These are a 1913 Wolseley on the right and a 1954 Dodge on the left.
13/ The Woolmers Estate was self sufficient, which meant that it had its own blacksmith. This was his shop.
14/ When you look around Woolmers you see the gentle Macquarie River from many directions. Note how all the trees that you see are European species.
15/ The cider shed on the left was used to turn the estate's apples into cider. Beyond it is the wool shed. These were important products at Woolmers.
16/ This old grinding wheel was used to turn apples into cider. It was man powered, when it was used.
17/ The large building is the wool shed, where the wool of Woolmers was once processed.
1/ Perth is just east of Longford. It is in the Midlands of northern central Tasmania. Perth is located on the main A1 Midland Highway to Hobart, which makes it a busy town. Perth has some interesting heritage buildings like this Baptist Tabernacle.
2/ This is the impressive view of the front portico of the Tabernacle church at Perth.
3/ Across the street from the Perth Tabernacle is this lovely heritage church.
4/ A short distance beyond is another heritage church.
5/ Finally there is a fourth church in the main street of Perth that was built in 1838. It is probably the oldest.
6/ This is the attractive Victorian era post office of Perth. It still used today.
7/ Robur House Antiques of Perth occupies a Georgian era shop. Note the large ancient window near the door.
8/ Dominating the main street of Perth is the Georgian Queens Head Inn.
9/ There are a number of attractive Georgian era houses in Perth.
10/ This was another Georgian era house on the northern edge of Perth.
11/ There are also many Victorian era cottages in Perth. Note how a much older building lies behind it.
12/ On the northern edge of Perth is the War Memorial. It displays this late 19th Century, breach loader, cavalry style cannon.
13/ Near the cannon is Perth's war memorial.
14/ The strangest building in Perth is this windmill house.
1/ Eskleigh House is a mansion just south of Perth in northern central Tasmania. Although it has been added to in recent times, it retains some of the finest wall decorations extant in Tasmania. The old residence now houses an art gallery. The rest of the property is private.
2/ The front view of Eskleigh House in Perth shows an extravagant late Victorian style. It was the centre of a large estate. It has lost none of its original charm.
3/ This view of the main entrance of Eskleigh House in Perth shows something of the rich decorations on the ceilings of the rooms.
4/ Eskleigh House, Perth also has many decorative arches.
5/ Many rooms of the Eskleigh House, Perth include ornamental hearths.
1/ A few kilometres north west of Longford on the B52 road to Carrick is this lovely, old church. In its cemetery lies the grave of one of Australia's most famous painters Tom Roberts.
2/ The church at Illawarra lies on a small hill, which looks south towards the Great Western Tier Mountains. There is a plough monument behind the church.
3/ Just north of the church is this cemetery, wherein lies the humble grave of Tom Roberts.
4/ This is one of the most famous of Tom Roberts paintings "Shearing the Rams". It was painted in 1890. Tom Roberts was a founding member of the "Heidelberg School" of Australian painters. The Heidelberg school adapted the new impressionist style of painting to reflect the vibrant colours of the Australian landscape.
5/ I was disappointed to find that despite the massive contribution that Tom Roberts made to Australian art, this is the humble grave that he presently lies in. His wife is in the same plot.
6/ I included this collage, because the church is frankly hard to find, as no sign presently (2014) points it out. To reach it, you need to drive on the B52 road that connects Longford to Carrick. A few kilometres north of Longford look for this church and this sign on the northern side. You have to open and close a gate to drive up to the church. Remember to close the gate after you pass to prevent stock walking out onto the road.