ROSS boasts of being Tasmania's premiere heritage town. It has a whole street of heritage buildings lined with lovely elm trees, plus numerous shops. Ross is famous for the Ross Bridge and the Female Factory, a convict women's prison. There is much accommodation in Ross as well as in nearby Campbell Town.
Ross is in central Tasmania on the major A1 Midland Highway, approximately half way between the major cities of LAUNCESTON and HOBART. From Ross you are 5 minutes from CAMPBELL TOWN, 20 minutes from OATLANDS, 30 minutes from EVANDALE and LONGFORD. Nearby places are described in the MIDLANDS REGION page.
Ross is one of a number of historic towns on the A1 Midland Highway, which is called the Heritage Highway by the tourist industry. The other historic towns are: CAMPBELL TOWN, EVANDALE, LONGFORD, CARRICK, DELORAINE, OATLANDS, KEMPTON, WESTBURY and PONTVILLE. For further information telephone any visitor information office or contact www.heritagehighway.com.au
View Midlands in a larger map
FACILITIES: There is a general store, a petrol station and some antique and tourist stores at Ross. Campbell Town, which has a large shopping precinct, is close by. There is some accommodation at ROSS and CAMPBELL TOWN.
TOURIST information is at Church Street, Ross. The telephone is (03) 6381 5466
SIGHTS: Ross is rated as one of Tasmania's best preserved, historic towns. The attractions of Ross are mostly on the main street, which is called Church Street. They are close to the WAR MEMORIAL, which you approach as you enter the town. The attractions include;
ANTIQUES & TREASURES has a huge range of collectibles, telephone (03) 6381 5219 or 0418 135 777
CEMETERY has graves dating from the 1820s, (This is over the hill to the south.)
CLASSWOOD has a huge range of crafted wood products, telephone (03) 6381 5419,
FEMALE FACTORY a women's prison dating from 1833, telephone (03) 6381 5466 (This is over the hill.)
MAN O' ROSS hotel built in 1835, telephone (03) 6381 5445,
ROSS BRIDGE was built by convicts in 1836,
SCOTCH THISTLE INN dates from the 1840s
St JOHN'S CHURCH dates from 1868
UNITING CHURCH is on the hill and dates from 1885,
WOOL CENTRE tells the story of wool in Tasmania, telephone (03) 6381 5466.
LAKE TOOMS is an artificial lake about 50 kilometres south east of Ross. It is a popular lake for fishermen.
- Lake Tooms
1/ Ross is a historic town in central Tasmania. It has many fine examples of Colonial architecture for you to view. This photo shows the famous Ross Bridge.
2/ This photo shows Church Street, Ross looking towards the War Memorial. To the right of this is the Ross Bridge and to the left of this is the Man O' Ross Hotel.
3/ The Ross War Memorial commemorates those who served in many wars. It features this 1890s era breach loading cannon, which served in the Boer War.
4/ The Ross Garrison Chapel stands in close sight of the war memorial. Behind it is the old barracks.
5/ The Ross Barracks were where detachments of soldiers from a number of famous British regiments once lived.
6/ The St John's Anglican Church is a fine example of 19th Century architecture and was built in 1868. It has a aura of great age about it.
7/ Ross was founded as a place to cross the Macquarie River. In 1836 this historic bridge was built.
8/ The date proclaims in Roman numerals that the Ross Bridge was opened in 1836. Note the carvings in the arch underneath the date, which are of some significance.
9/ The old sign tells travellers that Hobart Town is 69 miles of 110 kilometres away from Ross.
10/ This historic plaque on the bridge tells you about the builders.
11/ The 42 parallel of latitude runs through Ross. This monument explains how old Van Diemen's Land was once administered as two colonies based on this line.
12/ This the view from the bridge across the picnic area to the Uniting Church.
13/ This is the Uniting Church taken from the Ross Bridge.
14/ Another view of the Uniting Church at Ross showing its tasteful Gothic splendor. It was built in 1885.
15/ Close to the church is this ancient stable and work area.
16/ The Uniting Church of Ross has a number of art pieces that show the skills of the old, religious calligraphers.
17/ The stain glass windows in the Uniting Church, Ross showed a very high degree of skill.
18/ This is the other very impressive stain glass window.
19/ The rostrum shows very highly skilled woodcraft.
20/ The Commandant's Cottage is all that is left of the old, Female Factory at Ross. This was located on the paddock behind it. The cottage is a museum with information about the former women's prison.
21/ A model of the former Female Factory at Ross. Only the Commandants Cottage on the extreme left has survived, as the other buildings were made out of wood.
22/ This unusual artwork commemorates the hundreds of babies that the poor women prisoners of Ross were forced to give up. The bonnets were hand made in the ancient style.
23/ This is the view down the ancient lane from the cemetery to the Female Factory, which is on the far left. Walking down it, I got a strong sense of history.
24/ There are hundreds of ancient graves in the Ross cemetery. They go back to the early 19th Century.
25/ The Man O' Ross hotel was built in 1835.
26/ This old mile post tells travellers that Launceston is 55 miles or 88 kilometres away from Ross.
27/ This old church school in Ross dates from the 1850s.
28/ This building is the former stables of the Scotch Thistle Inn shown below. It is now the Thistle Museum. Note how the second storey door was used to load supplies into a wagon by crane.
29/ The Scotch Thistle Inn of Ross was built in the 1830. It shows the style of a typical mid 19th century inn.
30/ Ross has a number of antique stores with valuable items for sale.
31/ A gift shop in Ross showing a wide variety of old and new objects for sale. Ross is a mecca for antique hunters.
32/ Ross has even retained its mid 20th Century telephone boxes with working modern phones inside them.
33/ As you enter Ross from the north, you cross over this ancient bridge. It looks similar in age to the main bridge.
34/ Ross was not always a tourist, friendly town. This photo shows Ross about 1970. Its historic streetscape was marred by traffic, lampposts and garish signs. When the Midland Highway was moved out of Ross, the town had to either reinvent itself or decline. When you tour Ross today, you should appreciate the town's achievement.
35/ This is the last remnant of Horton College. It was one of the top private schools in Tasmania in the late 19th Century. You can see it just south of the town of Ross on the western side of the highway.
36/ This was Horton College in 1890. It is a tragedy that it did not survive.
37/ This is the historic house of the Somercoate Estate. It is just across the highway from the Horton entrance remnant. This house was owned by the Horton family that owned Horton College.
38/ The Somercoate Estate has number of historic buildings behind the house. The estate sells strawberries when they are in season.
39/ The Somercoate Estate also has these former convict barracks.39/ The Somercoate Estate also has these former convict barracks.
1/ Lake Tooms is an artificial lake south east of Ross. The road to Lake Tooms is C305, which starts at the Man of Ross Hotel. It is about 50 kilometres away. This gallery shows scenes take on or near the road to Lake Tooms. This photo looks back at the Uniting Church of Ross. The ancient trees give the church a lovely atmosphere.
2/ This photo was not taken on the Lake Tooms Road, but it shows a scene from the nearby Midlands. This area is the driest in Tasmania and was formerly mainly used for sheep grazing. Fortunately, irrigation is now allowing many other valuable crops to be grown in this area.
3/ This is the Quoin. It is a rugged cliff visible from a road that diverges east from C305.
4/ This is a closer view of the Quoin. The cliff is about 100 metres high.
5/ This image looks south east across Lake Tooms. The most distant point is about 5 kilometres away. Lake Tooms is an artificial lake. There is both camping and a boat ramp for fishermen on the lake. Unfortunately, Lake Tooms is a dead end, so that any supplies must be purchased back at Ross.
6/ This image looks at the shore line of Lake Tooms.
7/ Lake Tooms is an artificial lake. It was constructed to provide water to generate hydro electricity. This image shows part of the ancient retaining wall.