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Restless by nature, on a whim I blew off city living and my career, to try my hand at a simpler-slower life in rural Tasmania. It's going to be one heck of a learning curve..join me as I find my feet, fingers crossed!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

walking New Town..

While I've been house sitting Polly, we've been getting around on daily walks, enjoying the local sights. Yesterday I found The story of New Town- Street by Street, sitting in a bookshelf here, it's a fascinating read. 
New Town is Tasmania's oldest suburb, founded in Feb 1804 for free settlers. From the late 1820's, New Town became the suburb of choice for the colony's wealthy elite. It enjoyed dual benefits of being a semi-rural retreat while still being easily accessible to Hobart Town. That makes sense, as to why there's so many grand 'homesteads' tucked away in pokey little back streets. They do seem miss placed, but reading further, I realise these were grand estates on huge tracks of fertile land, later sub divided off. 
Wandering further down the road, I stop to admire the Park Street toll-bar or Woodlands Lodge; a cute lil cottage that sits like an uneven wedge between two roads & was used as a toll-gate. Apparently it was established to catch people dodging the main New Town Road toll-gate.

But my favourite yarn is the naming of Cleary Gates Road, after the Constable who patrolled the Domain area between 1865-1884- The Domain was fenced off to protect grazing animals with gates at the main access points. A cottage was built on the Domain to provide accommodation for the police officer & his family. He sounded quite the tyrant, handing out fines of a very minor nature. Like the time an elderly man was caught stealing firewood by breaking & injuring a wattle tree. He was ordered to pay 5 shillings, costs & 3 pence for damages. Ironically the constable  left in 1884 to run a pub in Melbourne...work that one out!!!

New Town is full of significant period architecture, gorgeous gardens and a joy to wander around, althou it's slightly hilly! But today Polly & I are skipping our walk, she's already snoring in her bean bag & I'm just feeling way too lazy..


Stories & historical information from:
The Story of New Town..Street by Street
by Donald Howatson


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