This regal town, with its World Heritage-listed sites, was once the home of the Australian Grand Prix.
Story By Andrew Bain
When Richard Archer asks his daughter to tidy her bedroom, the request has extra authority. “I told her once that she had to keep her bedroom tidy because it was a World Heritage-listed bedroom,” Richard says. “That didn’t go down too well.”
Richard is a sixth-generation farmer at Brickendon Estate, a 465-hectare property at the edge of the northern Tasmanian town of Longford. In 2010, Brickendon (along with the adjoining Woolmers Estate, another Archer family property) was one of 11 places included in the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage listing.
Next year will mark 200 years since the first Archer ancestor, Thomas Archer, arrived in Longford. The town was founded around 1808, just five years after the establishment of Hobart. Located at the confluence of the Macquarie and South Esk rivers, it was originally named Norfolk Plains, with its first settlers coming from the abandoned convict settlement on Norfolk Island. “There’d be seven or eight families around here who’ve been on the land as long as we have,” Richard says. “It’s a bit unique in Tasmania.”
Longford has a distinctly English air, with a village green and a park-like churchyard covering two blocks in the town’s centre. “I don’t think there are many village greens in Tasmania or Australia,” local artist and antiques dealer Michael McWilliams says. “We’re very lucky to have that ... It’s a great place to mingle and meet people.”
This Story is from Issue #101
Outback Magazine: June/July 2015