Once one of the early coaching stops between Launceston and Hobart, Campbell Town is nestled on the banks of the Elizabeth River on the main road between Hobart and Launceston. The town has an impressive collection of colonial buildings from the Georgian era.
CAMPBELL TOWN MARKET
Campbell Town Hall, Campbell Town
Trading: Last Sunday of the Month – 8am – 3pm
Type: General. Phone: (03) 6381 1390
Campbell Town’s home-grown chainsaw sculptor, Eddie Freeman, created a series of macrocarpa pine memorials to the town’s rich heritage. The sculptures capture some of the essence of the natural and human history of Campbell Town in these finely detail carvings in the trunks and limbs of the 80 year old trees. The sculptures are in Blackburn Park beside The Red Bridge.
Campbell Town Convict Brick Trail is dedicated to the nearly 200,000 convicts who were transported to Australia for almost 100 years from 1788 onwards. Over 70,000 came to Tasmania. Today it is estimated that 80% or 4 out of every 5 Tasmanian have a little convict blood in their veins. The trail begins here at the red bridge, this famous bridge was built entirely with convict labour.
One of Campbell Town’s famous attractions is the convict-built Red Bridge, the oldest bridge on the National Highway. The bridge and causeway, were built as a part of the original main road, it was to be a part of Bell’s line of Road, but this road never got past Oatlands. Construction was commenced in 1836 and completed in 1838. It consists of drystone abutments and timber top, although the top has been replaced. In its construction, convicts made 1,250,000 bricks and then built the bridge on dry land. Built for horse and cart it is today the oldest bridge in Australia still in use on a major highway, such was the workmanship of our forefather convicts.
The Grange (1840) stands at the centre of the town like an English manor house. In fact it was, for many years, the home of Dr William Valentine who, in 1874, reputedly held the first telephone conversation in Australia when he spoke to a friend in Launceston.
St Luke's Anglican Church
Beyond The Grange, on the corner of William Street and the High Street, is St Luke’s Anglican Church and beyond it on the corner of Bridge and Pedder streets is the church’s rectory, a fine example of a colonial Georgian residence with five bay windows. The brick brick church had its foundation stone laid in 1835 and was completed in 1839.
Just opposite St Lukes church you’ll see a monument to Harold Gatty, a native son of Campbell Town. In 1931, he and American Wiley Post were the first people to fly around the world.
The Black Bridge so called because it was made of bluestone, carries the railway through the east of the town. Once a lifeline for the community it opened the market for Campbell Town’s main industries – agriculture and timber.
Marjorie Blackwell’s dream home, ‘Climar’, was built by her and her first husband Cliff Blackwell in 1955. The name ‘Climar’ is made up from the first three letters of their christian names – It features a fence with the notes from ‘The Melody of Love’ and a gate with a piano accordion design motif – from the Marjorie Bligh family photograph collection. She was Tasmania’s queen of the household scene. Often referred to as “Australia’s Mrs Beeton” or “Tasmania’s Mrs Beeton”, in her self-styled career as a housewife superstar, she married three times and produced six books on cooking, home economics, craft, history and gardening. It has long been rumoured that Marjorie was an inspiration for Barry Humphries’ Dame Edna Everage.
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Where is it?
66 km south of Launceston; 132 km north of Hobart on the Midland Highway.
Lake Leake was built in 1880 to supply permanent water for Campbell Town, approx 30 mins drive to the east, enjoy the beautiful bush scenery and great trout fishing. Currawong Lakes trout fishery and wildlife retreat are on the Long Marsh dam Road at Lake Leake.
10 km west of the town is the tiny hamlet (it is so small it does not appear on most maps) of Kirklands where the poet A.D. Hope’s father was Presbyterian minister during the 1910s. The manse, where Hope spent his childhood, was built as early as 1828.
Founded in 1816, the tiny historical village of Jericho is one of the oldest townships in Australia. Like its better known neighbour, Oatlands, the main road of Jericho contains some fine examples of early colonial sandstone architecture, and constructions including examples of convict cut culverts, bridges and walls, many of which date from the 1830s. A mud wall, a relic from the convict probation station, is appropriately known as the Wall of Jericho.