Whilst driving to Launceston we passed a turnoff to Woolmers Estate & Brickendon and decided to go and check them out and we are so glad we did.
Both of these places are World Heritage Listed Convict Sites.
Four Archer brothers emigrated from Hertford, UK between 1811 and 1833 and all settled close to one another, in fact William and Thomas farmed side by side. Thomas Archer settled on Woolmers Estate which was a pastoral operation running sheep and cattle, while William Archer settled on Brickendon, an agricultural property. Both estates were run independently of each other, but they did share their assigned convicts.
Both Woolmers Estate and Brickendon took part in the convict Assignment System which operated in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) until 1840. Under the Assignment System, convicts were assigned to free settlers. They were responsible for feeding, clothing and housing the convicts in return for their labour. This helped convicts as they could then have skills or a trade when they received their ‘ticket of leave’ and were then free to leave and obtain paid employment anywhere. It’s understood that they were so well looked after at these two properties that many stayed on for years or decades after receiving their ticket of leave.
Woolmers was owned by six generations of Thomas Archers. The first Thomas founded the property in 1817 and the final Thomas passed away in 1994. He did not have any heirs and left the property and it’s contents to the Archer Historical Foundation.
The property has numerous buildings where convicts once worked and lived. It’s the perfect place to reflect on colonial life and look back at the heritage that has been preserved over the years.
The Rose Garden was created in 2001 on the site of the original apple orchard.
Attraction Information: There is an entry fee applicable and you are provided with a booklet that allows a self guided tour around the property, except the main house. There is an extra fee if you would like to see and go on the tour of the main house.
Address: 658 Woolmers Lane, Longford
Telephone: 03 6391 2230
Much like the Woolmers Estate, there are numerous buildings to view and walk through in the farm village area. There is a lot of information on the history of the property and the convicts that lived and worked there. After walking around the village, it’s then time to explore the estate garden which is beautiful.
Brickendon has remained the same 1150 acres (465 hectares) as originally granted in 1824.
It’s amazing to see the crimes that these poor souls were sentenced for …… 7 years for stealing some handkerchiefs or life for stealing a pair of trousers, wow! It really starts to put things into perspective doesn’t it, we really do have it easy nowadays.
The photo below was taken in the estate garden. There was a wedding just finishing up the day we were there and its no wonder they hold so many weddings here, the backdrop is spectacular.
Attraction Information: There is an entry fee and you can take yourself on a self-guided tour, maps supplied. This also gives you entry to the gardens which are across the road.
address: Woolmers Lane, Longford
Telephone: 03 6391 1383