Brickendon and Woolmers are two neighbouring estates on the Macquarie River in northern Tasmania, where convicts were assigned to ‘private masters’ to undertake agricultural work. From 1820 the Estates were developed and farmed by a large workforce of assigned convicts. Today each property contains a large complex of convict-built structures, many in working condition. They bear witness to the lives of male and female convicts who worked under private assignment, the most widespread experience of convicts transported to Australia.
Brickendon Estate is a farming landscape comprising 20 timber or brick buildings, with convict-built roadways, set in 420 hectares of farming land. Brickendon Homestead is a two-storey painted brick country house, in a garden setting, complete with stables and cottages for the coachman and gardener. Brickendon homestead was the residence of the ‘private master’ and his family who had male and female convicts assigned to them for the duration of the convicts’ sentences. Female convict servants lived in one wing of the homestead and worked mainly as domestic servants. An extensive set of pre-1850s convict built farm structures, where male convicts worked, lies one kilometre from the homestead. These structures include: the Pillar Granary, two Suffolk Barns, Cart Shed, Smoke House, Poultry Shed, Brick Granary, Woolshed, Stables, Blacksmith’s Shop, Cook House and the archaeological remains of the Convict Single Men’s Quarters, Carpentry Shop, Stables, Hay Shed and the Overseer’s Cottage.
A small elegant Chapel, located prominently at the centre of the farm, was for the sole use of convicts. The field systems from the early 1800s, along with over 30 kilometres of hawthorn ‘fences’ that were worked by convicts, survive.
Many crops, such as barley and wheat, have been grown continually on the Estate since the convict era and the landscape has altered little since that time. There is also a large collection of farming equipment and tools, diaries, photos, paintings, maps and drawings from the convict era. Brickendon Estate is still owned and worked by the Archer family.
Address: 236 Wellington St, Longford, Tasmania 7301
Telephone: (03) 6391 1383