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. Six generations of one family owned these neighbouring estates in northern Tasmania. 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 the male and female convicts who worked under private assignment, the most widespread experience of convicts transported to Australia.
Woolmers Estate, owned by the Archer family until 1994 and now owned by a private trust, comprises more than 18 buildings and structures in a rural setting of 13 hectares. Woolmers homestead, a large two-storey building with a flagged veranda, was the home of the ‘private master’. The homestead was extended in 1843 with a two-storey Italianate addition and remodelled kitchen and service wing. Female convicts lived in the attic above the residence and worked in the home and the nearby kitchen (also the Servant's Quarters), Provisions Store and Bakers Cottages, all of which retain their original form. A Chapel (now an apple packing shed), centrally located on the Estate, was for the sole use of convicts.
The Male convicts worked away from the main homestead in the fields, stables, Cider House, Woolshed, Blacksmith’s Shop, Coach House and Pump House. The Convict era Workers’ Cottages, Coachman's Cottage, Coach House and Stables are still present on the Estate. The archaeological remains of the Male Convict Barracks are believed to be located towards the bottom of the hill.
Artefacts and Graffiti
A vast collection of artefacts and written material has survived from the convict era at Woolmers Estate. Most remain on display around the site, including the above convict graffiti, from c.1820, which is located in the Woolshed.
Address: 658 Woolmers Lane, Longford, Tasmania 7301
Telephone: (03) 6391 2230