Richmond Heritage Walk

Richmond, TAS, Australia
Distance: 2 km (Map)

The history of Richmond Tasmania dates back to the first European settlement in Tasmania. The first settlers explored the Coal River Valley area in 1803. Lieutenant John Bowen, who led the first Tasmanian settlement at Risdon Cove, and his surveyor James Meehan, initiated the exploration of the Richmond area. James found coal, and named the river that runs through Richmond village ‘Coal River’. He also found fertile land suitable for growing crops such as wheat.

Richmond Heritage Walk - Cya On The Road

Land grants were released from 1808 in the Richmond and Pittwater area. These were mostly granted to upper-class individuals such as governors, officers and surgeons, with ex-convicts and non-commissioned officers receiving smaller land grants. Many of these new land owners would sell meat or grains to the government.

There were challenges during these early days, such as trespassers, bushrangers, native aboriginals (the original owners of the land), damage to wheat crops, and sheep and cows being stolen. Farmers on the east side of the Coal River had to take their carts full of wheat across the river, which wasn’t always an easy task to accomplish, especially after a downpour of rain.

By 1820, all available farmland had been claimed and was in use for growing wheat or tending to sheep and cattle. The Coal River valley had been exporting wheat to New South Wales since 1816. The area had become known as ‘the granary of Australia’.

To make the crossing of the Coal River much easier, construction of the Richmond Bridge begun, with construction completed and the bridge officially opened in 1825. The area surrounding the bridge was seen by many as a suitable place for a town, due to it’s river crossing and growing agricultural operations. In 1824 Governor Sorell named this area the town of Richmond. It’s believed that the name Richmond came from the nearby property Richmond Park.

This self-guided walking tour, inspired by the Richmond Tasmania website, showcases Richmond’s heritage sites and finest historical buildings.

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1. Tap this direct link - Richmond Heritage Walk on your phone and begin your explorations whenever you are ready!
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