Westbury Tas. Heritage Walk
Often described by visitors as a hidden treasure, somewhere that one stumbles across. Westbury is a pretty English-style village on the Great Western Tiers tourist Route between Devonport and Launceston. A village green, lots of tree-lined streets, old courtyards and stables, elegant old inns and a feast of charming old buildings means a visitor could easily spend a day just wandering around the streets. A classic Georgian village and classified historic town, Westbury was developed as a military garrison and the troops were barracked around what today is the Village Green, reputedly one of the few traditional village greens in Australia. Prisoners were put in stocks on the green.
In its formative years when many of the town's present historic buildings were being erected, Westbury was a predominantly Irish community comprising mainly retired settlers. The scale of the town's original survey was such that it is clear there were plans for Westbury to become a city, but the town never did grow. It is today a town where time has stood still. This quaint 19th century village offers a number of reasons to stop and explore. It has numerous museums, housing collections of agricultural machinery, antique steam engines, vintage cars, 19th century toys and historic furniture. Westbury s Village Green is said to be the only true village green in Australia. In the 1830s with soldiers stationed nearby, it was used for parades and archery competitions amongst other things. The site is now used each year for the St Patricks Day Festival which runs over 3 days in March.
The town site was first surveyed in 1823. The town was laid out in 1828 by the Van Diemen's Land Company. In the 1830s Westbury developed as a garrison village. A detachment of troops commanded by Lieutenant Ball were stationed in Westbury in 1832. They were barracked around a village green in the centre of the town. The village green is still in use today and is claimed by the local community to be the only traditional English style village green in Australia. Westbury Post Office opened on 21 June 1832.
Military pensioners were each granted a 5-acre (20,000 m2) block of land complete with a well and pear tree. By the mid-1800s Westbury had become the largest military community in Tasmania. The town had a population of some 3,000 and an extensive grid street plan was surveyed preparing Westbury to become the predominant town in the north of Tasmania and the gateway to the north-west, but Deloraine has filled that role instead. Westbury remains a small town servicing the local agriculture industry.
Westbury currently has a Primary School 'Westbury Primary School' which services the local community, students finishing primary school travel to Launceston or Deloraine to attend secondary education.
Westbury is named after Westbury, Wiltshire in England.
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