Heritage Values of the Southern Midlands
With an ample convict workforce, abundant natural resources (e.g. stone) for building material, and an influx of British settlers keen to rebuild a little bit of home in the Antipodes, a lasting legacy of built heritage and cultural landscapes was established through the region.
With the rise of municipal government in the later nineteenth century, Oatlands remained an administrative centre, and its largely rural economy has been the staple of the district since then. Almost 200 years of European settlement has left a very rich legacy of historic heritage sites – and Council recognises that a large part of its future, is in the past… so to speak….
As a brief indication of the heritage resources of the region, the district has unique heritage places and sites such as:
- 16+ Convict probation and road stations
- 3 gaols
- At least a dozen watch houses
- At least 6 flour mills
- Scores of substantial Georgian farmsteads and associated buildings
- A line of coaching inns dotted up the highway
- Dozens of early industrial sites, such as timber stations, sandstone quarries and limekilns
- Not to mention the historic townships of Oatlands, Kempton, Colebrook, Jericho etc. Oatlands reputedly has the largest collection of Georgian sandstone buildings in any village in the Southern Hemisphere.
And looking beyond the built heritage – a vast array of archaeological sites, and a unique cultural landscaping representing the earliest European impacts on the Tasmanian rural landscape.