History with a cobblestone touch
Pretty as a picture, Richmond has wide 19th century streets, Australia’s oldest bridge and vineyards of the Coal River Valley as its welcoming party. Just a 30 minute drive from Hobart, unless you choose to stop at said wineries along the way, Richmond is a town of cobblestone and hardship. Pretty today, its past includes some harsh times for early Van Diemen’s Land convicts.
Step into a cell at Australia’s oldest gaol (Richmond Gaol, 1825) and you might gain a sense of what the convicts endured. Step outside, and you’ll see their craftsmanship. The Richmond Bridge, built by convicts in the 1820s is a landmark worth laying out a picnic rug beside. Get up close to the intricate detail, or hire a row boat and run your hands over the sandstone bricks of the arches.
With some 50 Georgian buildings to its name, Richmond is a town lovingly built around its past. Many of these 19th century dwellings have been restored into galleries, historic homesteads, cafes and places to stay. As a result, this convict station and military post proclaimed a town by Lieutenant Governor Sorell in 1824, retains much of its early day looks.
There’s a certain calm about Richmond that encourages a slower pace. Sit and watch the ducks, savour that bakery pie you’ve heard so much about, get lost in the local maze and take your time picking favourites from the old-fashioned lolly store. There’s no rush here.
Highlights not to miss