WESTBURY & DISTRICTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Preserving Yesterday for Tomorrow

19th Century

  • 1823 - First survey of Westbury

    The boundaries of the reserve that was later known as Westbury, are surveyed and marked.

  • 1824- First Land Grant

    Mr William E. Leith receives a grant of land about half a mile to the southwest from the site of the proposed township.

  • 1825 - First farmland

    Mr William Field acquires a large tract of farmland  on the western boundary of the proposed township.

  • 1828 - First streets, Westbury named

    Lieutenant Dexter's CottageLieutenant Governor George Arthur orders the laying out of the village. Anticipating that Westbury would flourish and expand, provision is made for 126 miles of streets and roads. He names Westbury on the 5th of July 1828. Lieutenant H. Dexter arrives and is placed in charge of what was initially the newly formed convict settlement. The garrison is guarded by a detachment of the 63rd Foot Regiment which consisted of one sergeant, one corporal and 27 private soldiers.

  • 1830 - Convicts building roads, bridges & buildings

    originally miltary barracks Lt. Shadforth arrives with a detachment of the 57th Foot Regiment with one sergeant and 28 private soldiers under his command. By this time, the Military Barracks and a strong Watch House (gaol) have been built. Convict gangs are working on settlers' land and building roads and bridges for the Van Diemens Land Company which was formed in England in 1825. Visit to Westbury by Captain Donaldson and his command, fresh from an Aboriginal Muster known as the Black Line

  • 1831 - First Westbury Inn

    now known as Lady Bank, this is the original Westbury InnConstruction work commences on the original Westbury Inn situated in Quamby Street for Mr. James B. Whitehead.

  • 1832 - Surgeon's House, Hospital, Court House

     Originally the Surgeon's Residence originally a Court HouseLt. Ball arrives with a detachment of the 17th Foot Regiment, consisting of one Sergeant, one Corporal and 24 private soldiers. By this time a Surgeon's House, a Hospital, a Court House and Goal, and an additional Military Barracks are either completed or are under construction.

  • 1833 - Second Westbury Inn, New Surgeon

    A second Westbury Inn is completed for Mr Whitehead on the corner of King and William Streets. The two-storey brick public house was licensed on 21st December 1833. Lt. Charles Lonsdale is placed in charge of the local garrison with a detachment of 21st Foot . Dr.J. Clerke arrives to take on the position of Assistant District Surgeon. He is later succeeded by Dr. M.R.Loane.

  • 1835 - A busy time

    The Hope Inn built for Mr. Charles Dry is opened. The two-storey brick structure is situated on the corner of King and Mary Streets.
    Former Garrison Commander Mr Charles Lonsdale is appointed the Police Magistrate, later succeeded by Mr. William Moriarty. Mr. Henry Bonney is the District Constable and Pound Keeper. There are 14 constables and military personnel to protect a population of 227 free men and women and 317 male and female convicts with a total population of 954. Mr. Joseph Henry Moore is appointed Assistant Police Magistrate.
    On the 7th March, the foundation stone is laid for St. Andrews Church of England by Lieutenant Governor George Arthur. Reverend John Bishton, Minister of the Church of England arrives. After a short time he buys an 8 acre block of land in the village which is later sub-divided to form a part of the St. Giles Suburb.   Work commences on the Church Of England Rectory in Shadforth Street. A small brick Methodist Chapel is completed in William Street.
    Construction is started on The Willows, the Moriarty Family home. Mr Christopher H. Wright acquires Egmont Farm, situated on the north of the Township. A large flour mill is completed beside the Meander River at Egmont Farm. Captain Edward Martin purchases a 40 acre parcel of land on the north- western boundary of the Village.

  • 1841 - Police Magistrate appointed

    JonesJohnPeytonOn 30th July, Mr. John Peyton Jones is appointed Police Magistrate. Work is proceeding on Steadman’s house in King Street. Construction work starts on Mr. Thomas White’s residence and General Store in King Street .

  • 1842 - a Church, Convict Probation Station and Hotel

    St. Andrews Church of England is completed. The Convict Probation Station in Franklin Street is completed. The Westbury Convict Probation Station Superintendent’s home in William Street is completed. The Berriedale Hotel on the Meander Valley Road opens and the first Licensee is Mr. William John Forbes .Reverend John Bishton purchases another large allotment of land.

  • 1844 - Bridge over Meander River swept by flood

    The convict-built bridge over the Meander River at Egmont farm is swept away by flood.

  • 1848 - Westfield House completed

    Westfield House is completed for the Field family. The Emu Plains Estate to the north of the township is divided into a numbers of small farms. Methodist Minister Rev. Jaber Waterhouse is appointed to the Westbury circuit. Mr Edward Meaghan is operating a General Store in St.Giles.

  • 1849 - Probation Station dismantled

    Dismantling work begins on the Convict Probation Station in Franklin Street.

  • 1850 - First Catholic Priest settles in Westbury

    Westbury's first resident Catholic priest, Father James Hogan, settles in the town. The eastern side of the township is divided into a suburb to be known as Queenstown. The 5 acre allotments are granted to retired Military Soldiers.

  • 1851 - Irish exiles & last shipment of convicts

    Clancy's HotelSt.Andrews Church of England and the Cemetery in Dexter Street are consecrated by the Right Rev. S.R.Nixon on 5th March. A small wooden Catholic Church is completed in William Street and is named St. Mary's. Over the year several groups of local Military Pensioners volunteer for a tour of duty on the Victorian Gold Fields. Young Irelander exile Mr Thomas Francis O'Meagher is given refuge in Westbury during his escape bid out of Van Diemen's Land. During the same year, another young Irelander John Mitchel, is given refuge in the Westbury district during his escape bid out of the colony. The last shipment of convicts arrive in Van Diemen's Land. A large ploughing competition is held on Westfield farm. Mr.George Clancy's Hotel (later known as The Great Western Hotel) is completed on Meander Valley Road.

  • 1855 - Tasmania named, Richard Dry knighted

    Thomas White's tokenOn January 1st 1855 Van Diemen's Land is officially named Tasmania. Mr.Thomas White issues a series of copper shop tokens for customers to use in his King Street store. Mr Richard Dry Jnr, the owner of the vast Quamby Estate near Hagley,is knighted by Queen Victoria. A schoolhouse and headmaster's residence in the Queenstown suburb are completed. Mr. Moore Simmons is the Publican of the Quamby Arms Inn situated on Meander Valley Road.

  • 1859 - work on Church buildings

    Methodist ChurchCompletion of the Methodist Church Parsonage known as Wesley House in William Street. The Catholic Church Presbytery on Meander Valley Road is also finished. A square Church Tower with pinnacles is added to St.Andrews Church of England on Londsdale Promenade.

  • 1860 - shops and a hotel licence

    Two brick shops with residences are under construction in William Street. The General Havelock Hotel on the corner of Shadforth and Adelaide Streets in St. Giles ( Hell's Kitchen) is granted a licence. The first licensee is Mr Henry Godfrey.

  • 1863 - Westbury Municipal Council and buildings

    Public Hall and Council ChambersThe Westbury Municipal Council is formed with  Mr John Peyton Jones elected the first Warden. A Public Hall and Council chambers building is constructed in Lyall Street.

  • 1864 - first Westbury Show, first Brewery, Westbury Library

    The inaugural Westbury Show is held by the Western Agricultural Association. A large brick brewery is completed in King Street for Mr Robert Lyall, the owner of the Westbury Inn. A fund-raising musical event for the Westbury Library is held at the Prince of Wales Theatre on Meander Valley Road.

  • 1865 - start on new Methodist Church

    Construction begins on new Methodist Church in William Street.

  • 1867 - Methodist Church opened, first sod turned for Railway

    Methodist Church WestburyOn 15th January, the first sod is burned by the Duke of Edinburgh for the construction of the Launceston and Western Railway, which is to run between Launceston and Deloraine. The Methodist Church is completed and opened on March 17th.

  • 1869 - Sir Richard Dry dies

    At age 54 after some years of ill health, Sir Richard Dry dies, whilst Premier in Tasmania's smallest ever parliament. Construction begins on the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Meander Valley Road.

  • 1870 - Railway declared open

    On 10th February, the Launceston and Western Railway is officially declared open by the Tasmanian Governor Charles du Cane. Mr Daniel Burke is elected Warden of the Westbury Municipal Council. Salmon Trout are distributed into the nearby Meander River. Cab licences are granted for 2 pounds per annum. The Westbury Cricket Club is given a 21 year lease on the area known as the Swamp (Town Common). On 27th June fire destroys the General Havelock Hotel in St.Giles .The licencee, Mr Samuel Chappel, later acquires the licence of the Western Railway and Commercial Hotel on the Meander Valley Road.

  • 1874 - Holy Trinity Catholic Church opened

    The Holy Trinity Catholic Church is opened with a High Mass officiated by the Rev.Dr. D. Murphy on 20th May 1874. First coursing (greyhound) event in Tasmania is held at Quamby near Hagley. The former Watch House on Lonsdale Promenade is demolished.

  • 1882 - Westbury Municipal Council Warden re-elected

    Mr Daniel Burke is elected warden of the Westbury Municipal Council for a second term. Ornamental trees that had failed to grown on the Village Green are replaced with new ones.

  • 1884 - Westbury's Sport and Recreation Ground

    A 6 acre block of land is acquired in Franklin Street for the construction of a sports and recreation ground.

  • 1986 - Third term for Westbury Municipal Warden

    Mr Daniel Burke elected for the third term.

  • 1887 - Buildings completed in Westbury

    bankA new bank in Lyall Street, a school in Dexter Street, a Catholic Convent, a Chemist Shop and a General Store in William street, are all completed.  The Sisters of St.Joseph, recently arrived in Westbury, established another school in William Street., During this year, the school in Queenstown closed.

  • 1988 - Post and Telegraph Office

    Telegraph and Post OfficeA new Postal and Telegraph Office with a residence is built in Lonsdale Promenade.  Mr John Mehegan opens a new shop in the commercial area of William Street.

  • 1893 - Mehegan's store destroyed by fire

    megehans_storeFire destroys Mehegan's store and a new one is built on the same spot. Mr. Daniel Burke - Warden for 3 terms - is elected as a Member of the House of Assembly for the seat of Cressy.

  • 1895 - Queenstown renamed Pensioner's Bush

    The suburb of Queenstown is renamed Pensioner's Bush

  • 1899 - Death of Archdeacon James Hogan

    Archdeacon James Hogan dies at the age of 75.