History of our Claremont by the Derwent River

It is one thing to muse on who my readers are but now I am focussing on our suburb of Claremont and its history. During my last walk I passed along the Derwent River foreshore of Claremont, discovered the Claremont Plaza, walked around the Claremont Golf course and spent some time in the Cadbury chocolate manufacturing factory.

Wikipedia informs me that “Claremont is a suburb of the City of Glenorchy, part of the greater Hobart area, Tasmania, Australia. It is named after Claremont House (at 12 Lady Clark Avenue, Claremont) which was built in the 1830s by local settler Henry Bilton, who named it after one of the royal homes of England.” When you read http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/claremont-landscape-garden/, which provides some information about Claremont House in Surrey England, you will learn that it was “Once a Dukes’ retreat and a playground for princesses…” I could find no information about whether any of England’s royal family ever visited our Tasmanian Claremont House. Probably not.

Information about the original owner of the House, Henry Bilton can be read at http://claremonthouse.com.au/history/history-private-ownership-1825-1940/. He first settled in Van Diemen’s Land in 1825 and in the following year he acquired the property on which Claremont House was built. Apparently Bilton’s occupation was a General Merchant and Importer.  The site http://www.watersideaccommodation.com/downloads/HistoricalSummarytheClaremontAustinsFerryArea04May07.pdf declares: “Claremont, or Lady Clark House as it has come to be known as, was built by the early pioneer Henry Bilton. Henry came to Tasmania on medical advice in 1825. He became a merchant and later a gentleman farmer. As the first importer of Leicester sheep to Tasmania he gained significant wealth and turned his attention to politics.”

The following photo of Henry Bilton comes from http://www.glenorchy150.com.au/gallery/.

Henry-Bilton-re Claremont

Detailed information about Tasmania’s 1839 (decades before the Californian settlement) Claremont House can be read at http://claremonthouse.com.au/history/.  Right now, the house is up for sale: see photographs and details at http://www.domain.com.au/property/for-sale/house/tas/claremont/?adid=2009725372.  Perhaps you might want to buy it!  There is no range of prices given, so the sale is ‘by offer’.

Claremont House, in the Greater Hobart Area, is located away from the Derwent River foreshore so I did not go near this during my last walk.

6 thoughts on “History of our Claremont by the Derwent River

  1. DeeScribes

    I’m enjoying your explorations! I would love to meet up with you in March when I visit to join you for a walk. Of course, by then you won’t be passing through the Cadbury factory 😦


      1. DeeScribes

        I will! I will arrive on 16 March. I think I will be on the island until 26 March. I will be up in Burnie for the weekend in between, but otherwise in Kingston. When I have details confirmed I will email you.


  2. June

    Wikipedia says: “English Leicester is now one of Britain’s rarest breeds, categorised as “endangered” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, since fewer than 500 registered breeding females remain in the United Kingdom.”
    Elsewhere: http://www.heritagesheep.org.au/breeds/leicester.html
    “They are sound-footed, which means they are acceptable on flat, hilly or more especially marginal country. They are large-framed with wide, even toplines (backs), strong constitutions and good temperaments.”
    “The Merinos of Australia could supply fine wool but as greater quantities were needed it was soon realised that crossing with long-woolled Leicesters would produce greater length and weight of wool, as well as more meat.
    It is likely that pure Leicesters were present in Australia earlier, but the importation of the Bryant Bros. to Tasmania in 1824 is one of the first recorded.
    Numerous others followed, W. J. T. Clarke who took the first Leicesters, or Leicester cross sheep to Victoria in 1836 had arrived in Hobart in 1829 with 20 quality pure Leicesters. The Cressy Company had Leicesters amongst the collection of elite livestock, 3 breeds of horses, 2 of cattle, and Merino and Southdown sheep, which arrived in Hobart in 1826. No big corporate agricultural colonial venture ignored the Leicester. The Van Diemans Land Company landed them on its 250,000 acre grant in North West Tasmania by 1830, the Australian Agricultural Company had them in New South Wales in the same period, and they were included in the South Australian Company’s first shipment in the John Piriein 1836.”
    Description of an English Leicester Sheep

    Head: carried well, not too high; neat, cleanly chiselled wide between the ears slightly tapering to the nostrils. No sign of horns and carrying an attractive woolly forelock. Face in general form wedge shaped, free of wool and covered with short, white hairs. Lips and nostrils black. Black specks on face and ears not objectionable. Face tending to blue.
    Eyes: Full sized and bright.
    Ears: Medium sized and alert. Black spots not objectionable.
    Neck: Medium length, strong and well set into a strong shoulder.
    Shoulders: Upright and wide over the tops.
    Chest: Breast should be deep and wide.
    Back: Wide and level, well filled up behind the shoulders, giving a great girth, showing thickness throughout the heart and carrying firm even flesh.
    Ribs: Well sprung.
    Hind Quarters: Full sized and square, showing good legs of mutton. Tail well set on, almost level with back.<
    Legs and Feet: Legs straight, well set on and wide apart. Short cannon bones, good upright pasterns, not sloping and devoid of rust or coloured wool on legs. Hoofs black.
    Skin: Healthy pink colour.
    Carriage: Free, active and well balanced.
    Fleece: Dense, free, long, even and highly lustrous; lock medium width showing small, well-defined wave or crimp from skin to tip, belly well covered. Suggested wool count, 40s-46s (32-38 micron approx)
    Constitution and General Appearance: Alert, robust attractive, showing style and character.



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