Tag Archives: Cluny

Historic Houses

 

As I walked the length of the Derwent River, occasionally I passed 19th century heritage buildings: some were falling down and others existed in various states of restoration.  Occasionally I viewed these buildings from across the River, or from near my access routes to and from the River.

Below is a selection of houses that remain as evidence of the early white settlers in the Derwent Valley district.  During my recent foray into the writing, designing and compiling of books I was introduced to the Snipping Tool available as an accessory within Microsoft Word.   I will be using this Tool in such a way as you will think I am on one side of the river but I am on the other – all to protect the privacy and wishes of property owners and managers.

Cluny House

This 1820’s house was photographed and written up on a real estate site ‘The original brick section of Cluny was established with a larger sandstone section added in 1919 from sandstone sourced from an old farm building. Original timber floors, doors, window frames, open fire places and picture rails are featured throughout the home. A wide hallway leads to the four double bedrooms. The entire front boundary of this property is on the Derwent River with the advantage of a water licence and irrigation. The fertile river flats are suitable for any number of agricultural pursuits. The entire front boundary of this property is on the Derwent River with the advantage of a water licence and irrigation. The fertile river flats are suitable for any number of agricultural pursuits. There are numerous outbuildings including a five bay garage and machinery shed and an ancient stone cottage.

Cluny House.jpg

cropped-stone-bldg-cluny

Clarendon House

The property near Norton Mandeville was granted in 1819 to William Borrodaile and he built the house  and outbuildings from  1821 to include stables, hop kiln, barn and a walled yard.  The barn is pictured below

Barn Clarendon near Gretna.jpg

Images of the  house include:

clarendon-3  clarendon-2  clarendon-near-grenta

Glenelg House

Tasmania’s Heritage Register provides the information that ‘Glenelg is a fine two storey Victorian Italianate Villa built in 1878 to a design of Henry Hunter. The house has a good hillside setting, and is seen prominently from the road. Glenelg at Gretna has been in the Downie family for six generations. Andrew Downie, a solicitor, was an immigrant from Stirling in Scotland in the early 1820s. He was granted the 1000 acre property Glenelg by Governor William Sorell in 1824. The original Glenelg grant still lies on the property, with sandstone corner posts at 3 of the corners and remains within the Downie family. In 1838 Andrew’s brother, William also emigrated to Van Diemen’s land and began working with his brother. Andrew had no children and returned to Scotland later in life, and William’s family continued to run Glenelg over the following years.’  Refer image 1

Glenelg House Gretna.jpg

Glenelg House Gretna 2.jpg

Dunrobin

The Dunrobin land was granted to Walter Angus Bethune in 1821, and the current external fence attests to the property’s establishment date.

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You can see photographs and read more details about this property here.

Dunrobin.jpg

The New Dunrobin is a dairy estate.

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It was always a delight, amidst great tracts of agricultural land, to see isolated heritage buildings and to consider them as specimens of Tasmania’s social history.

Dams on the Derwent River

The potential of the volume of water passing down the Derwent River for hydro-electricity generation was seen over a century ago.  While a few power stations were built in the early decades of the 20th century, with an influx of migrants from war ravaged Europe in the 1940s-50s, the numbers of dams and power stations increased quickly.  Overall, many dams and approximately 30 power stations have been built across central Tasmania.

On my way to Lake St Clair, I will reach and walk past each of the following 7 markers along the River:

  • Meadowbank
  • Cluny
  • Repulse
  • Catagunya
  • Wayatinah
  • Tarraleah
  • Butlers Gorge

One of the Hydro websites provides detailed information about these and others which feed into the Derwent River catchment.  In addition, the site includes the diagram below.

Derwent dams

Possible locations where the Derwent River can be ‘touched’

I have compiled a list of those locations where I believe, with a vehicle, it will be possible to ‘touch’ the Derwent River occasionally along its length between Gretna and Lake St Clair.  Please let me know if any section listed below takes your fancy and if you would be interested to try it out.

Almost all sections include driving on bitumen highway, gravel roads and poor tracks. Some of these may be forestry roads.  If you wish to volunteer to take me to one of these sections (let me know on walkingthederwent@gmail.com), please feel comfortable that your car can handle the different conditions.  Of course, common sense will prevail and we will never push on if a road is too rough for your vehicle and your peace of mind.

If you are happy to help me reach my goal, albeit differently than originally expected, I would like to fill up your tank with petrol as some compensation.  You know my ‘walking the Derwent’ is a non-commercial project, but since I do not own a car nor drive, I need transport – and therefore, I am happy to cover the cost.

  1. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive along the Lyell Highway and then, not far past Gretna’s Sports ground, take a left turn into Clarendon Road and drive to farmstead buildings about 250 metres from the river on a hill. Perhaps 140km return trip.
  2. On western shore – From New Norfolk drive along Glenora Road, and turn left at Bushy Park then right onto Meadowbank Road over the Tyenna River then next to Derwent, then on over Meadowbank Creek to a hill top with buildings. It may be possible to continue quite a way on this road. Minimum 130 and maybe up to 160kms return trip
  3. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive along the Lyell Highway and turn left off the Highway onto Meadowbank Dam Road. Continue to dam and southern end of Meadowbank Lake. At least 170 kms for round trip.
  4. On western shore – Travel from New Norfolk and turn left into Gordon River Road at Bushy Park, then turn right off Gordon River Rd into Ellendale Rd and then right onto Rockmount Road before you reach the township of Ellendale. There seem to be many dirt forestry tracks to Meadowbank Lake. At least 170kms return trip and maybe 200kms return or more depending on roads.
  5. On western shore – Travel from New Norfolk and turn left into Gordon River Road at Bushy Park, then turn right off Gordon River Rd into Ellendale Rd and drive on through the township of Ellendale until you reach Dawson Rd / Dunrobin bridge over Meadowbank Lake. Turn left before bridge and it seems we can drive 2kms further up along the Lake edge. Return to Ellendale Road, cross bridge and connect with the Lyell Highway. At least 170kms return trip and maybe 200kms return or more depending on roads.
  6. On eastern shore – From New Norfolk drive up Lyell Highway and continue past the left turn off to Dunrobin bridge and afterwards and to the left there are a number of dirt tracks seemingly without gates. After a while these tracks/roads only extend to the Ouse River and not the Derwent River so map consultation is crucial. At least 180kms return and maybe over 200kms return depending on how many side roads/tracks can be driven along.
  7. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse then turn left at Lake Repulse Road. Continue to intersection with Cluny Lagoon Road and turn left and go to Cluny Dam. Return to intersection and continue on Lake Repulse Road to the Repulse Dam. Can cross a bridge and continue back south around Cluny Lagoon to a ‘settlement’ named Cluny.  Perhaps could access this road from the Ellendale Rd on the western shore? By driving north from Repulse Dam along Dawson Road/then renamed Thunderbolt Road it seems we can take right hand detours to Lake Repulse. Over 200kms maybe 250kms or more minimum round trip.
  8. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse, over the Dee River until the sign appears for a left turn at Catagunya Road. Drive down to Catagunya Dam. 200kms minimum return trip
  9. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway past Ouse, over the Dee River, past Black Bobs and turn left at Long Spur Road. This runs around Wayatinah Lagoon. Go past the intersection to Wayatinah Dam, turn left and travel to Wayatinah Power Station on Lake Catagunya. Return to intersection and turn left and travel to Wayatinah Dam. Cross bridge and continue on to Wayatinah township. Access dirt tracks in the vicinity of all. Drive south from the Wayatinah Dam on the western shore along the Florentine Road but don’t bother crossing the Florentine River because the road goes inland away from the river. Minimum of 230kms but most likely  at least 300kms round trip.
  10. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway and when you reach a canal passing under the road, and where the road turns right to go to Tarraleah, go straight ahead on Butlers Gorge Road. Note there are limited roads off and around going closer to the river near that intersection. Continue along Butlers Gorge Road for 10-15 kms heading for Lake King William. Reach Clark Dam and Power Station. Continue onto Switchback Track along side of Lake King William. This track stops and you have to return the same way – swamp separates you from the track north about 500 metres away. This would be a big day and I suggest take overnight accommodation at Tarraleah before setting out. PERHAPS it is possible to walk across the swamp and then walk about 7 kms to Derwent Bridge. Unknown over 300 kms return trip.
  11. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway to Derwent Bridge and continue past to left hand turn off on the western side of Lake King William and drive the track to the lake. 360 kms return trip minimum.
  12. On eastern shore – Drive up Lyell Highway to Derwent Bridge. Walk from the bridge over the Derwent River near the township of Derwent Bridge to St Clair Dam at the bottom of Lake St Clair Lagoon where the Derwent River starts. Walk to Pump House Point and St Clair Weir at the southern end of the Derwent Basin. 350kms return trip minimum.