The shuffling walk down 1 Acre Lane with the wheelie bins was well worth it. The old lady answered my many questions before she continued on to her house when I stopped to admire the first of many extraordinary buildings.
When I look back over this two day walk along the Derwent River, finding an historic precinct at the end of a dusty lane was my greatest joy. An absolute treasure. In Europe such a place would attract hundreds of coaches disgorging thousands of people each day to visit. Yet in Bushy Park Tasmania, I was the only visitor. Extraordinary. Some of my blog followers are brilliant photographers and would, if they visited, create amazing pictures. I hope my photos are sufficient to whet everyone’s appetite for a visit and to have their own experience of this historic site.
The precinct contains an innovative and more recent initiative – a Junior Angling Pond. Perhaps fishing is the main hobby of locals and what better way to lure new devotees than to offer children their own safe experience.
The buildings had no or limited signage, therefore identifying the purpose of most was impossible for me.
The photo below looks like a large unusual house but apparently this was the bakery feeding the hundreds of workers involved with the hop industry in the past.
The most surprising structure was, what is now known as, the Text Kiln, built in 1867. As I approached the building I did not know this name or the year. Immediately I loved the shapes of the structures then suddenly I was stunned see a sandstone plaque embedded high up on a wooden wall. This was a biblical text. And nearby was a second text. My mouth dropped open; I wrinkled my forehead and shook my head. What am I seeing? What is going on here? In this remote location, clearly the early hop growers placed a great deal of importance on the Christian scriptures. I wondered if this text indicated a puritanical god-fearing way of living in the 19th century in Bushy Park. What was that community like?
Beneath a window one text offers: ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life’. In a triangular alley another plaque exhorts us to ‘Have faith in God’.
As I walked around the building, I saw many more texts .
In all, approximately 13 different texts exist on three sides of this magnificent building.
Eventually I left the Text Kiln and wandered further around the precinct.
The old lady, owner of the wheelie rubbish bins, lived on-site in the red-roofed house.
I guess the red bricks have been painted over in the building named the Red Brick Kiln, shown in the photos below.
The last building I looked at before following another dirt road to the main road, was the Picil Kiln as pictured below.
I hope to bring friends here with a picnic hamper and perhaps a bottle of bubbly in order to relax and soak in the quietness, and to be pleasantly stunned by the scale and dramatic shapes of the buildings. Perhaps I will see you there one day.