Tag Archives: Surrey

An extra historical morsel regarding Browns River which runs out into the Derwent River

Browns River separates Tyndall Beach (below the Alum Cliffs) from Kingston Beach. On the Kingston side, a plaque remembers Robert Brown.

According to http://www.rampantscotland.com/placenames/placename_hobart.htm  the township of “Browns River was named after the noted Scottish botanist Robert Brown who explored the area a week after Hobart was founded. “  Apparently Hobart (Sullivans Cove) was established on 21 February 1804 (I shall remember the date because it is my birthday – well not the 1804 bit) and therefore before the end of February this ‘township’ of Browns River was in its infancy. A week – ye gods!  How quickly these pioneering settlers got around.  Nothing could happen so fast these days.  But, is the timing true or simply a legend? I don’t know.

The name was changed to Kingston in 1851 by the Governor of Van Diemens Land, Sir William Thomas Denison.  The website http://tasmaniaforeveryone.com/tasmanias-names-the-suburbs-of-hobart suggests “The name Kingston was advocated by the then Police Magistrate, Mr Lucas. Although his exact reason for deciding on the name of Kingston is unknown, there are many theories. His parents, Thomas and Anne Lucas, the district’s first settlers, lived at Norfolk Island before coming to Van Diemen’s Land and the capital of Norfolk Island was Kingston. Another possible reason is that Thomas was born in Surrey, England in a village close to New Kingston. It had been settled in 1808 by Thomas Lucas and his family, who were evacuated from Norfolk Island. He named his property ‘Kingston’, after the settlement on Norfolk Island. “

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.

Claremont beside the Derwent River

I have wondered why there has been so much interest from USA readers for my posting about the Claremont Bowling Club.  The Club is an ordinary lawn bowling club the like of which is found in every town and city across Australia.  My blog site statistics do not indicate which part of the USA my readers come from, so more research was required.

The name Claremont derives from the French for clear mountain, and was introduced into England by refugee French Hugenots in the early 18th century.  The concept of clear mountain works here in Hobart because our town of Claremont sits comfortably at the feet of Mount Wellington.

There a city named Claremont in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, USA. It was named after Claremont, also known historically as ‘Clermont’, an 18th-century Palladian mansion of Thomas Pelham-Holles, Earl of Clare less than a mile south of the centre of Esher in Surrey, England.  This New Hampshire city is located between the Ascutney State Park and the Hawks Mountain area to the west and Mount Sunapee to the east.  Presumably offering clear mountains.

In addition, Wikipedia informs me that “Claremont is a college town on the eastern border of Los Angeles County, California, United States. Claremont is known for its many educational institutions, its tree-lined streets, and its historic buildings. In July 2007, it was rated by CNN/Money magazine as the fifth best place to live in the United States. Due to its large number of trees and residents with doctoral degrees, it is sometimes referred to as “The City of Trees and PhDs.”

Our Claremont in the City of Glenorchy within the Greater Hobart Area is very different than the Californian town with the same name.

In America, the Gold Rush of 1849 opened up California so I suspect the name Claremont was probably given by someone remembering their English heritage when the town was created in the 1880s, or by someone who had travelled west from the New Hampshire town of the same name.  I understand that the peaks of Mount Baldy, Mount San Antonio, Timber Mountain and others in the distance overlook the Californian city.

So now I have either or both California readers on the west coast of USA and New Hampshire readers on the east coast of the USA.  Will the real reader/s stand up!