Home A little about Westbury A little about Westbury

A little about Westbury

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Westbury is a quaint, beautiful, classic Georgian Village.  There is an argument that if the English village is some kind of high point of charm, then Westbury the most English of all villages in Australia, is certainly a place worthy of visiting and experiencing.   It has everything a clichéd English village has, a village green, lots of tree-lined streets, old courtyards and stables, elegant old inns and many charming, historic houses.

 

Westbury’s skyline is dominated by the mountains of the Great Western Tiers, which form a dramatic backdrop to a rural landscape divided by traditional English hedges and dotted with early European settlements. The seamless combination of alpine mountains and productive farmland gives Westbury village its’ unique look and feel; something that visitors recognise as distinctly Tasmanian.

The National Trusts White House Bakery was built in the 1840s on the edge of the Village Green as a general store, and a bakery offering fresh-baked bread, home-made pies and a variety of delicious pastries. 

The Village Green is said to be the only true village green in Australia.  In the 1830s with soldiers stationed nearby, it was used for parades and archery competitions amongst other things.  The site is now used each year for the St Patricks Day Festival which runs over 3 days in March.

St Andrews Church dominates the landscape was built between 1836 and 1890.  The foundation stone was laid in 1836, the nave was opened in 1842, the church was consecrated in 1851, the tower was added in 1859 and the chancel was completed in 1890.  A truly magnificent building.

Fitzpatrick’s Inn was opened in 1833 as the Commercial Hotel and was the first hotel in the village.  The Fitzpatrick Family acquired the property in the 1890s.  It remained in the family for over a century and gained a reputation as a fine hotel.  Today you can dine at the Inn’s fine restaurant, stay a night or two in magnificent accommodation and even today you can still enjoy a pint or two in the extensively redecorated bar.

Westbury is located on the Meander Valley Highway 34 km from Launceston and 64 km from Devonport. The town came into existence in the early 1820s. It was surveyed in 1823 and by 1828 Governor Arthur ordered that the town site be laid out with a view to Westbury becoming a major stopover point on the route from Hobart to the northwest coast which, at the time, was being opened up by the Van Diemen's Land Company. The scale of the survey was such that it is clear there were plans for Westbury to become a city.  Gaelic was the local language in Westbury for many generations and a strong Irish brogue is reputed to have lasted throughout the 19th Century.

By 1832 Lieutenant Ball and a detachment of troops were stationed near the Village Green. Four years later the town's population comprised 227 free men and women and 317 convicts.

The early plan for a substantial township has been held in aspic. It is a town where time has stood still, now boasting a population of approx 1500.

The St Patrick's Day festival is a lively and fun loving celebration of Tasmania's Celtic heritage.  All day Saturday on the Westbury Village Green there is music, dance, and art with all the fun of the village fair. Great food and entertainment for the kids - and Guinness of course!

It all starts with the traditional St Patrick's Day Parade winding through the historic town of Westbury.
  A St Patrick’s Festival has been a traditional celebration in Westbury from early in the 19th century.

The St Pats Festival also offers the St Patricks Old Time Ball on Friday night and the Celtic Concert and Dance on Saturday night. Plus the Celtic Art Awards hosted at the historic Church Of England on the Village Green. The Festival concludes with the Combined Church Service on Sunday afternoon with musical pieces and afternoon tea.

Camping and accommodation is available locally for travellers and we warmly invite you to join us for this fun time. Please view the Westbury Saint Patrick's website for details as they develop.
www.wspf.au

 

Westbury is proud of its heritage and those who grow up here.  Local hero Jack Badcock played test cricket for Australia between 1936 and 1938.  Jack was Tasmania’s first test cricketer.  A recent memorial to Jack can be seen at the local cricket ground where cricket is still played during the summer most weekends.  Since 2009 Westbury is known for the big wickets, erected as part of Jack’s memorial.

 

Vehicles are also on display in Westbury. Pearn's Steam World has restored farm machinery and steam engines dating to the turn of the century, and is one of the largest private collections in the southern hemisphere. An extensive tractor collection can also be visited at Hedley Shaw’s yard.

 

Westbury residents enjoy varied recreational possibilities, including team sports, fishing at the local Four Springs Lake, trail riding, bushwalking and cycling.  The district is known for its vitality and creativity with two of the largest events in Tasmania (Agfest and the Deloraine Craft Fair) within a 10 minute drive.

 

From Westbury you have easy access to the wilderness and recreational parks.  The Mole Creek Karst National Park and large parts of the Cradle Mountain National Park, the Walls of Jerusalem National Park and the Central Plateau Conservation can all be seen during a days drive from Westbury Village.

 

Come visit soon.

 

Currently we service 8 School Bus Routes from Westbury to Prospect, including Hagley, Carrick, Hadspen and Travellers Rest in Northern Tasmania.

Read more... Link