A small and charming Georgian colonial village which is registered
as a classified historic town. The district was first settled by
Europeans in 1814 and was known as Green Ponds – a name which is
still retained as the local municipality. The town is full of quaint
Georgian cottages, shops and farm buildings. The Heritage Highway
bypasses Kempton, however it is worth stopping by to explore.
The major historic buildings in the town include the National Estate
listed St Mary’s Anglican Church, a sandstone Gothic Revival
building which was probably designed by James Blackburn. It was
completed in 1844 and is notable for its square tower, its interesting
cemetery, and its position as a central feature of Kempton’s
The church cemetery and the former Catholic Church garden reveal
graves of convicts who were transported to New South Wales with the
First Fleet in 1788. Located at the southern end of town, Dysart House
Kempton Congregational Church (1840) is a simple stone Georgian church which also has an interesting old cemetery.
Wilmot Arms Inn (1844) was built by convicts and operated as a licensed
inn until 1897. It is said that the proprietor suddenly got religion
and stopped making alcohol and fed all his spirits to the pigs. The
building later fell into disrepair but was restored in 1978. Today it
is part of Tasmania’s Colonial Accommodation circuit.
Another coaching inn in the area was Dysart House (now a private
residence) a large two storey Georgian stone inn which was built in
1842. It is recognised as one of the finest coaching inns on the old
Once co-joined homesteads erected in the 1820s, what are now the
Council Chambers were later converted into Government Offices and Court
House. The buildings were used as a police station until 1862. The
clock tower in front of the chambers was built to commemorate those who
lost their lives in the 1914-18 war.
The convict built two storey Glebe House is a private residence built
for Rev George Otter in 1836. The quaint old shop over the road was
originally a general store built in 1934. It was formerly situated in
the grounds of Gleber House but was relocated to its present position
Kent Cottage, now a private residence, was built in 1833 James
Lumsden operated a general store in two storey Georgian building in
1860, and more recently it was a service station.
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Where is it?
Kempton is 49 km north of Hobart just off the Midland Highway.
A cut-out stage coach at the highway exit to Kempton marks the start
of the Silhouette Trail on The Heritage Highway. In the paddocks along
the highway, fifteen larger than life black steel cut-outs define the
Trail and reflect on the region’s frontier days: stage coaches in
full flight, bushrangers, sheep farmers, gold-panners, surveyors,
convict road gangs, railway workers, soldiers, a hangman, emus and
Tasmanian Tigers amongst them.
Founded in 1816, the tiny historical village of Jericho is one of
the oldest townships in Australia. Like its better known neighbour,
Oatlands, the main road of Jericho contains some fine examples of early
colonial sandstone architecture, and constructions including examples
of convict cut culverts, bridges and walls, many of which date from the
1830s. A mud wall, a relic from the convict probation station, is
appropriately known as the Wall of Jericho.