Hamilton is a typical Tasmanian Historic Town combining a setting which dates to the early nineteenth century with a range of historic accommodation. Like Oatlands and Ross it is relatively unspoilt. Hamilton is encounted when travelin the Queenstown to Hobart (or vice versa) route.
The first Europeans into the Hamilton area were the botanist, Robert Brown and his party who attempted to trace the Derwent River to its source in March, 1804.
Hamilton's proximity to Hobart Town meant that the region was visited regularly by search parties, escaped convicts and bushrangers.
There are a number of conflicting explanations for the town's name. Some sources claim that it was named Hamilton by Governor Macquarie in 1821 while others claim that in 1829 Governor Arthur named the district after his friend William Henry Hamilton, the Hobart Town Postal Officer.
This sleepy little village has a number of historic buildings. The most important are St Peter's Church (consecrated in 1838), Glen Clyde House (1840), now a craft gallery, and the accommodation at the Old Schoolhouse (1856), Emma's Cottage (1830), George's Cottage (1845), Victoria's Cottage (1845) and the Hamilton Inn (1834).
The foundation stone for St Peter's Church was laid in 1834. It was completed in 1837 and consecrated by Bishop Broughton, the only Bishop of Australia, on 8 May 1838.
It is worth noting that the church has only one door. The reason for this was almost certainly to prevent the congregation, which in the early days was about 50 per cent convicts, from attempting to escape. The original church was a simple stone building. There were plans to add a spire to the tower in the 1920s but they never eventuated.
The appeal of Hamilton, which is a truly charming and unspoilt village, is based on its peacefulness and its outstanding range of historic accommodation. It also has an excellent fishing and aquatic area at Lake Meadowbank.