KEMPTON

Kempton is encounted when traveling the Midlands Highway between Launceston and Hobart this small and charming colonial settlement which is registered as a classified historic town, Kempton is located 49 km north of Hobart just off the Midland Highway. Be warned Kempton is now a by-pass town. Please make the diversion.

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. In 1816, Anthony Fenn Kemp, a thoroughly unpleasant and despotic soldier-merchant, who seems to have spent most of his life fighting with governors and trying to manipulate the political scene in both New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land settled in the district.

In 1804 he was appointed second-in-command at Port Dalrymple (Launceston) and from August 1806 to April 1807 was in charge of the infant colony.

He settled in Van Diemen's Land in 1816 and by the 1830s, through a combination of grants and purchases, had 4100 acres in the Green Ponds area. It was here that he established and developed Tasmania's infant wool industry, bred horses and cattle, and introduced a hardy, North American, variety of corn.

It is not surprising, given the size of Kemp's holdings, that Green Ponds was renamed Kempton in 1840.

The major historic buildings in the town include the National Estate listed St Mary's Church of England, 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 townscape.

Nearby is the Congregational Church (1840) which is a simple stone Georgian church which also has an interesting old cemetery.

The Wilmot Arms Inn (1844) in the Main Road 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.

Another coaching inn in the area was Dysart House (now a private residence) a large two story Georgian stone inn which was built in 1842. It is recognized as one of the finest coaching inns on the old Midlands Highway.

The quite significant War Memorial is central to the township.

Kempton is rich in history so be sure to take the diversion.

Heritage diary

 

 

 

  Fireplace   Dump Station
General Store   Bottled Gas
  Internet   Caravan
  Camping   4WD
Kitchen Facilities Disabled access
  Laundry Toilets
  Campervans   Accommodation
Meals   Airport
  Pets Allowed   Boat Ramp
Telephone Picnic Area
Roadside Rest Area Electricity
Scenic   Swimming
Tap water   Thermal Area
Stream Water   Walking tracks
  Rotary Club   Lions Club
  Gymnasium   Gardens
Winery   Whitewater Rafting
  Surfing   Skydiving
  Skiing   Scenic Flights
Postal Service   Police
  Movie Location   Mountain Biking
  Kayaking   Jet Boating
  Information   Hospital
  Hang Gliding   Golf Course