National Heritage Places - Brickendon Estate
Located in Northern Tasmania, Brickendon Estate is a remarkable example of a farming property dating from the 1820s. The property has been continuously farmed by the descendents of the Archer family for six generations, who have ensured that the convict built farm complex, Georgian country house and formal garden remain largely intact. The estate is of outstanding national significance for its association with the convict assignment system and as a designed landscape which provides a record of continuous farming practice.
The historic working farm of Brickendon, situated on the outskirts of the town of Longford - 20 kilometres from Launceston - is open to the public from Tuesdays to Sundays. Brickendon Estate was included in the National Heritage List on 23 November 2007.
Click an image for a larger view.
The assignment system at work
Brickendon Estate is a farming property dating from the 1820s. It is nationally outstanding for the continuity of farming practice at the estate and its association with the convict assignment system.
The system was set up to provide labour to settlers in exchange for food and clothing. The government also saw the system as a cost-effective way to develop colonial infrastructure, assist settlers in developing their land and reforming convicts through hard and constant work.
Around 85% of convicts transported to Australia passed through the system. At Brickendon male convicts worked as blacksmiths, tanners, bricklayers and agricultural hands while female convicts worked in domestic service.
A rich and intact resource
The Estate's original 420-hectare property is in very good condition. The Georgian house in its garden setting, farm buildings, hedges, and land use patterns all provide a rare source of information about the living and working conditions of settlers and the convicts assigned to rural estates from the 1820s to the end of transportation to Tasmania in 1853.
Brickendon is also uncommon in that the range of buildings show early colonial agricultural and pastoral farming practices based on British practice and techniques imported by the Archer family and developed over six generations. These building types and construction methods are represented by the timber pillar granary, Dutch barns, the poultry house and the blacksmith's shop with its associated collection of tools.
The place has enormous research potential thanks to its extensive documentary records, including family diaries and early maps which detail the layout and development of the estate.