The West Tamar Historical Society Inc. (WTHS) was formed in April 2000 after a visit to the York Town Historic Site organized by Richard Hooper.beaconsfield

The society aims to promote, protect and preserve the history of the
West Tamar Municipality on the west side of the Tamar River north of Launceston, Tasmania.

Membership: Membership costs $10 per year and new members are welcome.

Historian: the Historian is a magazine containing history stories about people, places and events in the West Tamar area. Back issues can be purchased for $3.00 plus postage.

West Tamar History: Our members have written a number of stories about places in the West Tamar. Click on locations on the map to find out more about the history of each area.

York Town

York Town is the fourth oldest permanent settlement in Australia behind Sydney, Norfolk Island and Hobart. It was settled in December 1804 under the leadership of Lt. Col. William Paterson. At its height it was home to 300 people. It had a year round water supply and was close to Bass Strait but it had poor soil and difficult access. Launceston was commenced in December 1805 and the two settlements co-existed until York Town was largely abandoned in December 1808.

The society have researched the history of the site, have located nearly 50 building sites from the original settlement, have opened the site for visitors, have conducted an archeological excavation on the site and continue to promote the history of York Town.

The site is on the Register of the National Estate and on the Tasmanian Heritage Register. The site is managed by a committee with representatives from WTHS, West Tamar Council, Parks & Wildlife Service and local landowners.

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York Town; a respectable looking village

York Town; a respectable looking village gives a detailed account of British occupation in 1804 of northern Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania). Lieutenant-Governor William Paterson established a township, York Town, with a guard house, barracks, gaol, hospital, store-house, gardens, including a botanical garden, and cemetery. Paterson built houses for the people in his care including one for himself and his wife Elizabeth. This was the third settlement with a lieutenant governor in command that had been established from Sydney, the first being Norfold Island (1798) and the second Hobart in southern Tasmania (1803).

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