Explore our town in this interactive map
Interactive map of Ross
Hover over the numbers on the map to find out about all the beautiful buildings of Ross. More information about each building is below the map. Use the zoom controls in the bottom-right corner of the map for a closer look.
The Man 'O Ross Hotel
Roman Catholic Church
The Town Gaol
The Town Hall
The Old Tannery
The Ross Bridge
The Old Stables
The Uniting Church
The Drill Hall
The Tasmanian Wool Centre
Royal Ordnance Corp HQ
Ross Primary School
Female Factory Site
Roman Catholic and Anglican Cemeteries
Original Burial Ground
Stables of the Scotch Thistle Inn
The Scotch Thistle Inn
The Ross Post Office
St. John's Sunday School
Rubble stone building from 1830
Macquarie House and Store
Ross Bakery Inn
St. John's Anglican Church
St. John's Church Rectory
Daniel Herbert's Cottage
Thomas Meagher's Cottage
Wesleyan Sunday School
1 - The Man O’ Ross Hotel - Temptation
The Man O’ Ross Hotel was established by William Sadler in 1835 and was well patronised in those turbulent days. The verandah and gable ends were added in the early 20th century. In the hotel gardens are several old freestone mileposts showing the mileage to Launceston in Roman numerals. The carvings were never completed nor the milestones set in place.
2 - Roman Catholic Church - Salvation
The corner was originally owned by the Bacon family and the building used as a store, residence, and bakery. It was converted to create the Church in 1920. The Church is generally locked but the key is available from the Ross Newsagency nearby so that you can view the interesting interior.
3 - The Town Gaol - Damnation
The town watch house was built in the 1830s on this corner. It is now an elegant private residence with a much-admired garden. The building incorporates the old police building in its western end.
4 - The Town Hall - Recreation
With its sandstone paving and mounting block in front, the Town Hall was once the scene of much township entertainment. The façade of the Council Chambers, which adjoins the Town Hall, was originally part of the residence of the Governor of the Prison and dates from the 1830s.
It has been suggested that there is a fifth corner of Ross which should be named ‘Commemoration’:
5 - War Memorial
The War Memorial commemorates the young men of the district who served their country in times of war. The earliest is the memorial to trooper Albert Edward Fitzallen, a blacksmith from Ross who died, aged 20, in 1902 on service in the Boer War. His two brothers also served.
The 15 pound field gun is also a relic from the Boer War. It was one of six delivered to N.S.W. just prior to the war and is one of two now in Australia. It is a bit of a mystery how it came to be in Ross.
The World War I Memorial, topped by a statue of an infantryman, was unveiled in the 1920’s and is unusual in that it includes rank. Other plaques list servicemen of World War II and the Korean War. A plaque also recognises Lewis McGee, born at Ross, who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Passchendaele in WW1. He was living at Avoca with his wife and daughter, and working as an engine driver on the railways, when he enlisted in 1916.
6 - The Barracks was built to house the soldiers who were responsible for maintaining law and order during the early settlement of Ross. In 1831 there was one officer, one sergeant and eighteen men stationed at Ross. Daniel Herbert, one of the convict stonemasons responsible for the Ross Bridge (8), married Mary Witherington here in 1835. The Barracks is now a private residence
7 - The Old Tannery. In the grounds of the Ross Caravan Park part of the old Tannery survives. It has been converted to provide cabin-style accommodation.
8 - The Ross Bridge. Linked stone bollards along Bridge Street lead to the Ross Bridge, one of Australia’s finest historical monuments. It was constructed on the orders of Lt. Governor Arthur, following the failure of the original bridge after damaging floods. The Bridge was designed by Government Architect and Engineer John Lee Archer, whose other work includes Anglesea Barracks, Parliament House, and the Penitentiary Chapel in Hobart, and St George’s Church in Battery Point.
Work began in the early 1830s but both the materials and the convict labour could often be found on other building projects around the village. In exasperation the authorities brought in convict stonemasons Daniel Herbert and James Colbeck with the incentive of pardons if the bridge was successfully completed. After about 15 months the bridge was finished and it was opened in 1836. The unique feature of the Ross Bridge is the 186 carved arch stones which depict Celtic symbols, animals and notable personalities of the day. What is believed to be a self-portrait of Daniel Herbert can be found on the southern side of the Bridge on the arch nearest to the eastern bank. Replicas of several of the carvings can be viewed in the History Museum at the Tasmanian Wool Centre (No 14).
9 - The Old Stables, on the hillside just south of the bridge, were a part of the early military establishment in the town. The stables, along with the cowshed and the chicken house are all built into the side of the hill with the natural rock providing part of the structure. The manger in the cowshed is carved from the rock. Further up the hill the square structure was a water reservoir.
11 - The Uniting Church formerly the Methodist Church was opened in 1885 and is built of local stone from the Beaufront quarries. The beautiful interior includes two fine stained glass windows, a ribbed ceiling of oregon pine, blackwood pews and a font enhanced by the heads of 8 carved cherubim. The photo on the southern wall shows the tapestry depicting the ‘Tree of Life’ designed by John Coburn and woven in Aubusson France from the finest Australian merino wool. The original is now displayed in the History Museum of the Tasmanian Wool Centre (14). Other examples of Coburn’s work can be seen hanging in The Sydney Opera House and The Kennedy Centre, Washington D.C.
12 - The Drill Hall was completed in 1908 and it was used for the training of the militia and volunteers of the Commonwealth Defence Force. Soon after Federation, when the Defence Forces came under the control of the Commonwealth, many drill halls were built in Tasmania. It was a period of concerns about rising militarism in Europe as well as the conflicts in Asia, and a system of compulsory training was introduced for boys as young as twelve. The Drill Hall is now the home of Classwood.
13 - Orderly Rooms built in the 1830’s. This old cottage was the first headquarters of the imperial troops when Ross was a garrison town. It is now a private residence.
14 - Tasmanian Wool Centre was created as a non-profit organisation in 1988 to celebrate the importance of the wool industry in Tasmania and to highlight the historical significance of Ross as one of Tasmania’s earliest rural settlements. The Tasmanian Wool Centre is now one of Tasmania’s most popular tourist attractions, receiving over 70,000 visitors annually.
Stroll around the History Museum & Wool Exhibition and acquaint yourself with the wonders of Tasmanian wool, together with other interesting features of a by-gone era. Also make time to browse the range of high quality woollen products and craft in the retail area.
The Centre also operates guided tours around the Ross Village for pre-booked groups.
15 - Memorial Library, Billiard And Recreation Rooms The library was originally the headquarters of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps whose crest (3 cannons and a shield) are carved above the lintel of the door. The original building dates from 1836, while the recreation and billiard rooms were added as a memorial to the soldiers of World War II. In the 1840s the ordnance store also housed the office of the visiting magistrate dealing with convict misdemeanours.
16 - The picturesque Ross Primary School was built in about 1875 and officially opened in 1877. It was closed in 1999 due to falling pupil numbers.
17 - The Female Factory Site. In the early days of Ross this site was used to house male convicts working on the Ross Bridge and on the Hobart to Launceston Road. Between 1848 and 1854 the site operated as the Ross Female Factory, housing female convicts and their babies. It was a hiring depot where women worked carding and spinning wool and sewing and knitting before being hired out to the surrounding properties as domestic servants. It was also a punishment station where female convicts who had committed new offences were sent for punishment. This might have involved the heavy labour of working in the laundry or periods in the solitary confinement cells. The site also contained a chapel to help in the reformation of the women. Part of the existing building on the site was originally the assistant superintendent’s and overseer’s cottages. Viewing the building from the side, you can see what would have been the original façade of one of these cottages. Further information is available from the Tasmanian Wool Centre (14).
18 - Roman Catholic And Anglican Cemeteries: Here you will see the names of many of the district’s pioneer families including some from the large properties of the district. Some of the names can still be found among the present day residents of Ross. The original Church of England built about (1835) stood between the stone wall of the cemetery and the existing walkway.
19 - The Original Burial Ground is located on a windswept hill overlooking Ross and the surrounding countryside, much of which was originally part of the Government Farm. Many of the stones date from the 1830s and 40s and some have been attributed to Daniel Herbert who was responsible for the carvings on the Ross Bridge.
Herbert's own grave is here, marked by a table-top tombstone he designed for his son who died in infancy in 1846. An urn based on original drawings has been reproduced for the top of the tombstone. A replica of the tombstone is on display in the Tasmanian Wool Centre (No 14). There is also a substantial monument built as a memorial to two young children of the McCracken family who both died on the 3rd June 1853 from scarlet fever. Another stone honours Phillip Maher who served in the Waterloo campaign and completed his military career as barrack sergeant at Ross.
20 - Old Quarries This is one of several quarries in the area where convicts worked the sandstone for which the district and its buildings are famous. This particular quarry is a rarity in that it still shows the working face.
21 - Stone Cottages The southernmost of these two cottages next to the Catholic Church was originally owned by the Bacon Family and consequently is known as Bacon’s Cottage. The Bacons were stonemasons and bricklayers who arrived in Hobart in 1833. They worked on properties around the district such as Beaufront and Mona Vale. The second cottage was the first Ross Post Office. Mail bags were received from the street via an opening into the cellar. A blacksmiths shop was believed to be in the driveway beside the Newsagency.
22 - The stables of the Scotch Thistle Inn date from the late 1830’s. They were used to stable coach horses in its time as a Coaching Inn.
23 - The Scotch Thistle Inn was built in the early 1830’s and first licensed in 1840 as a Coaching Inn. It has operated as a store, school, hospital and restaurant. It is now a private residence.
24 - Bakery 31 And Tasmanian Scallop Pie Company. Originally the home of the Standaloft family, it was converted to a shop in 1880.
25 - The Ross Post Office built in 1896, has ornamental cast iron columns supporting the roof overhang. Just outside is a sandstone mounting block which helped riders to mount their horses. Also note the stamp vending machines and the old post boxes.
26 - This cottage, known as The Shielings was originally a two room residential stone cottage from the 1830’s.
27 - Hudson Cottage, circa 1850, typifies architecture of this period.
28 - St. Johns Sunday School was rebuilt in 1902, replacing the original church school built in 1847. In front is a sandstone laundry trough which came from the Ross Female Factory Site.
30 - This rubble stone building, built circa 1830, is an excellent example of early colonial architecture. Opposite is the residence of the first Postmaster in Ross, Christopher Hall.
31 - Fernleigh - Circa 1850. Once the home of Dr McNamara who came to Ross as Assistant Colonial Surgeon of the local hospital. He was also a friend of Thomas Meagher, the well-known Irish exile.
32 - Macquarie House and Store – Land was granted to William Carter in 1846 for a dwelling and store. The store supplied the district, the railway gangs in the mid 1870’s and the military during WWII. The house has been occupied by six generations of the same family.
33 - Ross Bakery Inn - Originally a Coaching Inn, the Ross Bakery Inn is now well known for its wood fired oven in its adjoining bakery. It has special significance to Japanese visitors who associate the bakery with Hayao Miyazaki’s film ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service’.
34 - John’s Anglican Church was consecrated in 1869. It was built from the stone of the original Church of England, (1835), which was located to the south of the cemetery. The original church had to be demolished due to failure of the foundations. The interior has beautiful stained glass windows, a fine oak lectern and Caen stone pulpit which was presented by the Kermode family of nearby Mona Vale. The organ is over 100 years old and the spire is 50 feet high.
35 - John’s Church Rectory was built at the turn of the century. It is now a private residence and Village Fine Arts.
36 - Daniel Herbert, a stonemason famous for his work on the Ross Bridge, is believed to have lived in this small stone cottage by the Macquarie River.
37 - The Original Sexton’s Cottage was also used as the Rectory for some years. It is worth noting its beautifully carved, pointed window in the western gable end.
38 - Forget-Me-Not Cottage dates from the late 1840’s and is thought to have been a stopover for the coachmen plying between Launceston and Hobart. The stable can still be seen at the rear. There are many more excellent examples of original stone cottages between here and the railway line.
39 - This cottage was once the home of Thomas Meagher, who was one of the group known as the Young Irelanders. He was transported to Van Diemens Land after taking part in a failed uprising (1849) to overthrow British rule in Ireland. He, along with several of his comrades was convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Political pressure resulted in the sentences being commuted to transportation for life. These were gentlemen prisoners from relatively privileged backgrounds and once in Van Diemens Land were offered special paroles provided they lived in separate districts, did not meet and promised not to escape. Meagher was first sent to Campbell Town but requested permission to move to Ross where he lived with ‘a maid of all work and a legion of flies’ and that the town has ‘30 to 40 houses and a military barracks before the door of which soldiers yawn and smoke all day’. While in Ross he rode and hunted with fellow-countryman Dr McNamara (see No 31). He was also an admired orator and speech-writer, and assisted Mr Kermode of Mona Vale with his election address. He also kept a boat on Lake Sorell and built a house there. While in Ross he married Catherine Bennett, who was governess for Dr and Mrs Hall and whom he rescued when her buggy overturned just south of Ross. In 1852 Meagher escaped to America where he became leader of the Irish Brigade, a regiment of the Union Army during the American Civil War. After serving for over a year as Acting Governor of Montana, U.S.A., he drowned in 1867 in a boating accident on the Missouri River. After Meagher’s escape, Catherine lived in Ireland with her in-laws but died at the age of 22.
40 - The Methodist Sunday School is a charming Georgian building dating from 1827. In the grounds are the remains of foundations of the original Methodist Chapel and some very old headstones, as early as 1819.
41 - Like the other town cemeteries the Methodist Cemetery has some beautiful and interesting old headstones. One tells the story of Alexander McCracken, the foreman of public works, who died in 1863 trying to cross the flooded Macquarie River to obtain the mail. He paid the price for his belief that ‘the mail must get through’.