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CLASSIFIED HISTORIC TOWN
Ross represents one of the great treasures of Australian colonial architecture heritage. The village was one of the early sites selected for a town in Tasmania. It was named by Governor Macquarie in 1821. The dominant feature is the famous Ross Bridge which was convict built. Daniel Herbert and James Colbeck carved the superb artwork on the bridge; Herbert’s tomb is located in the old burial ground which is well worth a visit.
Take the time to play the Skulduggery game ‘Arch Villians’ – a colonial sleuth game focussed on the building of the Ross bridge. Equally important are the three fine Churches - St Johns Anglican Church (1869); Roman Catholic (converted from a store about 1920) and the Uniting (1885) in a prominent location on the hill over looking the town. All three churches are, as is the Bridge, floodlit at night for the pleasure of those staying in the village.
Of particular interest is the original headquarters of the 50th Ordinance Corp, who were in charge of the convicts. The regimental Coat of Arms is carved above the door. The building now houses the Municipal Library and Recreation Room.
In the centre of the town the Four Corners have become well known for each having a special character, representing Temptation (Man-O-Ross Hotel); Recreation (Town Hall); Salvation (Church); and Damnation (the gaol) now a residence.
The main street carries an avenue of English elms which compliment the numerous convict built Georgian sandstone buildings giving the visitor to the village a picturesque and peaceful experience during all seasons.
For eating out, the village offers a good choice of tearooms, bakeries, the hotel, and a choice of takeaway outlets. Specialist shopping is a delight with a good selection of Antiques, Woodwork, Crafts, Art and Woollen products just to name a few. Accommodation is well catered for with several self contained colonial cottages, the Hotel, a bed and breakfast, and the tranquil Ross caravan park nestled on the banks of the Macquarie River near the heart of the town.
Nestled in the heart of Tasmania’s wool growing area, Ross is of particular importance to the international wool industry. Buyers frequently pay world record prices for the extra superfine Merino wool from this area, and the Centre displays samples, production techniques and finished articles. Guided group tours (bookings essential) of the Wool Centre and historic village of Ross, includes the restored Female Factory Site that was a probation station for female convicts and their babies.
Ross has excellent fishing in the Macquarie River that flows beside the village. Fisherman from around the world try their hand at luring a prized trout from these quiet waters. There is also good fishing at the nearby Tooms Lake. Fishermen or not, you may decide simply to sit beside the river and wait quietly to catch a glimpse of a platypus or feed the protected swans and ducks who have made the reserve next to the bridge their home.
Although Ross provides many facilities for the visitor, commercialism hasn’t been allowed to creep in and spoil the serenity and peace of the village. Ross Village Bakery has one of the few wood-fired ovens still in use.
Tas Visitor Information Centre at Tasmanian Wool Centre Church St, Phone (03) 6381 5466.