Located 34 km south west of Launceston, Cressy is a small, attractive, and historically significant town which came into existence in the 1850s to service the surrounding wheat farms. It was named after a land grant which was taken up in 1826 by a British company which had been formed to exploit Van Diemen's Land's agricultural potential. This substantial wheat farm prospered until 1856 when it was broken up. It was around this time that a distinctive settlement emerged. The Cressy Hotel had been opened in 1845 and the town came into existence around 1855.
Cressy was established as the main centre for the Cressy Company. The ompany's first director Captain Bartholemew Boyle Thomas chose to name company after the Battle of Crecy in the 14th Century, at which one of his ancestors fought. Cressy was a large agricultural company which owned a significant portion of the Norfolk Plains. The first building in Cressy was The Cressy Hotel built in 1845 by William Brumby. Cressy became an official township in 1848. Much of the land in the area was owned by the O'Connor family, founded by Irish migrant Roderic O'Connor.
Cressy is known as Tasmania's Trout capital for the good fishing in the area and is home to the well-known Tasmanian Trout Expo, held every September. The Cressy area is a mecca for fly fishing. Known as the Gateway to Trout Fishing Paradise the town offers access to Brumby's Creek, the Weirs, and the Macquarie, Lake and Liffey rivers, all top spots that attract anglers from around the world.
The area of Norfolk Plains, which takes in the Cressy district, was at one time the richest wheat growing area in Tasmania. Today more specialised crops are grown such as poppies for the pharmaceutical industry.
Today many of the original homesteads and farm buildings exist around the tiny township and the area is still noted as an important producer of oats, barley, peas and beans.
Panshanger: Of particular interest are 'Panshanger' house and gardens (privately owned and not open for inspection) 3 km east of Cressy. This Classical house with its Tuscan portico and beautiful gardens was built by Joseph Archer (one of the early settlers) in 1831.
Richmond Hill: 'Richmond Hill' (St Wilfred's College), on Cressy Road 1 km north east of Cressy, is a particularly attractive single storey brick Georgian house which dates from 1823. Its location on the Macquarie River, its 12 panel windows and six panel front door, all contribute to an air of gracefulness and gentility which seems to have characterised the lives of wealthy Tasmanians in the early nineteenth century.
Other Historic Houses Other houses of interest in the district include 'Fairfield' (1852) on Chintah Road 9 km south east of Cressy and 'Mount Joy' (1853) a beautiful Victorian timber house off Mount Joy Road 10 km south east of Cressy; 'Darlington', outbuildings and chapel (20 km south-east, 1830); Pidgeon Tower at 'Burlington' (before 1835); 'Connorville Gouse' outbuildings and mill (1920-22); 'Lake House' (1830-36); 'Mount Joy' (1853); 'Woodside' (1827-35)