Blessed with rich red soil, the colinial village of Hagley is situated in the middle of some of Australia's best farm land. Hagley is a centre for hazelnuts, with numerous properties in the area dedicated to growing them. It has a population of around 150 people.

Hagley is on the Meander River which, until the founding of Westbury in the early 1820s, was known as The Western River. The town began in 1825 when William Lyttleton was granted 560 acres by the government. He named his land Hagley after his ancestral home in England. The town was gazetted in April 1866.

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The village of Hagley has some particularly impressive buildings including Hagley House, Quamby was the home of the first native-born premier of the state, Sir Richard Dry. You can find his grave at St Mary's Church, which was built in the early 1860s. Quamby has become the Quamby Golf and Country Club and boasts an 18-hole golf course. Next to the church is Hagley Farm School and Environment Centre. It was one of the first two area schools in Tasmania, begun in 1931 in a building erected in 1865, east of the town. It was built in 1826 by Captain W.T. Lyttleton.

Former Hagley Presbyterian Church

There are four church buildings in Hagley. A Presbyterian church opened in 1879; it is now closed and in private hands. The Uniting Church building is a Modernist design built in 1957; it sits next to a wooden Methodist chapel built in 1859. St Mary's Anglican Church is a bluestone Gothic Revival building that opened for services in 1862. The lands and a significant part of the church's funds were donated by Sir Richard Dry. Dry is buried at the church and the church's tower is dedicated to his wife. Hagley Farm Primary School is the oldest agricultural school in Australia. It began as the Hagley State School in 1865 and became an area school for the surrounding districts in 1936. The school has a 64-hectare (160-acre) farm and agriculture features strongly in its curriculum.

The town has some 19th-century buildings listed on both the Register of the National Estate and the Tasmanian Heritage Register. Hagley Mill is noted as possibly the only extant mill in Australia that was horse-driven. Quamby Estate, the former estate of Sir Richard Dry, is run as a tourist attraction and has a 9-hole golf course. Hagley's reticulated water supply is sourced from a filtration and treatment plant at nearby Westbury. This plant opened in 2013; from 1902 until then the town had received untreated water. From 1871 the town was serviced by passenger rail, but this ceased prior to 1978. Hagley was originally on the main road from Launceston to Deloraine, but was bypassed in 2001 when the Hagley section of the Bass Highway was completed.

The road through Hagley, now called the Meander Valley Highway, was originally the main road west from Launceston. Beginning in the 1990s work began on a replacement highway that would bypass all the towns between Prospect and Deloraine, including Hagley. As the road was part of the National Highway this work was funded by the federal government. The federal transport department announced, in 1999, that they were to spend $36 million bypassing Hagley and Westbury with the new Bass Highway. A this time 7600 vehicles per day were driving through Hagley, the bypass was expected to more than halve this. The new highway passed by the historic Hagley Mill site and so, as part of the construction, the federal government funded pre- and post-construction preservation work on the Mill site. Local residents were concerned about the impact on Hagley of the reduction in through traffic and the Westbury-Hagley Development Committee was investigating. The town's centre was finally bypassed when the Bass Highway's Westbury-Hagley bypass was opened on 13 December 2001.

Notable Historic Buildings

Hagley House

Hagley house is a brick and stucco, two-storey Georgian era house 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) from the town's centre. Construction was begun by William Thomas Lyttleton prior to 1848, at which time it was noted as incomplete, and completed, after Lyttleton's death, by Dr Richardson. A former officer in the 73rd Regiment, Lyttleton arrived in Hobart in late 1825 and began to amass his property holdings by grant and purchase. During the 1830s, he divided his estate into a number of tenant farms. He returned to England in 1836 and died there three years later. The Hagley Estate was sold in 1847. At the time of the sale, the property was divided into six tenant farms, one of which was Jeffcott's Farm of 560 acres.

Quamby House

The manager's house is part of an important pastoral complex erected in the 1830s for Sir Richard Dry, a pardoned convict transported for Irish political activities, who purchased 2000 acres in 1828. Dry was the first native-born premier of the state. The house probably to a design by Richard Cromwell Carpenter. It was built mostly by convict labour, using locally made clay bricks, in an American Colonial style, a single storey with a stone-flagged long veranda. The original estate was broken up in the second half of the 19th century. This 10-bedroom 150-acre property has been restored as a luxury lodge with extensive entertaining areas, a restaurant or private dining room, sitting rooms, a library and an executive chef to design exquisite menus showcasing Tasmania's gourmet local produce. Quamby was opened for tourism, by Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett on 4 October 2009. It is operated as the Quamby Golf and Country Club, and has a par 38 9-hole golf course that dates from the early 1990s. Location: Meander Valley Road, Hagley.

Ivylawn Estate

Not far from Quamby Estate, Ivylawn was built and known as the Dower House for Sir Richard Dry s sister by their father. A fine two storey house, it is now believed to have been built about 1842. At this time, the unusual massing and fenestration of the house would have been 40 years ahead of its time. Once a secondary house on the Quamby Estate, the building has an axial approach drive and fine garden which heightens its importance.

This two storey brick and stucco house features rough stucco with smooth work in imitation of ashlar to quoins and surrounds to openings. Windows are grouped in threes (arch head to level two, flathead to level one) with Tartan glazing. The single panel double front doors feature generous half sidelights and arched transom light. Ivylawn is off Bass Highway at 1260 Westwood Road, 2km north-east of Hagley. Private residence, no public access.

Hagley Mill

Hagley mill is a historic site, 1 kilometre south of Hagley's centre, on part of the former Hagley Estate. The mill and land are owned by the Department of Transport; they were acquired as part of the construction of Bass Highway. The site's significance is that it is possibly the only extant mill in Australia that was horse-driven, and almost certainly the only example in Tasmania. The mill and associated buildings date from 1830–40. The mill appears to have been converted c.1870 to fit a mobile steam mill. Its wheel house has original ironstone foundations and brick walls forming an octagonal building, a design peculiarity to accommodate the horses and driving mechanism. The site has a barn, one-room cottage and dairy that all date from the mill's construction.

Hagley Mill Heritage Listing

St Mary's Church (1862)

Hagley's first building was a brick church, on "Westbury Road" for Church of England services. The foundation stone was laid 8 January 1847 and the church completed, using materials from Deloraine, and opened 9 June 1848. It was built on part of the former Lyttleton Estate, funded by Sir Richard Dry and the estate's trustee, Archdeacon R.R. Davies. When completed the church was in the Parish of Westbury. By 1859, with population growing, parishioners in Hagley held a meeting to consider forming their own Parish. Dry offered to pay the Minister's stipend and provide 1000 pounds towards church buildings. Consequent to this offer, the separate Parish of Hagley and Quamby was created. This first church was used until completion of the later St Mary's Church. It was later demolished to make way for a Presbyterian Church.

The Church of England's parish of Hagley had its beginnings in 1856 when Dry endowed it with three farms. Between them these farms brought in 400 pounds rental income per year. While in England, on a trip taken for his health, Dry commissioned architect Richard Cromwell Carpenter to draw plans for a new church. The plans were modified by Carpenter's agent in Hobart, Henry Hunter. On returning to Tasmania, Dry donated 13 acres (5.3 ha) of land for the church. Hunter was also responsible for designing churches at Westbury, Deloraine, Colebrook, Tasmania and the Church of the Apostles in Launceston. Dry funded construction of the rectory and funded a significant part of the church's construction. Some other funding came from the sale of the original church and land. As first built it only had a nave and aisle.

The brick rectory was completed in 1861, before construction of the church began. St Mary's foundation stone was laid 10 December 1861, in a ceremony attended by Dry and Bishop Francis Nixon, the first Bishop of Tasmania. The church's structure used local bluestone for the walls, freestone from Bellerive for pillars, arches and mullions, and roof slates from Great Britain. St Mary's is built in a Gothic Revival architectural style It was completed and opened in a ceremony on 26 November 1862. Dry had asked to be buried at St Mary's. After his death in 1869 a memorial at the church was proposed. The memorial chosen was a chancel, which the original church lacked. Funds were raised by a Government backed appeal, including a donation from Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. The chancel was started in 1871, using bluestone from the same quarry as the church, and was finished in August of the same year. To this point the church was seen as incomplete and had not been consecrated.

After completion of the chancel St Mary's was consecrated, by the Bishop of Tasmania Charles Henry Bromby on 24 August 1871. A tower, spire and vestry were added in 1932, after work began the prior year. The building work was funded by a bequest from Lady Dry and a Miss Jane Patterson, a St Mary's churchgoer. The tower is dedicated to Lady Dry and the spire and vestry to Miss Patterson. The spire was designed by H S East, who also restored St Andrew's church at Westbury. The additions were consecrated 6 December 1932.

St Mary's church houses recreations of two significant artworks, both donated in 1857 by Lady Clara Dry. The first is a recreation of Guido Reni's 1610 altarpiece from the Quirinal Palace, Rome. The second a 19th-century copy of Raphael's Transfiguration. Both were purchased in Italy during the Dry's honeymoon, and were restored in 2004. It also contains a copy of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo's Crucifixion in the East window—a gift from Lady Dry— and a copy of Raphael's Annunciation. The Nave houses an organ built in 1861 by J. W. Walker & Sons Ltd of London. The organ is essentially original, with only the addition of electric blowing, and includes one manual and seven speaking stops.

Hagley Uniting Church

Hagley Uniting Church

There was a Presbyterian visiting preacher in Hagley, from Deloraine, Tasmania, from 1854. Services were held at this time in the Methodist Chapel. Regular Presbyterian services were being held by 1855, most likely in the original Church of England building. In the late 1870s, the old Church of England was purchased, along with the associated land, by the Presbyterian church for 265 pounds. The building was demolished in 1878 and construction of a new church was begun almost on the same site. During demolition and construction, Presbyterian services were again held at the Methodist chapel. The foundation stone was laid 18 March 1879 by which time the walls were already nearly complete. Cement rendering has hidden the stone and its location is uncertain.

Hagley Presbyterian Church

The church used bricks from a demolished brewery, possibly in Longford, and it was completed at a cost of approximately 950 pounds. The building was designed by Harry Conway, a Launceston architect. It is a largely brick building with freestone corbels and copings, and is of a Gothic Revival architectural style. Hagley Presbyterian Church's first services were held on 14 December 1879. A manse was built nearby in 1884.The church was intended to seat 250 people. By 1973 the Presbyterian congregation at Hagley was very small and there was cause for concern about its future. The building is still in the town, opposite the original Hagley hotel, but is now privately owned and no longer used for worship. Location: 5 Meander Valley Road, Hagley.

Cliston House

A rather restrained two storey Georgian brick house with slate roof. The main feature of the house is the central six panel front door, side lights and curved fanlight over. The supporting arch has a keystone. At the rear is a large central semi circular headed stained glass window above the stair landing. This Georgian homestead gives a very good idea of the character of the relatively anonymous early settlers and their lifestyle. Location: 189 Selbourne Road, 2km north of Hagley.

Woodside homestead

The current Woodside homestead and farm stand on part of what was once the extensive Hagley Estate of William Thomas Lyttleton. During the 1830s, he divided his estate into a number of tenant farms. He returned to England in 1836 and died there three years later. The Hagley Estate was sold in 1847. At the time of the sale, the property was divided into six tenant farms, one of which was Jeffcott's Farm of 560 acres. Woodside comprised part of this tenant farm and formed Lot No. 1 of the 1847 sale. The Woodside property of 200 acres was purchased by George Scott in 1849. A native of Scotland, Scott had been born near the town of Paisley in 1804. At the time of Scott's purchase of Woodside in 1849, the property was densely covered with trees. Scott cleared the land, laid out paddocks and, instead of erecting fences, planted hawthorn hedges as boundaries for his fields. Hedge-lined fields and tracks are still a distinctive feature of the Woodside property.

Woodside homestead is a two-storey building constructed in Georgian style. It exhibits many of the distinguishing features of the Georgian style, including a symmetrical facade, exposed brick walling, sash windows with small panes of glass, flat arches, simple chimneys, a front doorcase and a pannelled front door with a fanlight above it. One unusual feature of the front facade is that is broken up by piers of different widths. The house is constructed of red bricks which were made on the property at a site in the front paddock close to the proposed 'Railway Route' for the Westbury-Hagley Bypass on the Bass Highway. There are apparently no archaeological remains of this brickmaking activity. The interior of the house contains fine cedar joinery, an elegant timber staircase and some original furniture. Location: 2774 Meander Valley Road, 2km west of Hagley.

Schoolhouse, Hagley Farm Achool

An early schoolhouse in Gothic Revival form, built in 1864, now part of Hagley Farm Primary School. Its interior is intact including, original schoolroom furniture, giving the building historical significance in the field of early education. The building itself is a two-roomed, single storey, brick Gothic Revival school. It features a steep gabled roof with fretted timber barge boards, large multipaned windows, a small entry porch with Gothic arched opening and unusual chimney stack with a doorway as part of its structure. Location: Baxter Avenue, off Bass Highway, 1km east of Hagley.


Prior to the European settlement of what was then Van Diemen's Land, the Hagley area was a camping ground for the Port Dalrymple aboriginal tribe, the area's native people; Port Dalrymple was an early name for George Town. It is uncertain if this tribe was a separate group from the aborigines near Port Sorell and the Mersey River. The Port Dalrymple tribe ventured as far as Westbury, but mainly lived and hunted nearer the Tamar River, and stone implements have been found in the Hagley area. Encounters with the natives and reports of Europeans shooting them feature in the area's history and mythology. Stephen Dry, cousin to Sir Richard Dry, was reportedly speared by an aboriginal on a hill near Hagley. On a property formerly known as Strath is a water hole named "No, No's Hole". There is a legend that

... a mob of blacks who had committed a murder on the property sought refuge there when an avenging party of whites were on their heels. They cried 'No, No,' and kept diving under the water for safety, but were all shot.
— Karl Stieglitz, Stieglitz (1946)

By 1830, aborigines were no longer seen in the area; they had been driven from their traditional areas by the new settlers. In October that year detachments of "The Black Line" reached nearby Westbury. This was an effort to clear Van Diemen's land of the last of the natives

William Thomas Lyttleton, William Bryan and Sir Richard Dry were all important figures in the early days of the town. These three owned most of the land of what is now the town and district of Hagley during the 1820s.

Sir Richard Dry's father came to Tasmania as an "Irish Exile" with Lt Governor Colonel William Patterson, founder of Launceston. He spent 13 years as Government Storekeeper at Port Dalrymple. As recognition of his work, on retirement in 1819 he was granted 500 acres (200 ha) of land. Governor Lachlan Macquarie granted him the land that marked the foundation of settlement at Hagley. When the elder Dry died, Sir Richard inherited this and other lands in Tasmania totaling over 30,000 acres (120 km2).

Quamby Estate, a property owned by Sir Richard until his death, is east of the town. Quamby is supposedly an aboriginal word - although its meaning is not certain. William Thomas Lyttleton was born in 1786 in England; he was a distant connection to those owning Hagley Hall in Worcestershire, England. He spent some years in the army, moving to Van Diemen's Land in 1822 with his family, after he retired. He was initially granted 560 acres (230 ha) near Westbury, adjacent the land owned by Richard Dry, and 800 near Meander. He called the grant near Westbury 'Hagley', in honour of the Town, Parish or Hall in England. Lyttleton built a homestead on the Hagley property in 1829, though most or all of this original building has been since demolished. He lived in the Hagley area for 14 years, before returning to England.[10] William Bryan, builder of the first flour mill at Carrick, was granted 1,077 acres (436 ha) at Hagley in March 1825. Bryan also had holdings in Carrick and Whitemore totaling 11,000 acres (4,500 ha).

Lyttleton died in England in 1839. In disposing his estate, the estate's trustee put all of the lands up for sale. Lyttleton is believed to have bequeathed the village area to the Hagley residents. The block of land containing the Lyttleton homestead was sold in 1843 to a Dr James Richardson, and the remainder of the land was sold to others in 1848.

The first building in the town was a brick church built on the side of the road from Launceston to Westbury. This road was known as the "Westbury Road", now called the Meander Valley Highway. The church was built for Church of England services and opened in 1848. It was built at the behest of Sir Richard Dry and Archdeacon R. R. Davies, the latter trustee of the Lyttleton estate, on part of the former estate. The land was a gift to the Church of England by Davies in his capacity as a trustee. By 1849, the town's buildings were the Hagley Church of England, an inn—built and run by the East Family opposite the church—and three paling-clad cottages occupied by separate families. At this time the Westbury Road was often a muddy quagmire and land, especially near Quamby bend, that is now cleared was dense forest. The Hagley Inn was opened c.1850, it was first called "The Country Inn", by James East, who had run the earlier inn in Hagley. Over time the inn has been extensively altered and it closed as a hotel in the late 1980s.[16] In 1850 Hagley's buildings comprised

... the church, the Hagley Inn, a blacksmith's shop, a cottage occupied by Mr. Fryett, and one occupied by F.J.Flight, who died recently at Forth; also one built, I think, by a Mr. Lyons.
— J. A. Breaden

Hagley's population increased significantly during the 1850s as people moved both to the village, and to farming properties in the district. A doctor was practicing in the area by 1854 and in 1855 a school opened in the Church of England; paid for with funds raised by local residents. That year a postal service began in Hagley. David Parry was appointed postmaster on 1 July 1855, probably operating an unofficial post office from the Hagley Inn. A post office officially opened on 10 June 1865, in a building that was demolished in 1970. This building also had a store called the "six day store" run by the postmaster and his wife. The town gained a second hotel in 1857 with Carmody's Meander Hotel, though this remained open for only a few years. In 1857 also the town's first community organisation was formed, the Hagley Ploughing Association, and regular ploughing matches began. A second church was built, a Methodist Chapel on the Westbury road, in 1859.

Electricity reached Hagley in 1928, supplied by the Tasmanian Hydro-Electric Commission. Prior to this—the year is unknown—there was some street lighting in the form of four dim Kerosine lamps set on 3 metre posts. These lights were manually lit and extinguished daily. In 1941 the Hagley Flax Mill began operating to process locally grown flax. This mill was on the Meander River's bank, three miles from the centre of Hagley.

Mrs Bryan and her husband were concerned about the lack of education in the area. In the early 1860s they provided two acres of land at nearby Glenore, and built a brick school and school house. The Glenore school was finished in 1862, and it was accompanied by a 260-acre (110 ha) farm whose rent was to pay for a teacher and building upkeep. A new church, for the Church of England, was built just outside Hagley. St Mary's Church of Hagley and Quamby was completed and opened in 1862. The first church continued in use as a school until 1865. In the prior year construction had begun on a public school, a two-room building with an adjacent 8-room teacher's residence; the school opened in 1865. Hagley was gazetted as a town in April 1866. By that time it had a number of stores, a blacksmith, a boot maker, a saddler, a wheelwright, two churches, two schools, two hotels, a resident seamstress and a midwife. By the late 1870s the town had gained, in addition to houses, a police station, gaol, engineering works, one steam mill run by the Noake Family and another at nearby Quamby. A rail line opened, from Launceston to Westbury, in 1871, though its station was 3.2 km from Hagley. In the 1880s a siding was added at Hoggs Lane, and a passenger platform at the siding in 1910. Using the new rail line, by the 1880s the post office was receiving four deliveries each weekday and two on Saturday.


The sport of coursing began in Tasmania at Hagley, an event was held 6–7 June 1878 at Quamby. For this first event 500 people, including the Governor of Tasmania, came from Launceston. Tasmanian Government Railways ran an excursion train service from Launceston for the event. A coursing competition called the "Waterloo Cup" has a long history in the town.

Hagley's recreation ground opened on the main road in 1902; until then local paddocks were used. An Australian rules football club was formed in Hagley c.1895. Matches were played on a private paddock until 1902 when they moved to the recreation ground. The club's most successful period was, as part of the Esk Association, when they won five successive premierships from 1949–53. The club closed in 1998, as part of a general decline of country football in Tasmania. During the club's 102 years, the most widely known player was former St Kilda player Matthew Young.

Hagley's cricket team was formed in the 1890s and was playing by 1896. Similarly to the football club they played on a paddock, adjacent to the current recreation ground, moving to the new ground in 1902. The ground remains open for cricket though Hagley no longer fields a team.


Early education in Hagley was by private tutors. In 1855 a school opened in the Church of England building, taking in both borders and day scholars. Schooling had to sometimes be interrupted as the building was used during school hours for marriages, and religious services.

The original 1865 building of Hagley Farm Primary School

William Bryan and his wife donated land and built a school at nearby Glenore in 1862. The Bryans left a bequest that fully funded the school until 1914, when the state's education department assumed responsibility for the building and the teacher's salary. By 1921 56 students were attending. The building had been condemned by 1926 and a new brick school building was built a short distance away. Following a direction by Mrs Bryan in her bequest, the school was used at times for religious services, by Methodists and Anglicans. Due to low attendance the school was closed in 1941 and the few remaining pupils continued schooling at Whitemore.

Hagley has a single school, Hagley Farm Primary School. It teaches reception to year 6 for, as of 2014, 420 students. The school has a 64-hectare (160-acre) commercial farm attached. The farm is varied with cattle, sheep and crops. The school is the oldest that is specifically dedicated to agricultural education in Australia.

The original school building was built in 1865, on 2 acres (0.81 ha) of land just east of the town donated by Sir Richard Dry. This first building is of Gothic Revival form. Its structure and interior are largely intact and original. A decision was made in the 1930s to make Hagley an area school. As of 1935, there were five single-teacher schools in the local area. All of these were closed and Hagley opened as the "Hagley Area School" on 30 January 1936. Its curriculum was much expanded from prior years' and included classes on nutrition, construction, agriculture, housewifery, cooking, carpentry and dressmaking; these classes were segregated into traditional gender roles. Students from the closed schools were brought to Hagley by bus. At this point most rural schools stopped education at grade 7 but from 1937 Hagley was extended to teach grade 8. In the late 1930s the school served Hagley, Carrick, Hadspen, Rosevale and these town's surrounding farms, using two buses to transport students. Hagley and Sheffield were the first two area schools in Tasmania.

A residential side to the school was planned in 1939. Buildings would be added and agricultural work expanded with a full sized farm. The start of World War II caused the building plans to be cancelled though they were soon reinstated, and in 1941 building work began. The reversal was spurred by the desire to accommodate victims of The Blitz, though this particular use never eventuated. The school became residential, for boys, and its farm was extended to 200 acres (81 ha). The first borders were the sons of servicemen. With the extension of the land—the government had purchased 190 acres (77 ha) around the school—the school widened its activities and became known as the Hagley Farm School. Students, as part of their education, built many of the farm's buildings during the war. J Maslin had been principle since 1931.


A rail line near Hagley was first surveyed in 1856, as part of a route from Launceston to Deloraine. A decade later a Railway Act was passed, strongly supported by then Premier of Tasmania Sir Richard Dry. A private company, the Launceston and Western Railway Company, was formed to build the route and the first sod turned in January 1868 by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh. The rail line passed (0.8 km south of the town and a station was built3 km distant. The line opened, and the first train passed near Hagley, on 10 February 1871. The rail line carried passengers, and several daily mail deliveries. Launceston and Western Railway soon ran into financial problems, the line closed 29 June 1872 and the company itself went bankrupt on 25 July.

The government took over the railway, as the Tasmanian Government Railways, on 31 October 1873. Local farmers petitioned for an additional line to properties in Hagley's west. Construction began on the new line in 1887 and a siding as built at the intersection of Hoggs Lane. This siding was used first for farm produce, later facilities for loading stock were added. A platform and waiting room were added in 1910, though it was some years before passenger trains stopped at Hoggs Lane. The passenger rail service had stopped before 1978, a time when all Tasmanian passenger rail services ceased.

History and Heritage Text: Wikipedia