Ross, in the midlands of Tasmania, is the best preserved 19th century town in Australia and is listed on the Register of the National Trust. Many of the elegant sandstone buildings, the historic bridge and the remains of the Female Factory are reminders of its convict history.
The main crossroads of Church and Bridge Streets are flanked on all four sides by original buildings from the early 19th century, each having a different purpose in the life of the early town. They became known as the Four Corners of Ross:
Temptation – the Man O’ Ross Hotel, which dates from 1835, was established by William Sadler.
Recreation – the Town Hall, where dances and other social events were often held, was originally part of the home of the Governor of the Prison.
Salvation – originally a store, home and bakery owned by the Bacon family but converted to a Roman Catholic Church in 1920.
Damnation – now a private residence, but originally the town jail and police station.
In total there are 40 historic buildings in Ross and they can easily be viewed in a short walk around the town. The Post Office was built in 1896 and retains many of its original features, including a mounting stone for people to climb onto their horses, and an old post box.
Convict built in 1832, Ross Bakery Inn was first known as the Sherwood Castle Inn and was for many years a coaching inn and horse changing station. It now operates as a Bed and Breakfast and takes its present name from the original bakery which was next door.
Macquarie House and Store were built in the 1840s by William Carter to service the growing district. Six generations of the same family have lived in this lovely old house.
Take a gentle stroll along the streets of Ross and you will find yourself, like the early convict inhabitants, transported to another time and place.