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Tasmanian oast houses

Analog6

Well-Known Member
I made a trip to Tassie recently, thanks to the generosity of my lovely sister, and met up with some friends from RedBubble.

On Sunday 30 October 2011, two fellow RedBubblers, Brett & Greg, showed me some of the Oast Houses in the Derwent Valley. We visited a couple of commonly known ones first, then, near Bushy Park, Brett spotted one from the road, and I decided to boldly intrude as the entry looked more like a laneway than a driveway, and Voila! A site they hadn't been to! It turned out to be the Bushy Park complex, established by Ebenezer Shoebridge in the mid 1800s. We spent the last of the golden hour there, it is spectacular.

Oast houses - or more properly hop kilns - were generally large roomy buildings with a forced heated air stream to dry the hops. Grown throughout the Derwent Valley for beer production, hops were important for the fledgling colony as the reliance on the rum trade was seen by the 'powers that be' as detrimental.

Wealthier owners built their oast houses of brick, others used timber and unfortunately many of these fine buildings have fallen to fire and dilapidation. Hop growing expertise was brought to Tasmania in the early to mid 1800s Kent in England, where hops were widely grown.

Anytime you see a flat piece of ground, often beside a river, and a row of poplars, you can be pretty sire that once hops were grown here and there may be an oast house somewhere nearby.

I am now planning a book with images of the oast houses, some notes on the hop industry, and a tourist map, and am hopeful I will be able to get it published. If not, there is always on line publishing via Blurb or similar.

All H2 | P20 | HC 50-110 (I love that lens)

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note those OOF 'weeds' in the foreground are actually hop bines gone to seed, so they are very relevant to the structure

And then we came to Bushy Park . . .

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