We made a trip to Rosny Farm and after one false start. We originally turned up on a Monday when the site was closed. With a little perseverance, we uncovered more than we bargained for.
Rosny Farm Turns Up Surprises
As the name suggests, the farm is in Rosny! Or Rosny Park, to be precise. It’s squeezed between the Eastlands shopping centre and Rosny Park Public Golf Course in the City of Clarence. It would be easy enough to miss approaching from Rosny Hill Road, but it was worth the turn-off, and this is what we discovered.
Rosny Farm forms part of the convict trail around Hobart, with the site being granted to a first fleet convict during the early 1800s. With a plot of 175 acres, Richard Morgan and his family grew crops including wheat, barley, beans and potatoes, as well as running pasture for cattle, horses and sheep.
You’d think that would have been enough to keep him occupied and out of trouble. But judging by the signage at the front gate, Mr Morgan was inclined to continue his criminal ways. He was convicted of operating an illegal slaughter house, as well as having connections to a sheep-stealing outfit. Blimey!
Set within the landscaped gardens of Rosny Farm you’ll find the heritage listed Rosny Cottage. Now operating as a museum and open to the public, the Cottage Museum hosts displays of the history and early development of the farm. A lovely building, the museum is surrounded by pretty gardens, a picket fence and is a highlight of the stone-walled farmyard. A great backdrop for a photographer.
The Schoolhouse is another lovely heritage building: weatherboard with square-paned windows. The only public gallery on the eastern shore of Hobart, the Clarence City Council uses Rosny Farm Schoolhouse as a venue for art exhibitions and historical displays. There’s a calendar of events running throughout the year.
We were lucky to encounter the Tasmanian Ceramics Association Annual Exhibition. Dubbed Seven Deadly Sins, the display had 60 exhibits ranging in price from $16 to $500. The items were so varied and interesting, but they all looked very special in the unique gallery space.
Clarence Street Art and Music Festival
Also on the day of our visit, was an exhibition of a very different sort. Highlighting the diversity of events scheduled for Rosny Farm, our visit co-incided with the St.Art Festival. Within the setting of a farming history of Tasmania, there were rap musicians performing and graffiti artists spraying paint. The smell of the aerosol paint was quite overwhelming. I’m not sure how street artists cope with their work environment.
The Clarence Council decided a professional exhibition, with competition prize money running to $2,500, would encourage the artists to display their work in a legitimate forum. Combined with the workshops and have-a-go areas, Rosny Farm was transformed into a vibrant and colourful space.
The Barn: Rosny Farm
The final building at Rosny Farm is probably the most spectacular: the historic barn. Since 2006, when extensive redevelopment work was undertaken, it has been used as a space for the performing arts. Hosting recitals, concerts and lectures, it provides a unique setting that can double for additional exhibition space when required.
The Barn Market is also held bi-monthly at the beautiful Rosny Farm. An up-market outlet for local designers and hand-made creators, it is yet another example of the great market shopping experience on offer in Tasmania.