A Brief History of Richmond Hill


Records indicate that James Brumby was granted 100 acres of land (currently known as Richmond Hill) on the Macquarie River upon his honourable discharge from the British army in 1809.

 Brumby arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney) as a private in the 102nd Regiment on 14 October 1791 on board the Britannia, one of the convict transports in the Third Fleet. He was originally granted land in NSW but left that land when he was offered the opportunity to go to Tasmania.

Family tradition has it that Brumby was unable to muster all his horses prior to sailing to Port Dalrymple in Tasmania. They subsequently went bush where they bred.  Residents who asked, “whose horses are they?” would receive the answer “They’re Brumby’s” hence the name ‘Brumbies” for wild horses.  Once settled at Richmond Hill, Brumby was put in charge of a handful of soldiers as the special constable to guard the crossing on the Macquarie River.

It is believed that James Brumby built the cottage on Richmond Hill and began the homestead.  It is also documented that James Brumby prospered once he arrived in Tasmania.  Brumby married Elizabeth Hainsley in 1811.

Elizabeth was a widow convicted for stealing a brass pot and a brass pan and was sentenced to seven years transportation. Elizabeth arrived in Port Jackson in 1796 and was emancipated some years later. Together they had four sons, all of whom died relatively young.

James Brumby died on 14 September 1838 and Elizabeth died on 12 March 1846 aged 80 years, they are both buried in the cemetery at Christ Church, Longford.

In 1826 Richmond Hill was purchased from James Brumby by the Cressy Company. The Cressy Company was responsible for importing the first Hereford cattle to Australia which resided at Richmond Hill.

James Denton Toosey was the Manager and Solicitor of the Cressy Company for many years and in 1855 bought Richmond Hill and the adjoining property Cressy House when the Cressy Company failed.  It is believed Mr Toosey finished building the main house in 1827 when 20 convicts were lent to him for that purpose, for a period of 6 months.

Toosey died on December 4, 1883 at his Richmond Hill home aged 82 years. He was buried beside his wife Charlotte, in the Cressy cemetery, next to the Cressy Church he helped build.  

Cressy accommodation Tasmania
Cressy Tasmania
Cressy accommodation Tasmania

The Granary

Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of information available related specifically to The Granary, other than it was originally built as an enormous barn from sandstone and brick that was carted by bullock from a property 20kms away.  It has had many uses over the years; granary, stable, worker’s quarters, shearing shed and very recently host to many lovely visitors to Tasmania.