It is not known exactly when the dry-stone wall which still extends along the length of Harbinger Lane, Austin’s Ferry was built, but it was most probably not long after the original Roseneath Inn was completed around 1819. Originally licensed as The “Barley Mow”, The inn became known as the “Baltonsborough” - the name of Austin’s farm which he had named after his home village in Somerset, England. It was more often than not, however, referred to merely as “Austin’s”. The ferry and Austin’s inn and farm were renamed “Roseneath” by Governor Macquarie on his tour of Van Diemens Land in 1821.
The wall, which was most likely built by convict labour using local stone, originally ran from the back of the Inn to the end of the nearby point. It’s thought to have formed the edge of the extensive gardens and orchards that were considered part of the attraction of the Inn. The Inn was a favorite retreat for those holiday makers from Hobart Town It is also thought that the wall was used to contain livestock waiting to cross the river by the ferry and to stop any animal from wandering over what would have been a fairly steep drop into Rusts Bay.
The land in that area was reclaimed in the 1960’s & 70’s but there was still a considerable drop at that time. Restoration of the wall and removal of vegetation from the surrounding site took place in early 1970’s. Further restoration work was undertaken in the early 2000’s. This included the capping of the wall in an attempt to stop continual damage from rainwater and to preserve the dry stone wall for future generations.
Very interesting to have a closer look at something a bit different.
Source - Information signs on site