Local Groups & Services
Community Photo Album
Fees and Charges
print - friendly version
Clarence Plains has always been important both for its Aboriginal and European heritage. The area called Nannyelebata was valued greatly by it traditional owners for the land itself, its birds, animals, for vegetation, the shoreline with its major harvests of seafood and the landscape within which all this was held.
In 1808, the area named by John Hayes in his expedition of 1793 was to get a new type of manager. Settlers from Norfolk Island, some who had been”freed from servitude” after relatively small crimes in England were granted land in what was thought to be, correctly, a rich agricultural area.
All were to leave their mark, both in the provision of food for the new colony, and in developing a community which has lasted and grown over the years. The early influence by the church in the person of Rev Robert Knopwood meant schools came to the area as early as 1820.
In the open area of country, sheltered by wooded hills, with ready access to Ralphs Bay, with then a permanent rivulet, Rokeby Village grew. By 1866 there were 180 inhabitants in the township, surrounded by pastoral and agricultural properties.
With grand mansions, working farms, humble cottages, schools, inns and places of worship, outdoor activities of cricket, horseracing and ploughing matches. Rokeby continued its pleasant and peaceful existence. The semaphore and steam ferries had improved the links with Hobart, and at federation, life was good.
Then the triple disasters of war, depression and fire struck. Rokeby was no longer a prosperous village. Out of disaster came change. In 1942, after Japan entered the war, a power supply was rushed thought to Fort Direction and many Rokeby housewives’s learnt the joy of an electric iron. A sealed main road followed in the 50’s and after the disastrous 1967 bushfires, mains water, sewerage public phones and a rural fire brigade came along.
In the 1970’s the department of Housing, added to the small private housing estates, by developing the Rokeby Grange and Clarendon Vale estates, introducing the interactive Radburn design to Rokeby. Schools expanded with the suburbs as did the facilities of shops, churches, public transport, medical and community centres and parklands.
Today’s population of approximately 5000 will certainly rise with many more houses planed in the new subdivisions, one near the Pass Rd, Oakdowns and Howrah Gardens Many Housing Department dwellings have now changed to being owned privately.
From the Old Rokeby Historic Trail
by Tranmere - Clarence Plains Land Coastcare Group and
Clarence Plains Historical Society Inc.
The Eastern Shore: A History of Clarence
Over two centuries of fascinating Tasmanian history unfolds in a new book titled The Eastern Shore: A History of Clarence.
Written by leading historian Dr Alison Alexander and published by Clarence City Council, the 400 page hardback volume traces the history of Clarence from before the time of European settlement to the thriving city of 50,000 people that it is today.
Illustrated by more than 200 rare photographs, maps and historical documents, the book gives a unique insight into the lives of the people of Clarence for more than two centuries.
Copies of the book are available from the Clarence City Council offices and selected book stores for $29.95. For more information contact Clarence City Council.
[ comment on this story ]