Ross is a historic town in the Midlands of the state of Tasmania in Australia. On the Macquarie River, Ross is located 78 km south of Launceston and 117 km north of Hobart. The town is listed on the Register of the National Estate and is noted for its historic bridge, original sandstone buildings and convict history.
Ross lies in lands that were traditionally owned by Tasmanian Aborigines, specifically the Tyrernotepanner (Stony Creek) Nation. The aboriginal name for the area that now constitutes the Ross township wasmackerler (Mack-er-ler).
The first European to explore the district was surveyor Charles Grimes who passed through the area while mapping Tasmania’s central area including parts of what later became known as the Macquarie River. Later that year, a timber bridge was built over the river and subsequently Ross became an important stopover on road journeys between Launceston and Hobart. It developed as a base for the local garrison and became a centre for trade for the surrounding district. Between 1848 and 1854 approximately 12,000 female convicts passed through the Female Factory.
The Ross Post Office opened on 1 June 1832, and the stone bridge (Ross Bridge) opened in 1836, making the Post Office and Bridge among the oldest still in use in Australia.
By the time of Australian Federation in 1901, the permanent population had grown to 311 and the wider area had become known as a fine wool growing district. At this time Ross had four churches, a post and telegraph office, a savings bank, one hotel, and a town hall and library.
The Four Corners of Ross
The town is centred on the crossroads of Church and Bridge Streets with a field gun from the Boer War and a war memorial as a central part of the intersection. The crossroads area is humorously referred to as the “Four Corners of Ross” with each corner having a label:
Temptation: the Man O’ Ross Hotel
Recreation: Town Hall
Salvation: Roman Catholic Church
Damnation: Jail (now a private residence)
Ross has a large number of heritage listed buildings and site, including the beautiful Town Hall, out front of which is where the Ross Marathons starts/finishes, along with former military and police buildings, churches and schools plus indigenous sites in surrounding areas.
For further images of Ross and surrounding areas, go to the Picture Ross Facebook page.