Memorials, Monuments & Plaques Register War Memorials Plaques, Monuments & Other Memorials Hawkesbury on the Net


Pole 1: Monument Information  
Monument Details
Name:  not applicable
Died:  not applicable
Age:  not applicable
Monument:  Convicts and Early History Monument, Wisemans Ferry
Location:  Pole 1

Additional Notes: Face 1:

Convict Trail / Great North Road

The Project was carried out with / Commonwealth Government assistance / under the CULTURAL HERITAGE / PROJECTS SCHEME

Map of The Great North Road & The Convict Trail (Note: slight damage due to vandalism evident)

Face 2:

THE CONVICT TRAIL - THE GREAT NORTH ROAD / WISEMAN'S FERRY PRECINCT / North of Little Maroota Forest, occasional pick marks can be / seen on stone faces beside the road and on stone retaining walls. / Good examples can be deen near Hawkin's Lookout which provides / excellent picnic facilities with great views. A couple of hundred / metres south of the Lookout is a small, abandoned convict-built / bridge. / The descent into Wiseman's Ferry took four years for Iron / Gang No 4 (ie convicts in chains) to build. The steep grades required much cutting, blasting, quarrying and filling, as did / the climb up again on the opposite side. / Thomas James Bridge, Devine's Hill and Finch's Line are just / a few examples of the exciting reminders of the convict road / gangs which toiled in this area.

Face 3:

THE CONVICT TRAIL - THE GREAT NORTH ROAD / WISEMAN'S FERRY PRECINCT / In 1816 Solomon Wiseman settled at what was then called / Lower Portland Head, now Wiseman's Ferry, and by 1821 was / operating an inn called the Sign of the Packet. / In 1805 he had been convicted of stealing timber from barges on the River Thames, in London, and transported to New South / Wales. An astute and wily businessman he managed to have himself / assigned to his wife Jane who had also come to this country and, while still a convict began to carve out for himself a business / empire. / Wiseman's Ferry crossing is the oldest in Australia, having / operated continuously since 1827. The original crossing point was / about 2kms downstream from the present crossing. It was moved / here in 1829 when the Devines Hill ascent was chosen to replace / the original Great North Road route up the escarpment.

Face 4:

THE CONVICT TRAIL - THE GREAT NORTH ROAD / The Convict Trail is the name given to the series of main / roads, by-ways and ways of life associated with the Great North / Road, which was built simultaneously from Newcastle south and from Sydney north between 1826 and 1836. / Much of the original 240 km route of the Great North Road / continues to be used today, offering an alternative, slower-paced / scenic route between Sydney metropolis and the fertile Hunter / Valley and all the interesting places between. / Relics such as retaining walls, wharves, culverts, bridges and buttresses can still be seen - in Sydney suburbs like Epping / and Gladesville, at Wiseman's Ferry and Wollombi, at Bucketty or / Broke, or in Dharug and Yengo National Park. / All need care and understanding to go on stimulating the / imagination of explorers like you. / The Convict Trail is a reminder of the convict felons who / built the road and made possible the financial success which / followed settlement. The Great North Road is a national treasure / of world significance.


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