For the past 200 years Woolmers Estate has been a fixture of the Longford community and has transformed from a working estate to a world-class heritage tourism attraction.
A celebration of that history will be held at the estate and at other locations across Tasmania as Woolmers celebrates its bicentennial in 2017.
An official opening ceremony was held in front of the estate house on Tuesday. The event was attended by Tasmanian Governor Her Excellency Professor Kate Warner and was attended by about 60 people.
Shelly Blyton travelled from Queensland to attend the official opening with her family, who are from Burnie.
Shelly and her family are descendants of a blacksmith who used to work at Woolmers Estate.
“We are starting on our family history journey so it’s good to have a physical building like Woolmers to tie some of it to,” she said.
She said it was important to be part of these celebrations and said she enjoyed learning more about her family through the built history.
“It gives character to the names and we can learn more about them,” she said.
The bicentennial celebrations will be held throughout 2017 at Woolmers and will culminate in the estate’s iconic Festival of Roses event in November.
It will also include a costume exhibition to coincide with Heritage Month in May, an artist in residence program and exhibitions at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG).
A major tourism conference that will focus on built heritage will also be held as part of the celebrations and Tasmanian artist Josh Foley will be Woolmers’ artist in residence during June.
One of the attractions for the year will be the Four Seasons Concert that will be presented by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and held in Launceston and Hobart and will be presented to recognise the estate and its bicentennial.
Another signature event will be when the estate officially opens its new visitor centre, that is expected to be held in March.
The visitor centre will include two art galleries, public spaces and a 150-seat restaurant area and was funded jointly by the state government and private benefactor Nigel Peck.
Mr Peck is the great-great-grandson of the founder of Woolmers – Thomas Archer.