This is a watercolour painting of a portion of Launceston looking roughly west in 1878 by a local artist identified as RJ or RS.
In the painting, several buildings can be seen, some of which exist today; for instance St John’s Church dominates the right side of the picture.
The tower end and main structure was built in 1825 and the added section at the east end was erected in 1866.
It was many years into the 20th century before the hedge beside the church was removed.
The street at the base of the picture might be George Street with Frederick Street leading down past John West’s congregational chapel (now Milton Hall).
Next to the chapel is a cottage with a wide verandah, which is now the site of a petrol station. Here, Mrs Harvey conducted a school for little boys.
She moved to Westmoreland House (now Morton House) on the opposite corner of Charles Street and taught “young ladies”.
This building has housed a number of tenants including Mrs Hudson with her school for young ladies, Mr Edwin Maxey’s school, Broadland House, and Dr WR Pugh who performed the first surgical operation under an anesthetic in the Southern Hemisphere in 1847.
In the area between St John and Charles streets is a line of trees and the edge of the basin surrounding the fountain in Prince’s Square.
This was once a clay pit where bricks were made by convicts, and sun-dried for building St John’s Church and other buildings in Launceston.
This was known as “St John’s Square” or “Church Square” but after the Prince of Wales’ marriage in 1863 it officially became “Prince’s Square”.
At the south-west corner of Frederick and Charles streets stands Drysdale House.
Beyond Charles Street are many single-storey houses built close together over the street blocks along Wellington and Bathurst streets, leaving the Brickfields exposed before Margaret Street.
Along the length of Margaret Street stand several more substantial buildings some of which could have belonged to the Roman Catholic Church of Apostles quite clearly seen, without its splendid bell tower.
Plainly marked out with a hedgerow is the significant extent of the Catholic property.
Beyond that is the gravel pit, then the land rises towards the water reservoir past the extremity of Elizabeth Street and the slaughter yards.
The quarries and the gorge are defined by the deep cut in the hillside and the land to York Street has been cleared.
Part of the hill has been marked out in plots for residences and businesses.