Longford is the centre for the local farming district, south west of Launceston. Prior to European settlement, the area was used by the Panninher Aboriginal band of the northern midlands. The first settlers came in 1807 when land grants were offered and the area became known as Norfolk Plains. It was a town established by free settlers rather than convicts, and the town became known as Longford in 1833.
Christ Church is an historic feature in Longford well worth a visit. The church’s bell and clock were gifts from George IV and it is the site of the First Settlers Cemetery.
A local arboretum once aspired to represent every tree mentioned in the Bible.Longford still has the bucolic air of a 19th century country village. Three early free-settler estates -Woolmers (1816), Panshangar (1821) and Brickendon (1824) - were developed by the dynastic Archer family, who arrived in 1813 and whose descendants still farm the area today.
Farmers were provided with free convict labour and used this to create grand reminders of their English heritage.
Woolmers Estate is regarded as the most authentic remaining example of an Australian pioneer farm. More recently it has established a National Rose Garden, with more than 4,000 roses on display.
Nearby are antique galleries, a good bakery, and art and craft shops, including one that specialises in dolls' houses and miniatures. Longford is a short 20-minute drive (24 kilometres/15 miles) south west of Launceston.