Sunday, April 8, 2012

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station

Low Head Pilot Station is the oldest group of pilot buildings in Australia. It is the second oldest pilot service (after Sydney).

 The pilot service dates from 1805, with the appointment of William House as Harbour Master at Port Dalrymple, and the first building on the site was probably in 1806.

 The pilot service still operates from this site today.

The first European settlers to arrive in the Tamar Valley came with Lieutenant Colonel William Paterson in November 1804.

 They landed and set up camp at Outer Cove (now George Town), established their settlement at York Town on the West Tamar, and in 1806 moved to Launceston.

The Tamar River is a dangerous estuary with a complicated navigation channel which has always required the help of pilots.

The oldest building on the site is Pilots’ Row.

 It was a terrace of four apartments, each with four rooms, to house the pilots and their families.

 It dates from 1835 and was designed by John Lee Archer, the colonial Architect. It replaced earlier wooden pilot buildings.

As the station grew other buildings were added. These include the Coxwain’s Cottage (1847), Boat Crew Cottages (1859, 1860, 1861, 1962), the School House (1866), Pilot’s Cottage (1917), Church, Octagonal Chart Room, Workshop and Boat Shed.

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