Historic Hotel near Hobart turning 200

Historic Boutique Hobart Hotel embraces the graceful hospitality of yesteryear

Historic hotel near Hobart embraces the graceful hospitality of yesteryear, but with all modern conveniences.


Historic hotels near Hobart or in Hobart are not that uncommon. But Woodbridge has an edge, in fact several edges.

  • it has an absolute riverfront location
  • all guests are accommodated in the original historic building, not in annexes as in most of Tasmania’s  historic hotels
  • Woodbridge turns 200 in 2025 and as such is one of the oldest buildings in Tasmania, and indeed in Australia



Woodbridge turns 200 in 2025


Woodbridge was built by the first Chief Constable, Thomas Roadknight in 1825 at a cost of over 1000 pounds. The Roadknights had numerous interests in the valley, including the property Ivanhoe, and the bakery in Bothwell.


Thomas Roadknight was later jailed for shooting a servant and sent to Sarah Island.



Woodbridge has a rich history


On his return in 1831, he sold Woodbridge to George Lindley> For a short time, it then functioned as an academy for young gentlemen, known as Richmond Hill Academy. Woodbridge was then offered for sale again in 1833. The purchased was the Assistant Surveyor General, William Stanley Sharland, the purchase price 750 pounds.


The Sharland family had been amongst the first arrivals to Van Diemen’s Land. William Stanley Sharland married another first settler, Miss Sarah Schaw. They had a large family of four sons and seven daughters, all of whom grew up at Woodbridge.


While Sharland lived at Woodbridge he took a keen interest in all colonial affairs. An energetic man, he also played a leading role in agricultural and pastoral farming in the Derwent Valley. In 1857, at the age of 56 years, he was elected MLC for the County of Cumberland. He later represented New Norfolk in the House of Assembly.


Upon his death in 1877, Woodbridge passed to his eldest son, William Cockburn Sharland. Like his father, William Cockburn devoted himself to the development of his Derwent Valley properties. Clara and William Cockburn Sharland had five daughters and one son and in 1905. When they decided that the children should be educated abroad, Woodbridge was again sold.


Thereafter Woodbridge passed from one owner to the other, falling gradually into disrepair. In the 1970’s Woodbridge’s glorious outbuildings and Dutch barn, collectively know as Alloway Banks, were demolished. Why?  To make way for the roundabout of the new bridge.



The Restoration


By 2003, when the Grimley’s first saw Woodbridge, it was dilapidated and decaying.


They decided that there was there was demand for a an historic hotel near Hobart, but not IN Hobart, The Derwent Valley is Hobart’s natural hinterland, so the location of Woodbridge was ideal.


Thus began the 2 year complete restoration.


The restoration has returned Woodbridge to its former glory. And it again offers the warm and elegant hospitality for which it was renowned.

2025 will be the 20 year anniversary of the restoration, which won the 2005 HIA Restoration of the Year, Tasmania. The property then went on to win the 2006 Australian Restoration of the Year.