Forth, Tasmania

Forth is a small village in north-west Tasmania on the Forth River, 11 kilometres (7 mi) west of Devonport and 110 kilometres (68 mi) north-west of Launceston via the Bass Highway. Forth has a population of about 711.[1] Previously known as Hamilton-on-Forth, the village predates the larger settlement of Devonport.[2] Nearby is the Forthside Dairy Research Facility run by the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research.

The Bridge Hotel in Forth
Coordinates41°12′S 146°15′E
Population711 (2016 census)[1]
LGA(s)Central Coast Council
State electorate(s)Braddon
Federal Division(s)Braddon


James Fenton, a young man of Irish descent came to the Forth estuary in 1839 in search of arable land. Assisted by his hired male companion, he erected the first European edifice in the district, and in 1840 returned to take up permanent settlement. He was soon to be followed by Andrew Risby, his wife and young family and a handful of other settlers seeking a new life.[3]

Fenton expended large sums of money attempting to drain the estuarine swamplands which he hoped would produce ideal cropping fields. This venture failed and he resorted to moving further inland to the rich, although heavily timbered soils of the sloping ground to the west. Fenton is attributed to introducing the practice of ring-barking the large eucalyptus trees to allow light to penetrate the forest floor where the first domestic crops were grown. The district produced fine crops of potatoes in those early years.[3]

Forth Post Office opened on 12 May 1856 (it was known as Hamilton On Forth between 1868 and 1876).[4]

Notable people


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Forth (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  2. Forth, The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 February 2004.
  3. F. C. Green, Fenton, James (1820 - 1901), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, Melbourne University Press, 1972, pp 162-163.
  4. Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 16 June 2012.

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