Sorell

Sorell (including Midway Point)
Service township for the surrounding farming communities
Located 26 km east of Hobart on the Arthur Highway, Sorell is a service town for the surrounding farming communities. It lies in the heart of an area which was once the grain capital of Van Diemen's Land and which now specialises in sheep, mixed farming and dairy produce.

The Sorell district was explored in 1805 by Lieutenant Governor Collins. It was Collins who named the shallow stretch of water between Sorell and Midway Point, Pittwater after the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Pitt. The name Pittwater was given to the whole district until 1821 when the settlement was named after Lieutenant Governor William Sorell (Governor of Van Diemen's Land - April 1817 - May 1824).

It is ironic that Sorell, whose success as a Governor was partly based on his success in suppressing the bushranging on the island, should have given his name to a town which was subsequently held up the bushranger Matthew Brady. Brady and his gang managed to catch the local soldiers by surprise and with a good sense of irony and humour they locked the soldiers up and set the prisoners free.

From the first settlement of the area in 1815 until the 1860s Sorell was known as the most important grain centre in Van Diemen's Land. It was so productive that some years grain was actually shipped out to New South Wales.

In 1874, at a cost of £27 000 the 5 km causeway across Pittwater linking Sorell to Midway Point and Midway Point to Hobart was completed. It had taken six years and was primarily designed to link Port Arthur with Hobart. Sorell happened to be a lucky beneficiary.

Things to see:

Historic churches
There are three National Estate listed churches in Sorell. Of the three St George's Anglican Church in Gordon Street is the most impressive. Built in 1826 and rebuilt in 1883 this small and attractive stone, gothic style church is an impressive part of the town centre.

Scot's Church (1842) in Arthur Street is described in the National Estate Register as 'A sandstone Romanesque Revival church, built in 1842 to a design by James Blackburn, with gabled roof, a central tall square tower, semi-circular arch-topped entrance and buttresses. Windows are tall and multi-paned, with arched tops, and simple, engaged columns at the sides. The northern facade has a fine, central recessed window, and flanking columns in relief. An unusual stone church which is a fine example of Blackburn's work.' It is an interesting church but this description tends to make it sound much better than it is.

The Roman Catholic Church, which is over the road from Scot's, is a small and simple sandstone Gothic Revival building.

Gordon Highlander Hotel
26 Cole St
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2416

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Pembroke Hotel
29 Gordon St
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2442

Blue Bell Inn Bed & Breakfast
26 Somerville St
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2804
Rating: ***

Cherry Park Bed & Breakfast
114 Pawleena Rd
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2271
Rating: ***

Flimby Bed & Breakfast
Rosendale Rd
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2979
Rating: ****

Sweet Magnolia Cottage
7 Gordon St
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 3377
Rating: ****

Blue Bell Inn Restaurant
26 Somerville St
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2804

Sorell Cafe
16 Cole St
Sorell TAS 7172
Telephone: (03) 6265 2940

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