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The Watch House

Open all year from 10am to 4pm Mon - Fri and 12pm to 2pm Sat - Sun.  Adults $3 and children free.

The Watch House opened in 1843 and served as George Town’s gaol, containing one male cell and one female cell. After a long period without use the building was converted into museum and opened in 2004. The museum is a joint venture between George Town Council and the George Town and District Historical Society.

Family History

The volunteers at the Watch House all have experience in helping people research their ancestry. The family history room contains records and documents about the George Town area dating back to the early 19th century.  The colonisation of Tasmania by free settlers and convicts is one of the most well recorded periods in history and it is believed nearly every European who arrived here has been recorded. By combining these early records with modern birth, marriage and death records, researchers have been able to connect people alive today with those early settlers. This research has revealed that 75% of people living in the Tamar Valley are directly related to one of the 70,000 men, women and children transported to Van Diemen’s land as convicts between 1803 and 1853.

Model Village

European settlers arrived with everything they needed to create George Town, including tools, glass windowpanes, basic furniture, seeds and livestock.  Using the plan laid down by Governor Macquarie after his visit in 1811, George Town quickly grew into a regional centre with many modern amenities of a Georgian town.  The model village recreates this era in amazing detail and it brilliantly portrays the daily life of early George Town.


A section of the Watch House has been committed to creating a permanent gallery space. The gallery has been used for historic displays and exhibitions of crafts and artworks.  If you are interested in curating your own exhibition then please contact George Town Council.

Future Gallery Displays:



1st April - 31st May 2012

Margaret & Peter Forscutt

1st June - 31st July 2012

Sot the Spots - NSW Challenge Quilts 2010

Get help researching your Tasmanian ancestry
Wonderful model villages full of stories and history
Watch House Gallery