Historic buildings at 1702 Midlands Highway Bagdad

This land was once part of a large aggregation owned by George Armytage (1795-1862) and known as "Milford". The two sandstone buildings were almost certainly built by Armytage who had emigrated to Sydney in 1815 from England and shortly afterwards settled in Tasmania. Armytage, a free settler who had engineering training, spent some time in Hobart before being granted 500 acres at Bagdad in 1817. Here he improved the land, principally for wheat growing, with success as he was later granted a further 1000 acres. Around 1822 he and his wife moved permanently to Bagdad where he subsequently built a mill to enable him and others to grind flour from wheat grown locally. The mill was originally powered by a water wheel from the Bagdad rivulet. Around 1834 Armytage built a second mill which was well described in the paper of the day. The water wheel driving this mill was an immense structure around 40 feet in diameter. Both mills would have been in close proximity to the two buildings briefly described below. The two sandstone buildings were built around 1830 and can roughly be described as a stable and a storage barn. The stone is similar to that used in "Milford Manor" just to the north.Where the stone was quarried is unknown.

The Stable.

Constructed of stone and locally made bricks with a loft and wooden floor. The exterior is stone with the front or western entrance of dressed stone. The interior is solid stone to within a metre of the loft floor where brick has been used. The feed boxes have been removed but part of the hand operated window shutters are still in place. The building has some weathering damage on the northern side but is in remarkably good condition. The stable and barn are both built on a plinth of stone walling around two metres deep. There are no ancillary buildings in place for wagon storage etc.


The Barn.

The larger of the two buildings is a mixture of sandstone and brick walling in the interior while the exterior is of solid stone. The northern entrance is dressed stone. The barn had two large wooden doors set in the north and south walls which would have allowed horse drawn drays to access the building. It may have been a storage point for Armytage's milling enterprise. The barn had no loft floor although large supporting beams still in place were almost certainly used for floor supports in the past. However it is unlikely they were used for that purpose in this building and may have been recycled at an early stage from Hobart . The barn has been converted to self contained accommodation by the current owners.