Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Red Feather Inn, Hadspen

The Red Feather Inn is a heritage listed building in Hadspen's main street. It was built as a coaching inn and in the 21st century has been used for a restaurant and accommodation. The building's frontage is a substantial sandstone single-storey building. Land falls away sharply from the street and the building's rear has two-storeys.

Rising affluence in the 1840s had enabled growth of the coach transport industry. When built the Red Feather Inn was the first horse-change point on the road from Launceston, 8 miles (13 km) away, to Deloraine, and it was one of the colony's earliest coaching inns. It was built, starting in 1842, for local police magistrate Charles Arthur. It was built by John Sprunt, also builder of Macquarie House in Launceston's civic square, using convict hewn sandstone blocks and convict labour.

The inn was first licensed in 1844 and was at first successful. In only a few decades its fortunes declined when a rail line was built from Launceston, reaching nearby Carrick in 1869.  The economy of rail transport took goods and passengers away, forcing wagons from the road. This reduced the demand for coaching inns, and led to a general decline in traffic through and business in the town.

As of 2004 it was run as a restaurant and, after a 2008 refurbishment, has been used for accommodation and a cooking school.

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