The very first person to locate here was A.W.H. Humphrey who, following a controversial marriage to Harriett Sutton the daughter of a convict Sydney storekeeper, was given land in the Derwent Valley in 1812. This he named Humphreyville.
In 1814 Humphrey had been designated a magistrate, and subsequently Superintendent of Police leaving Harriett to manage the land. When Humphrey past away in 1829, Harriett inherited Humphreyville and efficiently farmed the land.
In 1850, Elizabeth and William Blyth with their 14 children, 8 daughters and 6 sons, all taught by Elizabeth, settled into Humphreyville altering its title to Bushy Park in memory of Bushy Park in England, and built Roslyn House to accommodate his large family.
Ebenezer Shoobridge purchased Bushy Park in 1867 with his brother Robert Shoobridge and introduced hops which his father, William Shoobridge, first brought to Tasmania from Kent in 1822.
The distinguished octagonal ‘Text Kiln’ designed by Shoobridge was finished in 1867. The Text Kiln was also used for Sunday church services with stone tablets in the brickwork displaying biblical texts. Shoobridge attracted inspiration from the scriptures and was a keen educator of others in the value of religion. When you visit, it is well worth having a read of those chosen texts.
The Shoobridge family farmed the area until 1970 when overproduction caused problems and by 1980 all the established hop properties were joined as one to create the Bushy Park Estates. In 1988 the current proprietors of the property, Haas Investments, bought the property from Elders IXL. John Elliott who owned Elders IXL, had a private air strip to the back of Roslyn House and regularly stayed at Roslyn House.
At the rear of Bushy Park is a 3 km water race made by William Shoobridge, another of Ebenezer's sons, that takes water from a dam on the Styx River to the Oast House past the back of Hawthorn Lodge. The water was utilised to move a big waterwheel that produced electricity to dry the hops. It is reported that Bushy Park had electricity before Hobart.
Each year Shoobridge conducted a strawberry banquet at Bushy Park for his workers at the hopbarn. The end of the hop picking finished with a Kentish hop festival with poles garlanded with hops and bedecked with colourful laces and ribbons carried about in a procession in the middle of chaotic cheering. A meal with singing and music brought the night to its close.
The Bushy Park Estates now cover over 200 hectares and expect to expand in coming years. The research station is a leading hop research station and at the forefront of new variety breeding.
Bushy Park now boasts the largest hop processing plant in the southern hemisphere and HPA exports hops to 25 countries.
Local brewer Cascade takes the first harvest hops to craft a unique tasting full-flavoured beer each year.