Saturday, 23 February 2008

Gentle Annie Falls - Pipeline Track

Wtare channel carved from the rock (dolerite) at Gentle Annie Falls, Waterworks Reserve, Hobart, Tasmania - 16th February 2008From the sign below Gentle Annie Falls at the Waterworks Reserve.

Before the Europeans came to Tasmania in 1803-04, these mountain foothills were visited by Palawa people. They came here hunting game, but never travelled far from natural water sources. These two factors – food and water – determined the seasonal travel patterns of the Palawa.

Settlers were more demanding. As soon as they landed on western Derwent shores they had to think about a water supply for a growing community. An early supply from Hobart Rivulet was limited by the size of the rivulet and by property owners exercising prior rights. In 1860 the Hobart Town Corporation decided to tap the water from Mt Wellington’s southeastern slopes. As you walk the Pipeline Track you can see evidence of changing construction techniques along the Pipeline Track with improving water management technologies. The first stages of construction (1861) used wooden and masonry troughing. Extensions and redevelopment use earthenware pipes (1873), cast iron pipes (1901) and steel and concrete pipes (from 1917).

If you look up at the stone outcrop you can see a channel cut into the natural sandstone, where water from the mountain cascaded down to the Upper Reservoir at Waterworks Reserve. The cascade soon became known as Gentle Annie Falls (possibly after “Gentle Annie” in the Irish folk song), a name which it has kept even [though] it has been dry since about 1940 when its water was re-directed to the higher-level Ridgeway Reservoir.

Part of the water channel and works below Gentle Annie Falls, Waterworks Reserve, Hobart, Yasmania - 16th February 2008The local sandstone was also used for other pipeline works, including the stone aqueducts built at Fern Tree in 1881.To the right of the channel you can see a quarry from where building stone was cut.

From Hobart City Council sign: The Pipeline Interpretation Project. An initiative of the Fern Tree Community Association, supported by the Hobart City Council. Original research by Lindy Scripps.


Michael said...

We were taken by our teacher to see this waterfall in the mid '50s; I'm sure it was in full spate then. We were told that the falls were named after a young girl who had fallen into an open section of the pipeline and ended up mangled and shredded in the sinister hut near the road at the edge of the reservoir (now a picnic shelter). The brick "hut" was full of dark, seething, roiling, evil-looking water from the fall (so it MUST have been flowing strongly at the time). I was told this story more than 50 years ago. The horror of it has remained with me ever since. Was the teacher just spinning a yarn ? If so, thanks a bunch, "Seedy"; this is about all I have remembered from your English lessons !

Herrien said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea

Herrien said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea

Dean Goss said...

I apologize for coming in a day (er...8 1/2 years...) late and a dollar short. I'm wrapping up my Tasmanian waterfall research for World Waterfall Database. Just yesterday, I read an old article found in a Tassie Newspaper archive that mentioned the accidental death. The victim was presumed to have suffered a heart attack as her autopsy found her lungs were not filled with water. The victim presumably fell into the water sluice and was pinned in a narrow shaft. The caretaker noticed the falls had stopped flowing one evening and the next day, the cause was discovered. My apologies for the morbid details.

Mark said...

Better late than never! Interesting find there Dean. I'm assuming there's no sign of the mangling of Gentle Annie as reported by Michael.