Claremont: Hobart's Garden Suburb

Claremont, 15 km from Hobart on the city's northern fringes, takes its name from local settler Henry Bilton s Claremont House, which was built in the 1830s and which, in turn, was named in honour of one of the royal homes of England. An Army training facility operated here during World War I, but this was moved to Brighton some time before World War II. At that time Claremont there were only a few houses and farms.

Now a suburb of Hobart, Claremont owes its origins to the Cladbury chocolate factory at the locality. After World War I, British confectionery manufacturer Cadbury merged with J S Fry and then Pascall to become Cadbury-Fry and Pascall. The new company, ready for expansion internationally, decided to build a factory in Australia since Cadbury's first overseas order had come from Australia back in 1881 and Australia has developed into an important market for the company. Claremont was the chosen for the factory site because it is close to the city of Hobart, has a good source of inexpensive hydro-electricity and, importantly, a plentiful supply of high-quality fresh milk. The factory was established on the company's 100 hectare site in 1921 and production commenced in 1922. It has 18 heritage-listed buildings on the site and has had two multi-million dollar upgrades since 2001.

The Cadbury complex at Claremont on Windemere Bay is built on the same model as Bournville, Cadbury's original model village. George Cadbury started the Bournville housing estate near Birmingham, England, in 1895 with the idea that he could provide a positive and healthy working environment for his employees. He believed that good housing and the welfare of his workforce would illustrate the benefits for the good of society. His philosophy was that the model village he created to house his workers and their families would 'alleviate the evils of modern more cramped living conditions'.

In 1900, the Bournville Village Trust was set up to formally control the development of the estate, independently of George Cadbury or the Cadbury company. By 1900 the estate included 313 cottages and houses set on 330 acres of land. These almost 'Arts and crafts' houses were traditional in design but with large gardens and modern interiors, and were designed by the resident architect William Alexander Harvey. These designs became a blueprint for many other model village estates around Britain. It is also noteworthy that, because George Cadbury was a Quaker, no public houses have ever been built in Bournville, although since the late 1940s there has been a licenced members bar at Rowheath Pavilion.

George Cadbury and his brother Richard then moved their chocolate business from the centre of the city of Birmingham to Bournville which was a greenfield site at the time. This allowed for careful planning and landscaping of the environment, ensuring the prosperity and comfortable living conditions that residents enjoy today in this most pleasant part of Birmingham. Like Bournville, the original Claremont village was designed on the garden suburb principle, which abondoned the traditional British gird pattern of street design, for winding avenues and crescents interspersed with parks and natural reserves. Personnel associated with Cadburys and the development of Claremont and the company's products were honoured in the naming of Claremont's streets. These include Cadbury, Pascall, Macrobertsons, Somersale, Mitcham, Moreton, Cherry and Linden.

Between the 1960s and the 1980s, public housing was built in the suburb (as happened in the rest of the City of Glenorchy, in which Claremont is located).

After bringing pleasure to chocolate lovers for five decades, the institution of the Cadbury's chocolate factory tours has ended. New health and safety regulations adopted by Cadbury-Schweppes globally led to the discontinuation of the tours.

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A "Cadbury" house in the original Claremont village built by Cadburys