Location: Macquarie Street, Hobart.
Franklin Square is a pleasant, oak-lined park in the centre of Hobart, diagonally opposite the Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre. A statue of Sir John Franklin stands at its centre. He was Governor of Van Diemen's Land from 1837 until 1843, and was also a polar explorer. He perished while trying to locate the North-West Passage. Franklin Square and Hobart Town Hall were built on the site of the former government house of Tasmania.
The Square, a public park-like open space located between the Hobart CBD and Sullivans Cove, is set on the Macquarie Street ridge, and contains significant historic buildings that constitute Hobart's most intact Georgian-Victorian precinct. The presence of older deciduous trees, English elms and Tilias around 150 years old contribute strongly to Franklin Square s character. There is a single Tree of Heaven and a sprinkling of medium sized evergreen New Zealand trees to the east of the central paving.
The Sir John Franklin monument is located centrally on a tall block of stone within a formal and elaborately shaped water basin. A statue of Dr William Crowther is located on a large sandstone plinth facing towards the west Macquarie entrance to the Square, adjacent to an entry path. An additional statue, King Edward VII, is located outside Franklin Square, in the footpath of Macquarie Street, almost in alignment with the Sir John Franklin statue. It is situated on the extreme kerb of the footpath.
An outdoor Chess Board is a relatively large area of paving 15 m x 15 m located behind the Franklin fountain. Oversize chess pieces are moved on a board 4m x 4 m, the board is bordered by box-shaped chess seats in which the chess pieces are stored at night. The chess board was constructed by Sandy Bay Lions Club in 1960 and used timber (for the seats which store chess pieces) was donated by IXL.
The Apex Wishing Well is located on the perimeter of the central area, the well is the scale and finish of a domestic garden feature, with a fresh sandstone appearance. The park has public toilets.
Governor Lachlan Macquarie was the first Hobart Town in 1811, when he laid out a large area including what is now Franklin Square and named it George s Square in honor of the King. He intended it to be the site of a church, a court house, a town hall, a public market, a main guard and public garrison parade area. From 1817, regular musters were held there, segregated so that free was established as an open space between 1863 and 1866.