N for Nomenclature of the municipality

Many places in Tasmania are named after English towns, rivers and mountains. But let’s look at Sorell municipality to find out how places were named. I have used a few sources:

  1. Pretyman Index – found in Libraries Tasmania – can search online by clicking my link
  2. Where in Tasmania? A compilation of place names and their histories in Tasmania – in two parts A-K and L-Z
  3. Tasplaces : over 16 000 Tasmanian placenames and where to find them – reference book found in many Tasmanian Libraries
  4. Tasmanian nomenclature: the place-names of the state : record of origins and dates / compiled by ‘Nomen’. – pamphlet found in the reading room in Hobart library
  5. A dictionary of Tasmanian place-names 1993 – found in the reading room in Hobart library
  6. Australian Dictionary of Biography – found online
  7. Newspaper link from Trove


  • Sorell –  in honour of Lieutenant Governor Sorell by Lachlan Macquarie
  • Forcett – named after the home of James Gordon
  • Dunalley –  named by Captain Bayly (Army) after Lord Dunalley from whom he received his commission
  • Dodges Ferry – named after Ralph Dodge who ran a ferry in the area
  • Lewisham – named after Dr Arndell family – Norman papers
  • Nugent – originally part of Carlton Scrub, then divided into Ringarooma and Weedy Hills, then Nugent
  • Midway Point – formerly known as Middle Point
  • Orielton – Edward Lord married into the Owen family who owned property at Orielton, Wales
  • Copping – originally Coppington after Captain Richard Copping


  • Carlton River – Baudin named the place River Brue in honour of one of his officers. Matthew Flinders later mistakenly marked it as Carlton River and this named was used for the district.
  • Iron Creek – known as Iron Rivulet in Meehan’s Field Books in 1803
  • Bream Creek – black or silver bream caught there – mentioned in 1830 newspaper articles
  • Norfolk Bay – Baudin named it Port Buache, then Flinders named it Norfolk Bay after his schooner
  • Frederick Henry Bay – named Baie du Nord by D’Entrecasteaux (1792), Henshaw’s Bay by Hayes (1794) then its present name by Flinders (1798)
  • Marion Bay – named in 1802 by a member of Baudin ‘s expedition in honour of the French navigator Marion du Fresne

Many of the hills or mountains are named after early settlers of the district.

Hills: Dunbabins, Heans, Pearces, Dixons, Haytons, Steeles, Lesters, Bedelphs and Allanbys

  • Mt Elizabeth – after James Gordon’s wife
  • Gordon Sugarloaf – probably named after James Gordon
  • Ragged Tier –  between Copping and Bream Creek, named for the saw tooth look of the mountains
  • Wykeholm Hill – related to Anthony Wyke Steele owning property called Wykeholm
  • Ephraim Ridge – Ephraim Newitt – owner of property in the area
  • Wettenhall Flats – named after Lieutenant Robert Wettenhall

Readers: Do you know the origin of the following places in the municipality?

  • Mother Browns Bonnet
  • Kellevie
  • Pickety Hill
  • Spankers Hill

4 thoughts on “N for Nomenclature of the municipality

  1. Please include tipina, the Tasmanian Aboriginal name for the Midway Point peninsula. Recorded by George Augustus Robinson in the 1830s, it is the only documented Aboriginal place name in the Sorell district.

    “The only word recorded for ‘the long point at the west side of the inlet to Pittwater River’. Robinson noted it is an Oyster Bay language word; the place is within the territory of the Oyster Bay people. The narrow stretch of water between Sorell and Midway Point was named Pittwater in the early 1800s. The whole district was named Pittwater until 1821 when the settlement there was named after Governor Sorell.”



  2. At the time of the first housing subdivision in 1956, Midway Point was called Medway Point, “originally named after the area in Kent, England, and later changed by the Nomenclature Board to Midway Point.”

    Margaret Prestedge, p101 Pitt Water Chronicles Vol 3

  3. Lieutenant Edward Lord did not marry into the Owen family. His mother was a member of the Owen family. His oldest brother changed his name from Lord to Owen to enable him to inherit her family’s fortune. He subsequently had some land grants given him though he never took up residence in the colony.

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