Richmond Bridge, over the Coal River in the Tasmanian town of Richmond, Australia, is reportedly haunted by George Grover's ghost and his ghost dog.
Background[edit | edit source]
Construction of the bridge began in 1823 and was completed in 1825. It is made out of sandstone transported from nearby quarry's and was constructed using convict labour. The bridge was originally called Bigges Bridge, after John Bigges who commissioned the bridge, but was later recalled Richmond Bridge after the town that was built up around it. The Bridge was part of the 'convict trail' between Hobart and Port Arthur and part of the main reason it was built was so that convicts could be moved to Port Arthur from Hobart quicker.
The bridge is still in use today and carries a small road over Coal River. It is a protected heritage site since it is widely believed that Richmond Bridge was the first bridge built in Australia, and there have been few changes since it opened in 1825.
George Grover[edit | edit source]
In 1829, George Grover was an ex-convict who had been sent to Australia from England for stealing. Grover was an aggressive and unlike-able man, which is part of the reason he was often put in chain gangs as a punishment. But by 1829 he had completed his 'Sentence' and was a free man, but he still stayed in the area and was employed by the authorities as a flagellator (Whip-bearer). In the same year, the colonial architect John Archer suggested that part of the bridge at Richmond be rebuilt. Convict labour was to be used again and Grover was put in charge of overseeing the convicts who's job it was to carry sandstone from the Quarry in butcher's hill. He was unbelievably cruel to the convicts and treated them as his own personal slaves. He would whip them even if they where not misbehaving and would sometimes make them drag trolley's of sandstone from the Quarry using rope whilst he would sit on top of the sandstone and whip them as if they where horses.
Grover's wicked behaviour made him hated among the convicts, but his work was seen as 'effective' by the authorities. Grover was given higher pay and more authority over more convicts. Every time he was given more power he grew to be more hated by the convicts, but Grover did not care about this since he enjoyed the power he could hold over the convicts and considered them lesser to him, he liked making them suffer. One night however, George Grover got drunk, He lived in a hut by a farm and was kicked out after bothering his neighbours. He then wandered through the town and eventually fell asleep on Richmond Bridge. The Convicts heard that Grover was drunk and had fallen asleep on the bridge and took this as an opportunity for revenge. They found Grover asleep on the Bridge and started to beat him up, Grover woke up but it was too late. He was struck on the head with a pickaxe and then thrown off the bridge, it is believed that he was alive until the impact of falling into the river killed him.
Hauntings[edit | edit source]
George Grover's ghost is said to haunt Richmond Bridge and the area around it. He is sometimes seen as a shadowy figure walking across the bridge or standing by the bridge, staring at people. Grover's ghost is even said to sometimes get aggressive towards people and has even been known to follow people home and haunt their houses for a while. Sometimes a small black dog, known as 'Grover's dog' is seen around the bridge as well. This dog is friendly and it is believed that the dog may be trying to warn people about the dangerous ghost of George Grover.