Undated postcard of Sorell (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)
Sorell was first explored by European parties from Risdon Cove in 1803. Fertile lands were discovered and a large expanse of water located, known as Pitt Water. By 1808 several farmers had settled in the area, which became the 'granary of Australia', and a flourmill was later built. In 1819 a site was purchased for the township, which in 1821 was named Sorell after the governor. A school opened in 1821, and the Anglican church was built soon after. In 1862 the municipal council was proclaimed. Causeways were built between Cambridge, Midway Point and Sorell in 1874, vastly improving transport to the area, previously by ship. A railway line was constructed between Bellerive and Sorell in 1892, but closed in 1926.
Sorell remains an agricultural area of mixed farming, vineyards and fruit growing, with chicken processing and tank manufacturing in an industrial area.