Brickendon Farm Village, dating from 1824, and the Woolmers Estate, are regarded as the most significant rural estates in Australia having the second largest number of convict workers and still retaining a living history from early European settlement to the present day.  

Brickendon offers visitors an opportunity to visit its Convict Interpretation Centre to learn about the Assignment convict system and how it impacted on the development of Van Diemen's Land. Female convicts were assigned to work as unpaid domestic servants at Brickendon, while male convicts worked the farm or at their trades, such as blacksmithing in the farm village blacksmith's shop.

Website: https://brickendon.com.au/

Address: 236 Wellington St, Longford TAS 7301

 

Campbell Street Gaol, along with the Penitentiary Chapel and Law Courts, is a significant historical penal site in Tasmania.  The Campbell Street Gaol was erected in 1857 to replace the original Hobart Town Gaol, erected in 1816 on the corner of Macquarie and Murray Streets. The Campbell Street site had been the location of the old convict barracks, the former House of Correction and is also the site of the Penitentiary Chapel erected in 1833, which included thirty-six solitary confinement cells beneath the Penitentiary chapel floor, which were later declared inhuman.  The site is run by the National Trust of Tasmania with guided tours available of the courtrooms and underground tunnels, the chapel, the remaining solitary cells, and still-working gallows.

Address: Campbell St &, Brisbane St, Hobart TAS 7000

Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/penitentiary/

 

Campbell Town and the Convict Brick Trail. The trail is located on the footpath in High St, Campbell Town and commences outside the historic premises known as the Fox Hunters Return which is adjacent to the Red Bridge. It extends along both sides of the CBD. It is dedicated to some of the nearly 200,000 convicts who were transported to Australia for almost 100 years from 1788 onwards.

Website

 

Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is the most significant site associated with female convicts in Australia, it is listed as one of the 11 sites that together form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property, inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2010.

Address: 16 Degraves Street, South Hobart, Tasmania

Website

 

Footsteps Towards Freedom Sculptures in the forecourt of MACq 01 on the Hobart Waterfront by Rowan Gillespie honouring the convict women transported to Van Diemen’s Land and the children who sailed with them.

Address: 1 Macquarie Street, Hobart, Tasmania.

Website

 

From the Shadows statues. The statues, created by renown Irish sculpter, Rown Gillespie, will include two female convicts for the World Heritage Cascades Female Factory in South Hobart and two of children, a boy and a girl, for the heritage-listed Orphan Schools in New Town. The first statue, female convict ‘Martha Gregory’ has been installed in Degraves Street, South Hobart, opposite the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site. The second statue at the Cascades Female Factory will be installed after renovations at the site have been completed. The statues of the convict boy and girl have arrived and are waiting to be installed.

 

George Town Female Factory site.   There is nothing left of the site, however the town's Watch House now operates as a museum housing a model village, female factory display and changing exhibitions.

The George Town Female Factory operated between c1822 and c1834. When it closed the inmates were removed to the newly opened Launceston Female Factory.

 

Launceston Female Factory opened in November 1834, at the time the George Town Female Factory closed, and operated as a female factory until 1855 when administration of the institution was handed over to the local authorities. It then operated as a gaol from 1855 until 1914 when it was demolished to make way for the building of Launceston High School (now Launceston College).

Archaeological digs at the gaol site have found internal walls separating the cells that held women, men and condemned prisoners, as well as relics from the gaol's past.

Address: 107-119 Paterson St, Launceston TAS 7250

 

Longford Gaol, built around 1836, was located behind the present-day site of the Northern Midlands Council Building at 13 Smith Street, Longford.  The old gaol building was demolished in 1939, leaving behind the gaol walls. 

The area became the Police District of Norfolk Plains around 1826 with the town of Norfolk Plains re-named Latour, then renamed again in 1833 to Longford.  

While the Longford Gaol has been demolished, the town of Longford has many buildings of historical significance dating back to 1830.  Free convict labour was used to build many of the buildings and to provide labour on nearby farming estates.

Address:  Smith Street, Longford, Tasmania.

See also the Norfolk Plains Heritage Centre: 234 Clarendon Lodge Rd, Nile TAS 7212

 

Macquarie Harbour Convict Settlement operated between 1822 and 1833.  The headquarters of the settlement was placed on Sarah Island in the south eastern corner of the harbour about 25 miles up the harbour.  Male convicts were quartered on Sarah Island, while female convicts were quartered on Grunnet Island, a small island half mile distant from Sarah Island.  In total just over 1150 prisoners served time at Macquarie Harbour, while researchers place the number of women at fewer than thirty.

Further Information: https://parks.tas.gov.au/explore-our-parks/sarah-island

 

New Norfolk Asylum.  A hospital was built at New Norfolk in 1829. From 1833 until 200-2001, it operated as a hospital for those who were mentally ill. A number of female convicts were admitted to the New Norfolk Asylum for the Insane, either under sentence or when they were emancipated. Several died there.

Address: The Avenue, New Norfolk TAS 7140

Website

 

Oatlands Gaol, built in 1837, and was part of the former Government precinct in the Police District of Oatlands.  The Gaol contained separate women's yard and quarters along with solitary confinement cells.  During the Probation period a hiring depot operated out of the old military barracks.

Oatlands was established as a military garrison in 1827 and was the primary military outpost in inland Tasmania. Over the next decade, close to 90 buildings were constructed in the town using convict labour, including the court house, soldiers’ barracks, watch house, and officers’ quarters.

Most of the gaol buildings were demolished in 1937, however the Southern Midlands Council are undertaking conservation and remedial works, along with an interpretation trail.

Website: https://www.southernmidlands.tas.gov.au/oatlands-gaol/

 

Orphan Schools: King's Orphan Schools, Queen's Orphan Schools, New Town Charitable Institution 1828-1879.

The Orphan Schools buildings, constructed between 1831 and 1833, and St John's Church, built in 1834 form the nucleus of the St. John's Park Precinct, which has expanded over the years to incorporate a number of late nineteenth and twentieth century buildings in a range of architectural styles. The precinct also comprises two disused burial sites and plantings of historic significance which date from the 1840s.

Address:  St. John's Avenue, New Town, Tasmania

Website

 

Richmond Gaol is a convict era building and tourist attraction in Richmond, Tasmania, and is the oldest intact gaol in Australia. Building of the gaol commenced in 1825, and predates the establishment of the penal colony at Port Arthur in 1833.  The Richmond gaol has the only surviving example of a female solitary confinement cell.

Address: 37 Bathurst St, Richmond TAS 7025
Website
 

Ross Female Factory, erected in 1833,  is located in the village of Ross in the midlands of Tasmania. Although little remains of the Ross Female Factory, the site, located just outside the picturesque township of Ross in Tasmania’s Midlands, holds a symbolic place in Tasmania’s convict history.  It is one of four female workhouses established in Van Diemen's Land. The Ross Female Factory historic site is managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service and the Tasmanian Wool Centre of Ross. You can visit the Overseer's Cottage and look at the display including a model of the Female Factory in 1851.

Address: 2 Portugal Street, Ross, Tasmania.

Website

 

Woolmers Estate is an historical farming estate located in Longford, Tasmania, founded in 1817 by prominent grazier and member of parliament Thomas Archer. It consists of an 82ha property, including a two-part manor house, coach house, the National Rose Garden, extensive outbuildings and convict cottages and formal gardens.  Female convict servants were housed in the attic rooms above the main residence.

Woolmers, together with the neighbouring Archer property, Brickendon, is one of eleven historic sites that form the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property. Woolmers & Brickendon were recognised jointly for their ability to convey the story of the convict Assignment System, which operated in Van Diemen’s Land until 1840.

At Woolmers visitors can experience colonial life in its most genuine shape and see an accurate depiction of Tasmanian heritage, preserved and maintained in an original and authentic setting. 

Address: 658 Woolmers Lane, Longford, Tasmania. Australia

Website: https://www.woolmers.com.au/

 
 
 

Further Resources:

 

Virtual Hobart Town by John Stephenson  (Highly recommended).
 
Libraries Tasmania Convict Portal Map
 
Convict places : a guide to Tasmanian sites by Michael Nash  (paperback, available from selected bookstores).
 
National Trust Tas. Hobart Convict Penitentiary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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For academic referencing (suggestion only) Database: [http address], FCRC Female Convicts in Van Diemen’s Land database, entry for xxxx ID no xxx, accessed [date].

For academic referencing (suggestion only) Website:  Female Convicts Research Centre Inc., accessed [date] from [http address].