XL in Tasmania – Port Arthur
For my birthday this year, you may remember me mentioning, that I was going to Tasmania. It’s been nearly a month now, so I thought I’d share some photos. First up, i’m sharing Port Arthur!
For those of you who aren’t Australians, or former convicts, Port Arthur is a former Penal Colony. This is where the British sent the worst of their criminals, or re-peat offenders who didn’t learn their lesson. It opened in 1833!
This, the largest building, was originally the flour mill & granary, then later turned into the Penitentiary. The bottom 2 floors held 136 cells for ‘prisoners of bad character’ and the top 2 floors openly held 480 men, all in bunk beds. (Later down the post I have a picture of how small the cells on the bottom 2 floors were).
The hallway of ‘The Seperate Prison’. Prisoners were stripped of identity and given a number. They were then kept in these small rooms for 23 hours a day. This picture HERE shows what their exercise yards looked like.
This is the chapel in the separate prison. They were rows upon rows of, basically, standing boxes. You could not see anything of anyone next to you, you could only see straight ahead. I barely fitted into one!
This was the Junior medical officers house. Looking inside some of the old houses, which they had done up to look how they would have was amazing. They certainly lived differently in 1848, when this place was built. The house area was quite grand, with the kitchen/scullery being in separate buildings behind the house.
A former kitchen!
This church was a thing to behold. It was HUGE! And to think these held glass! Built in 1837, these pictures don’t really do it justice. That window there, I think was around 18ft tall!
LEFT: This shows the cells from the Penitentiary. The ceiling was RIGHT above the window. They had two shelves, which you can see, on what was both levels of the individual cells. So tiny!
The Government Gardens were really beautiful, especially when the sun it it the right way. This was an area for the others that lived/worked here, to have a peaceful place away from any convicts.
This is the site of the former Broad Arrow Cafe where the 1996 Port Arthur Massacre occurred. I was along whilst I walked in here, and around the memorial garden, and it made the hairs stand on the back of my neck. I sat by the reflection pool and felt such sorrow.
To see such old and beautiful buildings still standing, despite the weather & numerous fires, is quite amazing. I’d love to go back again and do the boat trip, and maybe one of the ghost tours, but as it was, I had an amazing time just exploring.
Have you been to Port Arthur?