Port Arthur Prison was established in 1830 as a timber camp that used prisoners as convict labor. Only three years later it became a punishment station for repeat offenders.
The Church was a mandatory part of convict life in Port Arthur. Prisoners and guards attended church every Sunday and this church had a capacity of 1100 people. That's a lot of praying.
Much of the stonework found on the church was created by the Point Puer Boys Prison.
Leading up to the Church is the Government Gardens, a pathway lined with various plants on either side and a fountain in the middle.
This was meant to be a quiet place where free men and guards could go to escape from the prison.
Here we have a very famous bee. The ancestors of this bee stung several of the prisoners in the late 1870's. I know this because he told me so.
All along the watchtower. The Guard Tower, built in 1835, was the front line in watching over the prisoners. Behind you have the officers quarters, where families of the officers lived their day to day.
In the Commandant's House, each room is set to show what its purpose was while in use. The Commandant's House has underwent several renovations throughout the years, having added rooms as needed. Besides his living quarters, it was used to entertain guests for an evening of dinner and friendly chatter. And who better to serve the food than the prisoners of Port Arthur.
Oddly enough the meals for convicts at Port Arthur were bigger than that of the average backpacker.
The Penitentiary at Port Arthur was where general population spent their time.
The two lower floors were for the less desirable inmates, while the upper floors had bunks and shared rooms.
Over the years, this building has fallen into disrepair, but is currently under construction. While it is great that they are staying on top of this, I would still like to see them refer back to their roots and use convict labor for any and all renovations.
After building up prisoners for some years, they eventually had to add places for more and more people. Then there was the Asylum and the Separate Prison, a place in Port Arthur with a much darker history.
Purchase the Port Arthur Photographic Poster at the All Ways Australia Online Store.
First Impressions of Melbourne