Friday, May 24, 2013

Port Arthur convict settlement, Australia

During the late 18th and 19th centuries, more than 165,000 convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government. Port Arthur was one of these penal colonies. It is named after George Arthur, the Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's Land (old name of Tasmania).

Penitentiary (upper part of the postcard)
Now an imposing ruin, the Penitentiary was constructed in 1843 as a flour mill and granary. In 1857 it was converted into a penitentiary, capable of housing over 480 convicts in dormitory accommodation and separate apartments.

Convict Church (lower part)
The timber and stone church, constructed in 1836 is a lasting tribute to its convict builders. Built on high ground to overlook the convict settlement, the church could accommodate over one thousand souls at its services.


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