Port Arthur

A longish drive down to Port Arthur completed our loop around Tasmania. The Port was originally a Penal Institute for Criminals from the UK and then for recalcitrant local criminals, and “featured” a version of Jeremy Bentams “panopticon” style of isolation prison, beyond the main labour camp prison. Boys down to 8-9yrs old were also brought here though kept on a separate island to “learn a trade”. It seemed brutal but was supposed to be a major step forward.

The Colony was not just a way of offloading over crowded penal institutes in the UK but provided prisoners to do the hard labour for a new and under-developed colony.

Although pretty brutal, comparing to Bodmin Gaol, and other UK institutes I suspect it was no worse that other places at the time. From afar, particularly with the civilian residences it looks rather like a British Country Estate. (If you squint!)