We decided to go today to Port Arthur where the English sent criminals from Great Britain to be incarcerated and to build ships, mill flour, cut timber and learn trades as part of their imprisonment.
This penal colony was established in the 1800’s and at its height housed 1100 inmates. The philosophy of the British criminal system here was considered “progressive” at the time -hard labor and physical/psychological punishment, but also the possibility of learning a trade and reading. We were told that the library for prisoners held 13,000 books.
A short distance away on an island another penal colony was established by the British for boys who were offenders in the British Isles. The tour guide told us that the age of responsibility was considered at the time to be 7 years old, so young boys were given the same sentences as adults but housed well away from the adult inmates.
the penitentiary is on the left and the hospital at the top of the hill. The stones between are the remnants of the military barracks.
From Port Arthur we drove long the coast and stopped at Tasman Bridge.
From there, we returned to Hobart where a yearly “Taste of Tasmania” festival was underway with many vendors and entertainers.
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