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Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

Feb 16

About Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

The story of the Cascades Female Factory is one of both tragedy and resilience. As a former workhouse for female convicts in Van Diemen's Land, it operated for nearly three decades before being decommissioned in 1856. Today, it is one of the 11 sites that make up the Australian Convict Sites, each of which offers a potent reminder of the forced migration of convicts and the development of punishment and reform on a global scale. However, what makes the Cascades Female Factory stand apart is its representation of the female experience. From its cramped cells to its austere workshops, it provides a glimpse into a world that was once unimaginable but is now invaluable in understanding the history of Australia's penal colony system. 

Despite the hardships that the women who passed through its gates had to endure, they also demonstrated great strength and resilience in the face of adversity. Their stories are ones of determination as they sought to rebuild their lives and overcome the challenges placed before them. Today, the Cascades Female Factory serves as both a tribute and a warning to humanity, showcasing the extremes of what can occur when justice and mercy are not properly balanced. As we reflect on this dark chapter in Australia's past, we must also recognize the immense courage and fortitude of those who lived through it.

Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

What to do at Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

The history of the Cascades Female Factory is a stark reminder of the harsh reality of life for female convicts in Tasmania during the 19th century. While the intention behind the facility was admirable - to provide a safe and controlled environment for women convicts - the reality was quite different. Located in an area of damp swamp land and plagued by overcrowding and poor sanitation, disease and mortality rates were alarmingly high. Even before the Factory was purpose-built, some rooms in the Macquarie Street Gaol had been used as a temporary "Female Factory". It's a sobering reminder of the challenges and hardships faced by women in Tasmania's convict era.

The history of the women and girls transported to Van Diemen's Land is largely unknown, but this site provides a wealth of information on over 6,000 of them and the roughly 2,000 babies that were born within the factory walls. Their stories are both harrowing and inspiring, and they are interwoven with the First Nation's stories of Palawa, a culture over 40,000 years old that was profoundly impacted by British colonization. The site offers a self-guided audio experience as well as access to the grounds and gallery. For a more in-depth exploration, additional tours are available throughout the day, including the Convict Women's History Tour and the acclaimed drama. This site offers a unique opportunity to learn about an often-overlooked aspect of history and to reflect on the experiences of those who endured it.

Cascades Female Factory Historic Site

One local company in Hobart that is involved in this tourist site is:

Website: Hobart Bathroom Renovations Experts

Address: 199 New Town Rd, New Town TAS 7008

Phone: (03) 6152 6136

Original source: