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Thursday, December 31, 2015

22 Dec 2015 - Tasmania Day 9: Port Arthur Historic Site

We continued to explore Port Arthur Historic Site today since we did not have sufficient time to visit most of the sites here yesterday.
We started by walking across a big field towards the ruins.
This Penitentiary contained 136 cells for prisoners of bad characters at the lower floors while top floors provided space for better behaved convicts to sleep in bunk.
Then we visited the Commandant's House.  This residence was erected on high ground in 1833 and housed 5 of Port Arthur's 10 Commandants.  Commandant was Port Arthur's most senior official.
Every child who visits Port Arthur Historic Site is given an activity map whereby they need to visit different sites to collect stamps and clues.  This is a good way to keep children interested throughout the visit.
Next we walked towards the Guard Tower.
Other sites that we visited were Senior Military Officer's Quarters and Officer's Quarters.  
At the other end of the field lies the Hospital.
In here, convicts were commonly treated for numerous conditions including respiratory or rheumatic ailments contracted from working outdoors and sleeping in cold cells and wet clothing.
We had our lunch at a cafe in the museum and study centre before exploring further.  Jerlene and Javier continued their "quest" to complete all the puzzles and stamps collection.
The separate prison was designed to deliver a new method of punishment, of reforming the convicts through isolation and contemplation.  Convicts were locked for 23 hours a day in single cells, where they slept, ate and worked with one hour a day allowed for exercise alone in a high-walled yard.
At the central hall, there is a stair leading up to the Chapel.
To us, this Chapel looks very much like a courtroom.  Don't you think so?
From the Separate Prison, we walked to the Soldiers' Memorial Avenue.
At this point, Jerlene and Javier were supposed to look for a pair of telephone and listen to the conversation.
And they found it here.........
St David's Church was built after years of Anglican Church services in the Town Hall.  Services are held regularly and visitors are welcome.
Port Arthur’s timber and stone church, constructed in 1836-37 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.
This marked the end of our Port Arthur Historic Site visit.



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