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Unshackled Hobart Penitentiary

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Penitentiary Chapel guided tour in progress
Penitentiary Chapel clock tower 1834 facing Brisbane Street
Penitentiary Chapel rear elevation
The Tench Daytime Tour
Hobart Penitentiary subterranean tunnel linking courtrooms and cells
Unshackled - Hobart Penitentiary offers four experiences for one ticket price: Convict Memorial: a digital history experience allowing visitors to trace the lives of each of the 75,000 convicts transported to Tasmania 1803-1853 Pandemonium: a dynamic widescreen presentation of Tasmania’s convict years 1803-1853, shown in the prison chapel Rogues’ Gallery: a series of portraits of colourful convict characters Site tour: a guided tour of one of Australia’s richest convict sites, wrought by convict labour for convicts, moving through courtrooms, subterranean tunnels, cells, the gallows and the prison exercise yard. The Hobart Penitentiary began in 1821 as the Hobart Prison Barracks, built as accommodation for convicts employed in Government public works. In 1834 the surviving Penitentiary Chapel was completed. 75,000 convicts were transported to Van Diemen’s Land between 1803 and 1853. Of these 62,500 were male convicts. After 1821 all male convicts were processed here before being given labour assignments across the island. In 1857-1860 convicts still under sentence were employed in converting two wings of the former Penitentiary Chapel as courtrooms. One wing remained as the prison chapel for the Penitentiary, then known as the Hobart Gaol. The Hobart Town gallows were relocated to the site with thirty-two people executed at the site 1857- 1946. The Gaol was demolished in 1963 while the courts remained at the site until 1983.

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