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The ‘Convict Stain’: changing attitudes to Hobart’s convict heritage en

Van Diemen’s Land was settled as a penal colony by the British in 1803. It is estimated that it received some 75,000 convict men, women and children from establishment until cessation in 1853. During this time a vast network of institutions and penal stations were built to house, employ and discipline these prisoners in exile [1]. Quickly following the end of the convict era, Van Diemen’s Land was renamed Tasmania and efforts were made to erase the ‘convict stain’ from the island’s past [2]. This tour will guide you to the places and traces of Hobart’s convict era, inviting you to think about how changing attitudes have transformed the sites.

[1] Casella, EC, Fennelly, K 2016, ‘Ghosts of Sorrow Sin and Crime: Dark Tourism and Convict Heritage in Van Diemen’s Land, Australia’, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, vol.20, no.3, pp.11-16

[2] Alexander, A 2010, Tasmania’s Convicts: How Felons Built a Free Society, Allen & Unwin, New South Wales.




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