Australia was well known during the colonial times as a destination to reform women convicts and reinstate them into society. The establishments were known as female factories as the inmates were trained and taught certain crafts that would be useful to them once they reentered society. In effect the institution provided shelter for female prisoners in between jobs, performed the functions of a hiring agency and disciplined the wrong doings of inmates. It rendered these services for a period of almost three decades in the early part of the 1800s.
The firm guidance and control was supposed to ensure that the females were cleansed of immorality and groomed to rejoin the world. At the outset the females were seen as an asset to society as they performed the functions of midwives, maids and servants. However, as the numbers kept growing and more and more were being transported ‘Down Under’, the situation got out of hand. The supply over demand led to the creation of social issues that in turn led to the inmates being kept behind closed doors throughout.
The Cascades Female Factory is one of the single largest such factories that remain up to date. Even though it is inoperative, it is treasured as a site of National Heritage with a wealth of history intertwined. The factory located in the Australian island of Tasmania has been geographically down sized and preserved. Two of several yards and one of the old buildings are among the conserved sites. Less than a decade after commencing operations, the factory became infamous for a high level of mortality, diseases and overcrowding due to its location adjacent to a swamp. As a result the inmates were known to have suffered more from poor conditions than punishments.
Travel back in time to discover the realities of yesteryear that are secured in Cascades Female Factory, Tasmania to educate the future generations. The site can be easily accessed from serviced apartments Hobart, most of which offer self catering style residences. Somerset on the Pier Hobart is one such Hobart accommodation option which makes an ideal base in the city, letting you relive the grandeur of colonial times while taking a step back in time.