May talk

Sunday, 19 May 2019, 2pm at the Queen Victoria Museum, Inveresk

National Archaeology Week


John Dent, Northern Tasmanian Convict Stations

Between the 1820s and the 1840s a number of convict stations were established, initially to house convicts working on the construction of Government projects. The buildings varied in construction from permanent brick and stone to less permanent timber buildings to very rough temporary huts. They were located close to where the convict workforce was needed, near bridges, roads and even water schemes.

Some had a very short life-span whilst the bridge/road was being built, whilst others were re-purposed as hiring depots, probation stations and for other Government uses. Some buildings, particularly the supervisor’s cottage, were used by later landowners as most of the sites were leased by the Government or were just occupied by them.

Over time the location, or even the very existence, of these stations has been lost. Some became the start of towns and were swallowed by later development, others were burnt, ploughed, plundered for materials and became lost.

The LHS archaeology group has been identifying these stations, documenting their history, identifying where they were located and even helping to excavate two of them. This talk provides an update as to what has been found of the more than 20 convict stations in the north and the continuing search.