The female factory

Sad tales of Female factory

A very interesting place to see and get an insight into a sad history is the female factory in Tasmania. My visit to the female factory was accidental and it was during one of my trips to Tasmania that I discovered this place.

There are many more beautiful and unique places in Tasmania, refer the section, Travel in Tasmania for more details.

About Cascade female factory

Located in Hobart, Cascade female factory is Australia’s most significant historical site. The factory is associated with the female convicts, operational between 1828 and 1856. The factory was intended to remove the convicts from the negative influences and also to protect the society from what was seen as their immorality and corrupting influence.

The factory was a purpose built, self-contained institution intended to reform the convicts. However, the factory was located in the damp swamp land, which added greatly to the ill health of the female convicts. With overcrowding, poor sanitation and inadequate food and clothes, there was a high rate of disease and mortality among its inmates. As per Department of the Environment and Energy website, by 1838, 208 children had died within the factory out of the population of 794 children admitted or born in the factory since its opening.

The female convicts in the factory produced wool and flax and the main work undertaken was sewing or knitting. The convicts were employed to do these work, however they lived in very poor conditions and under great pressure.

A detailed history and the female convict stories can be read at

How to get to Cascade female factory?

The historical site of Cascade female factory is just 4 kilometres from Hobart Central Business District (CBD). The drive only takes 10 minutes and the walk takes around one hour.

There is also a bus that goes between Hobart CBD (Mount Stuart) and Forest Road. The Forest Road is around 1.7 kilometres from the factory. All up to date information on buses can be found on the Metro bus transport.


Closing Notes

My visit to the female factory was very emotional and saddening. The grieving and painful stories of the female convicts and their children can only be felt by visiting the site.

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