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Northern Tasmanian Convict Stations

  • Queen Victoria Museum 2 Invermay Road Invermay, TAS, 7248 Australia (map)

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 from the owner by 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 Launceston Historical Society archaeology group have 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 to date of the more than 20 convict stations in the north and the continuing search.

Presented by the Launceston Historical Society.

About the speaker: John Dent OAM is currently President of The West Tamar Historical Society and is a member of Launceston Historical Society, Tasmanian Family History Society (Launceston) and the Friends of The Launceston Mechanics Institute. John has published numerous articles and given many talks on various aspects of northern Tasmanian history.  He is a registered land surveyor in private practice and has used his surveying skills to uncover many aspects of our earliest history.  John was awarded an OAM in 1996 and is a member of Rotary and is on the board of The St. Giles Society.

Time and date: 2pm, Sunday 19 May 2019

Location: Meeting Room, Queen Victoria Museum, Inveresk

Cost: Free for members, $4 for visitors (afternoon tea will be served)

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