Ross Female Factory, Ross

The Ross Female Factory, a former Australian workhouse for female convicts in the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land, is located in the village of Ross, in the midlands region of Tasmania. Operational between 1848 and 1854, the factory is now one of the 11 sites that collectively comprise the Australian Convict Sites, listed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO.
Collectively the Australian Convict Sites represent an exceptional example of the forced migration of convicts and an extraordinary example of global developments associated with punishment and reform. Representing the female experience, the Ross Female Factory demonstrates how penal transportation was used to expand Britain's spheres of influence, as well as to punish and reform female convicts.

The overseer's cottage is open to public who can get a glimpse of the history of the convict site, which has been kept on display. The archaeological excavations of the site have revealed that the factory was divided into three sections - the Crime Class, the demoted Solitary Cells, and the promoted Hiring Class. These were considered the three stages of reform during the incarceration of the female convicts.
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Ross Female Factory Reviews

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  • The history is explained quite well but there is not much left of the original buildings. So sad to read about the conditions the women had to endure but they did have an opportunity to gain freedom.....  more »
  • Not many buildings left standing but history of what is left is interesting. Markers around the grounds give good explanation of the history.  more »
  • Very interesting. Went over 2 days as it was very wet & couldn't finish reading the panels outside. Very sad past history but so well worth the visit & seeing how the Women lived for a changed. Highly recommend going if in Ross.
  • It is a solemn place, the story of the suffering that went on in the factory can be followed through the well placed information plaques scattered around the field and within the heritage building that remains. There are some displays of the the factory's layout within; along with some historic paraphernalia displayed in boxes of the items used in that time period. I recommend this place to couples and history fanatics. Not recommended to bring kids, they won't appreciate the lore of the attraction and there are snakes in the area.

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