An exciting new interactive visitor experience at the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site is bringing the extraordinary story of the women and children who were incarcerated at the now World Heritage-listed site to life for visitors.
Part history lesson, part roaming theatre show, Her Story is an accurate and powerful depiction of the harsh life within Yard One of the Cascades Female Factory in 1833.
Her Story is played by two actors, one portraying the woman whose story is being told, and the other male actor playing the parts of an overseer and a doctor.
The performers and creators of Her Story, Judith and Chris Cornish, said they are both excited to be part of helping to develop this iconic site
Investigate the paranormal at Port Arthur
A group of brave souls in need of more than the regular Ghost Tour to achieve their chills and thrills gathered recently on a mild Saturday night to investigate the paranormal aspect of Port Arthur in an exciting new late night, adults-only Paranormal Investigation Experience.
Participants were introduced to the function and operation of a number of items of specialised equipment used in paranormal investigations.
Then, through the course of the evening, their guides lead them into a number of buildings around the Historic Site which have a reputation for ghostly occurrences, where they will be able to set up the instruments and make observations and readings.
Work commences on Penitentiary precinct project
A major conservation project for the Penitentiary has commenced, with geotechnical exploration works being conducted alongside a series of consultation workshops to explore and develop design and interpretation options for the project.
Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) Conservation Project Manager Jo Lyngcoln said the plan would result in some significant changes at the Penitentiary.
“The steel walkway through the centre of the building, which was installed in the 1970s, has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced,” said Ms Lyngcoln.
“The plan will, in part, define what that replacement will look like, but it will do much more. It will also determine how the Penitentiary and surrounding area is interpreted or communicated to visitors; visually and through the various other interpretive media available to us today.”
The first step in the project has been survey work to examine the exact nature of the building’s foundations, with exploratory core samples being drilled.
More on the Penitentiary Conservation Project...
Watch the ABC TV News story on the project
Storm cleanup continues
Poulticing the Penitentiary
Work to repair and mitigate against further damage to Port Arthur’s heritage buildings following last July’s major storm continues, with work underway to remove excess salt from the foundations of the Penitentiary.
The brickwork of the Penitentiary, like most stone and brick walls at Port Arthur, is very porous and prone to rising damp. Where walls such as these are built without a damp proof course, they draw up moisture from the ground in the same manner as a wick that is in contact with liquid (ie: capillary action). Groundwater contains small amounts of salt, and, when rising damp occurs, particles of salt are drawn up into the masonry.
Sometimes this treatment has to be repeated several times in order to make a noticeable difference.
New dining and function venue at Port Arthur
Dine in historic style at Port Arthur
Lunch in our beautifully restored historic home, the Visiting Magistrates House, is so much more than a meal.
It’s a chance to experience a taste of what life was like for the more privileged inhabitants of Port Arthur; it’s an opportunity to enjoy some of Tasmania’s finest and freshest local produce, beautifully prepared and presented, and it’s an ideal time to relax while enjoying personalised service.
This historic home overlooks the Historic Site and caters for small meetings, functions, cocktail parties and other events, as well as private and small group dining.
Advance bookings are essential.
Celebrating Port Arthur's post-convict heritage
To be hosted at Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur: Memories Revisited will be a two day event with a focus on the post-convict era incorporating the themes of sport and recreation, industries, tourism, the township and school, and families.
Providing an opportunity to bring people together again and to think about and remember times when they lived, worked, visited, played sport and camped at Port Arthur, it will include a range of activities such as a celebratory dinner, a special Harbour Cruise on the Marana and the opening of a display celebrating the post-convict era history of Port Arthur.
The event aims to remember and celebrate Port Arthur’s post-convict heritage and the people associated with it, by acknowledging their contribution and embracing and looking forward to the future of Port Arthur and the region. The project is being undertaken by a volunteer sub-committee of the PAHSMA Community Advisory Committee including community residents.
The event will be held at Port Arthur over the weekend of 20-21 October 2012.
Check the webpage for more information and updates on the event
Port Arthur hosts Chinese guests
Links between the Port Arthur Historic Site and a major World Heritage-listed treasure in western China are being strengthened this month, with a visit to the convict-era site by three Chinese guiding staff.
The English-speaking guides, Cathleen, Ai Ling and Lucy, are from the Dunhuang Academy, home of the Mogao Grottoes, located on the ancient Silk Route in central China.
The Mogao site, which was added to the World Heritage list in 1987, consists of more than 700 caves, many containing elaborate painted sculptures and wall paintings depicting aspects of Buddhist history and legend. The oldest are believed to date back to the fourth century AD.
The guides are working alongside Port Arthur staff in various areas, including guiding, interpretive techniques, ticketing, gift shop and tourism management practices.
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