Welcome to the
Historic Site web site.
Situated on the corner of
Brisbane and Campbell Streets in Hobart, Tasmania, the
Penitentiary Chapel was built in the early
1830's according to the design of Irish born Colonial Architect and Civil
Engineer John Lee Archer.
designed as a Chapel for the growing male convict population in
Hobart Town, there was also the inclusion of 36 solitary
confinement punishment cells, unlit and poorly ventilated,
constructed beneath the Chapel floor. The Chapel served the
adjoining Prisoners Barracks or Penitentiary which was called
the Tench by the Convicts The site later became the Hobart Gaol.
1859 the Nave and Eastern Transept of the Chapel
were converted into two Supreme Criminal Courts. The
western transept remained to become a Gaol Chapel
with an Execution Yard and Gallows attached.
Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site remains a fascinating
insight into Colonial Tasmania. A beautiful 1834 tower
with the two Courtrooms remaining virtually unchanged
for over 150 years, and the Gaol Chapel restored to
display John Lee Archer's original design.
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