Law Courts at Port Arthur, Australia - Encircle Photos

Law Courts at Port Arthur, Australia

Imagine being born in a British slum, struggling through poverty, being arrested for a petty offense, tried in an English court, being sentenced to a penal colony over 11,000 miles away and then shuffled onto a transport ship for the five month voyage to Port Arthur. Assuming you survived, you were immediately ordered to stand at the Law Court and listen while the commandant explained the miserable life you would endure while making you an “honest man.” Such was the fate of Port Arthur convicts. Any infraction earned you a return trip to the Law Courts for sentences of excruciating punishment, assignment to harder labor or solitary confinement. This judicial building was constructed in 1848, expanded in 1854 and destroyed by a bushfire in 1897. Imagine how thrilled prisoners would have been to witness its demise.


6973 Arthur Highway, Port Arthur, TAS 7182, Australia


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