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Ross Female Factory

Introduction

Catherine Bartley, a female convict

Catherine Bartley,
a female convict
(Archives Office of Tasmania)

Ross Female Factory Site, built in the early 1840's, incarcerated female convicts from 1847 to 1854. It was one of four female factories established in Tasmania. The name, "Female Factory" was abbreviated from the British institutional title "Manufactory", and referred to the prisons' role as a Work House.

Today, the Ross Female Factory is a protected Historic Site, managed by the Parks & Wildlife Service and the Tasmanian Wool Centre of Ross. Open to the public, the Overseer's Cottage contains a display on the history of this unique convict site, including a model of the Female Factory in 1851.

Although little architecture remains above the ground, Ross Factory is the most archaeologically intact female convict site in Australia. (See the Ross Female Factory Archaeological Project for further details).