Cascade Female Factory
Tourism - South Hobart, TAS
Cascade Female Factory is located at South Hobart and has been responsible for preserving and maintaining one of Australia’s most important heritage sites and major tourism destinations.
In 1823, 20-acres of land area – including the area where the Female Factory now stands – was allocated by Governor Sorell to Mr Thomas Yardley Lowes. Building commenced that year of what was to become T.Y. Lowes & Co. Distillery. Regrettably for Mr Lowes, his plans to run a successful distillery were thwarted by a series of unfortunate circumstances. When Mr. Lowes embarked from England with almost £2000 and goods including alcohol and distilling equipment, not a single legal distillery was operating in Van Diemen’s Land. By the time Mr Lowes opened his doors in 1824, there were at least 16 distilleries in operation, which no doubt made business tough. To make matters worse, 1825 saw the reduction of import tax on spirits, encouraging those outside the colony to bid for local business.
Australia’s most significant site associated with female convicts sits in the shadow of Mount Wellington, a short distance from the Hobart CBD.
Women were incarcerated here as punishment or while waiting to be assigned. With guards, nurses and babies, up to 1000 people lived here at any one time.
Discover the stories of female convicts and their children on a guided tour or experience morning tea with the matron.