Port Arthur, Tasmania1833

by Unknown artist

Port Arthur was established as a British penal settlement, on the south-eastern coast of Van Diemen’s Land. It was a destination for the most hardened criminals and those who had re-offended after their arrival in New South Wales. The first convicts to arrive at Port Arthur were put to work cutting timber in the bush surrounding the settlement. The worst offenders were assigned to the chain gang. 

A note on the back of the painting states, ‘Painted by a soldier in 1833’ — the same year Port Arthur was established. The Commandant’s Hut can be seen on the left, along with several other buildings. The familiar four-storey flour mill and granary were not completed until 1843.