Norfolk Island’s convicts built Convict Hospital, sometimes called the Civil Hospital in the Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area in 1829. It is now a ruin. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester noted on her visit in 1946: ‘All around were gruesome-looking remains of tumbledown convict prisons and walls, hangman’s gate and suchlike.
This site is important as it portrays the British Empire convict system of the early 1800s. It also portrays the inhumanity and degrading way the convicts were treated – placed in a separate hospital to civilians. In 1973, the federal government started restoring and preserving this area. Many artefacts were evacuated from the convict hospital in 1987. These included medical instruments, toothbrushes and other items which give a greater understanding of the daily activities and medical care of the convicts. They represent aspects of discipline that the convicts had to comply with.
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