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Tim F 04-15-2009 06:16 AM

Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
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Hi all,

We just got back from 2 weeks in Tasmania! We spent a day in Port Arthur, which was a penal colony starting around 1830. I was very interested to see a lot of brick ovens, with several variations in construction.

This first one was in the 'parsonage' - away from the prison and convict areas. This house is supposed to be one of the most haunted houses in the country, if you believe that kind of thing.

File:Parsonage, Port Arthur.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
The ghosts of port arthur


I struggled to get anything at all of the interior, as the door was rusted half open and I couldn't really fit my camera in! But it almost looks like the walls are cylindrical, with a slightly domed roof as well - sort of a rough dome?

I did get my phone in there for a few even lower quality pics, will post them later if they look any good on the computer.

Tim F 04-15-2009 06:24 AM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
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These next ones were in the paupers mess - after serving out their time, many of the convicts couldn't afford to pay passage back to England, and didn't know any other life anyway. So they stayed on and lived in this building, doing chores for the soldiers. They scored a pretty nice oven though! ;)
I couldn't see inside this one unfortunately but was very interested in the construction.

I'll post up more tomorrow, still 2 others from port arthur to post plus one in another country town that was still in operation!

Frances 04-15-2009 11:27 AM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
Wow, that is very cool, thanks for posting! I look forward to seeing the other ovens you found.

Interesting how many ovens you see all over the place once you've built on, isn't it?

james 04-15-2009 03:46 PM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
Excellent. I really enjoy looking at older ovens, and as Frances says, once you've built one -- you see them popping up everywhere.
James

Les 04-15-2009 04:00 PM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Frances (Post 53912)

Interesting how many ovens you see all over the place once you've built on, isn't it?

Ovens AND crematoriums :eek:

Very cool pic's - how old do you think the ovens are?

Les...

Tim F 04-18-2009 07:14 AM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
3 Attachment(s)
Hi all, sorry I didn't post more sooner! You certainly do start noticing them everywhere once you have built one. all of these ovens would have been built around the 1840s.

This smaller one was in the prisoners hospital. I love the construction of this one. I guess it's close to a modern barrel vault design, but a very small one. The roof is only just over 1 brick high at the low points. Amazing how that shallow arch is still standing! I'd almost be interested in copying this design at some point, I think theres some value in having a smaller second oven ;)

They made all of the bricks for the settlement by pressing local clay into wooden moulds and firing them on site in a big kiln which we also saw. They have one brick in the museum that has a pigs trotters imprinted - apparently someone let out the parsons pigs!

Tim F 04-18-2009 06:06 PM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
2 Attachment(s)
Here's a couple more, both taken in a building that was converted to an inn after the settlement closed. One was behind glass so I couldn't get closer, but I liked the peel. I love the construction on the other one, this was tucked away in a back room that hadn't been restored at all, and I suspect would have been the original oven for the building. Interesting that the third course of the walls starts to turn in - it's like the whole oven is just a brick arch with a flat back wall.

Lavinia 09-04-2009 04:13 PM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
Hi Tim
This is my first ever posting. I'm currently writing a history on the Tamar Valley Semaphore System and more importantly about the keepers house on Mount Direction.The ruins show what I beleive to be a brick oven, others disagree saying it
looks like a dog kennel? The house was built in the 1830's with convict labour. Your photos lead me to think I'm correct and was wondering if I could have your permission to use two of your photos as examples of 'convict brick ovens'. I can find nothing down here in Tassie that refers directly to these ovens and any advice you can give me would be greatl appreciated.
Regards
Lavinia

Tim F 09-09-2009 06:17 AM

Re: Convict brick ovens in Tasmania
 
Lavinia - you are more than welcome to use my photos. Let me know if higher resolution ones would be useful. I'd like to see any pics you have as well - or you could post them up here and get some opinions! I will PM you my email.


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