Fremantle Stuff > books > Campbell

Campbell, Robin McKellar 2010, Building the Fremantle Convict Establishment, PhD, UWA (Faculty of Architecture).

Abstract

The introduction of convicts in 1850 was intended to boost the sluggish economy of the twenty-year old Swan River Colony. A shortage of labour was considered to be the cause of the problem, and despite misgivings in some quarters, agreement was reached amongst the colonists that the British Government be petitioned to send out some men to help the developing vital industries, and to build much-needed public works, roads and bridges. With no preparations made for their reception, an unexpected corollary emerged. The first priority for the Convict Establishment became the building of accommodation for themselves. This involved them in materials gathering and manufacture, architectural design and technology, skills training and dissemination, all of which was the basis for the development of a building industry throughout the State, and left a legacy of public works that saw the Colony through until the booming economy of the 1880s allowed it to establish a formal Public Works Department.

Available online to download (not from this site) as a 40MB PDF.


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