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Fremantle Prison

prison

Fremantle Prison Gatehouse, designed by Edmund Henderson, built by Henry Wray. Photo from Wikipedia

The Fremantle Prison has its own website and a very comprehensive Wikipedia page, so doesn't need documentation on this one. It was constructed 1851-69, and closed as a prison 1991. Now it's a tourist trap.

The erection of the Convict Establishment was commenced in 1851. In that and the following years the Imperial Government carried out by prison labour a number of other works, among them being the Commissariat buildings in Cliff-street, the pensioners' barracks in South Terrace, the warders' quarters in Henderson Street, the Comptroller's residence, known as ”The Knowle” (now part of the hospital), the North Fremantle traffic bridge as originally constructed and numerous other works of public utility, including roads, streets and public buildings. With the exception of the old court-house, which was demolished to make room for pilots' quarters, all those buildings and the North Fremantle bridge are still standing, and are monuments to the stability of the work done by the convicts. Hitchcock: 34-35.

prison

I have stolen this excellent photo from Roel Loopers's blog (I hope he'll forgive me) because I am so pleased to see the VR 1855 on the admin building (assuming this is a recent photo). I remember arguing with the conservator some years about this. His position was that it was not original to the 1855 building (despite the date) but was added later. My position was that it had been there long enough (all my life) to justify its continuing to be shown. And what about the razor wire which is still omnipresent? That is much later than the 'VR'.

References and links

See also: convicts.

Bosworth, Michal 2004, Convict Fremantle: A Place of Promise and Punishment, UWAP.

Campbell, Robin McKellar 2010, Building the Fremantle Convict Establishment, PhD, UWA (Faculty of Architecture). Available online to download (not from this site) as a 40MB PDF.

Culley, Stephen 2010, 'Six years without a suicide: art at Fremantle Prison', Fremantle Studies, 6: 66-87.

Ewers, John K. 1971, The Western Gateway: A History of Fremantle, Fremantle City Council, with UWAP, rev. ed. [1st ed. 1948]

Heseltine, William 2004, 'The escape of the military Fenians from Fremantle Prison: the warders' perspective', Fremantle Studies, 3: 26-45.

Kerr, James Semple 1998, Fremantle Prison: A Policy for its Conservation, Dept of Contract and Management Services for the Fremantle Prison Trust Advisory Committee, rev. ed.

Megahey, Norman 2004, 'Adaptation and resistance: the reaction of Fremantle Prison inmates to incarceration', Fremantle Studies, 3: 14-25.

Megahey, Norman 2010, 'A community apart', Fremantle Studies, 6: 29-42. [on Fremantle Prison riot 1988]

Menzies, Isa & Jacquie Brisbout 2014, 'From the inside: the art of Fremantle Prison', Fremantle Studies, 8: 96-115.

Murray, Sandra 2007, 'Escape! Fremantle to Freedom: an exhibition on the Irish Fenian convicts and their bold escape from the Fremantle Prison to America', Fremantle Studies, 5: 74-86.

Fremantle Prison website

Wikipedia page

Notes on the prison in Fremantle, the newsletter of the Fremantle SocietyJuly 1989 , February 1990April 1990October 1990March 1991April 1991.

Personal note. While I was on the staff of Murdoch University External Studies Unit, I visited prisoners there twice while it was still in use, one visit in the Special Handling Unit. I also went in there in 1991 on the first occasion it was opened to Fremantle residents after being closed: Gary Burke's band Rich 'n' Famous played. It was a weird occasion; I wonder if someone has written something about it.


Garry Gillard | New: 25 June, 2015 | Now: 16 May, 2017