Parramatta Female Factory Museum – Enter Here

Your Online Living Museum and Heritage Resource

Welcome to the Online Parramatta Female Factory Museum and
Heritage Resource.
On this site we celebrate and share the stories of Australia’s convict female factories, in particular the earliest surviving site – Parramatta Female Factory. This is an evolving ‘museum’ and we will be adding information and virtual ‘objects’ overtime.
If you have a female factory ancestor you can share on the blog page or email   
Information to help you enjoy your ‘visit’
First we would like to take you on a tour of the Parramatta Female Factory – a virtual tour. You will be able to get a sense of what the Parramatta Female Factory is like in reality.
Just for the panoramas below you will need ‘flash player’ software on your computer, mobile or ipad to run the panoramas.
The photography is courtesy of Terry Smith (copyright 2010). If you want to use the images please contact us and we will respond to your request.
Enter different locations in the Parramatta Female Factory sites and look around. Each link takes you to a specific location. It takes a little time to load the panoramas so please be patient. When the images in the link turn from black and white to colour and a small cursor dot appears you put your mouse cursor on it and you will be able to tour the Parramatta Female Factory Site. To exit just close the location link.

To ‘walk’ around the ‘Virtual Parramatta Female Factory Museum’ click on the green location title links below and follow the download attachment prompt. For example to see the main entrance click on ‘Main Entrance’ at the beginning of the information about this aspect.


Main Entrance

This panorama shows the view from just inside the gates. As you pan right you can see the original Greenway designed hospital, the later John Verge building. As you rotate further the first sandstone building you see is the Greenway designed Matrons quarters, meeting rooms and store room. Finally you are looking to the back of the site. originally you would have seen the central accommodation building.
This panorama shows the view from the original Greenway main building. Begin at the clock tower. Hold the cursor down and move it towards the right from the clock tower This clock building is made from the original central factory building stones reused to construct this building. As you scan you will see the first class yard, the hospital, the general yard, the matron’s quarters, meeting rooms and store rooms, half of the second class yard and back to the clock tower.

Start at the shelter shed. This would have been the central space for the airing yard. This was an external yard forexercise and for drying the laundry.  Hold the cursor down and move it towards the right. As you scan, the far left corner would have been the laundry area and to its right the third class entry and workshops. to the right of the shelter sheds would have been the north wall of the original factory site and the view to the greenery would have been the eastern wall. Scanning further you would see the wall of the hospital which is one of the existing Greenway buildings.

This current views shows single cells built after the factory period. The space was originally the third class workshops. This site is where spinning and weaving would have been undertaken.
The view here is from the centre of the third class yard. Start at the building with a verandah surrounding it. This is the third class sleeping quarters commissioned by Governor Brisbane in the 1820s. As you scan right from the third class sleeping quarters, the adjacent area and building at 90 degrees to it were third class workshops. Each class had its own areas for work. The third class were the penitentiary class for those who committed more seriousoffenses or were pregnant on assignment. As well as spinning, weaving, sewing. laundry, straw plaiting, stocking knitting, the third class broke rocks and picked oakum. Scanning further the wall opposite the sleeping quarters included the dining room and a basement bath area. The area nearest the river, the western side contained the direct entrance from the river road and included other work areas.

This panorama shows the internal view of the committee meeting room. This was also the location where women were assigned to settlers as servants or labourers, and where men in the colony could apply for a wife.
This panorama shows the 1830s Gipps commissioned yard and the location of the solitary cells. Starting at the wall with the ironwork grid. This is the external part of the original Greenway Factory. Scanning right are historic trees, eastern, southern and western walls and the west end of the main lunatic asylum building with the clock tower.

This is the eastern end of the Gipps solitary cells close to the original 1818 wall. If you start facing the wall with the grid (1818 wall)  and pan right you will see historic trees and current 1830s yard.
Northern alcove in the airing yard with external northern wall.
                                                      Original window in the third class sleeping quarters
 To go to object gallery 1 click on the link:
To go to object gallery 2 click on the link:
To go to object gallery 3 click on the link:

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Ordinary Women Extraordinary Lives