What happened at the Parramatta Female Factory?

  • There were 24,960 women transported to the early Australian colonies.
  • An estimated 15,000 convict women went through the factory system
  • The first Female Factory was a large room above the Parramatta Gaol (1804 – 1821)
  • The first Female Factory was on the south east corner of what is today Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta
  • Most of the hangings in Parramatta were just outside the Parramatta Gaol – called Hanging Green.
  • The first Female Factory was demolished shortly after 1821,
  • The second and largest in the Colony – Female Factory was designed by Francis Greenway.
  • It was built by convict men, for convict women and the children who were with them.
  • The second and still existing Parrmatta Female Factory commenced construction in 1818 when Governor Macquairie laid the foundation stone.
  • The second Female Factory was completed in February 1821 and nearly 300 female convicts were marched from the first to the second – large and salubrius factory with enough room to accomodate them all.
  • The second female included a Laying In Hospital – the first in Australia
  • The Parramatta Female Factory was the model for the other 11 female factories in the colony.
  • It was commenced in 1818 and the first women were transferred there in February 1821.
  • It is also the site of possibly the first female workers riot in Australia (27 October 1827)
  • One of the earliest factories in the Colony.
  • The factory closed in 1848, some staying behind in what was now called the Parramatta Lunatic Asylum.
  • An estimated 1 in 5 to 1 in 7 Australians are related to female factory women.
  • These women went on to help make the nation as the pioneer mothers, business women, farmers, teachers and so much more.