Separate Prison


In 1848, harsh physical punishment within the prison was rejected in favour of punishment of the mind. Flogging gave way to solitary confinement.

The Separate Prison was built at Port Arthur in 1850. Cruciform-shaped, each of the four wings comprised a central corridor flanked by rows of solitary confinement cells. Separated by thick sandstone walls, it was hoped that the convicts would benefit from contemplative silence and separation.

Henry Singleton spent a long time in the separate prison.  Read more about him here.


Between 2003 and 2008 PAHSMA undertook a major conservation project to better assist visitors to understand how this style of punishment worked.

Take the time to explore the restored cells, gaze up at the towering walls of the exercise yards, listen to the hymns in the chapel, and immerse yourself in total darkness in the punishment cell.

The Separate Prison is a must-see part of the Port Arthur experience.

The Separate Prison is open daily from 9.00am until dusk.  Access is included in your Site Entry Pass.

Separate Prison