Kingston & Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA)

Kingston & Arthur’s Vale Historic Area (KAVHA) is a World Heritage Site, with many layers of historical stories. This video clip tells you all about the Site and is narrated in traditional Norf’k language by Dids Evans.

This hellish prison outpost on Norfolk Island, approximately 1600 km off the coast of Australia, was first established just five weeks after the First Fleet landed on the Australian mainland at Port Jackson. It had two phases of British settlement, from 1788 to 1814 and from 1825 to 1855. In 1788 male and female British convicts were settled on the island to fend off rival maritime interests and to supply food and other materials to the mainland colony.

In 1788 male and female British convicts were settled on the island to help fend off rival maritime interests and to supply food and other materials to the mainland colony. To support food production, this colonial settlement saw the first windmill and watermill in Australia constructed by convict labour.

Freed convict settlers and their families cleared the island’s majestic Norfolk Pines to develop successful farms, but the Island proved expensive to maintain and it was abandoned in 1814. The buildings were burned and destroyed to prevent them falling into enemy hands.

In 1825, a penal convict settlement was re-established to punish hardened or reoffending male convicts. This fearsome and brutal island prison was closed in 1855 and the convicts were sent to Port Arthur or released on tickets of leave.

The site contains one of the finest assemblages of Georgian buildings in Australia, set within an extensive coastal plain backed by a steep escarpment. The layout of the site reflects the strategic placement of buildings to separate the colonial authorities from the convicts.

A complex of military and administrative buildings is elevated on the rise along Quality Row. These include military compounds, offices, and cottage villas for civil and military personnel along with the largest Commissariat Store and compound in Australia. Separated from these civil and military buildings by a marsh, the prisoner’s barracks and workspaces were housed in a series of walled compounds located on the beachfront.

Government House, built on the highest point overlooking the site along with the other civil and military structures, demonstrated both the real and symbolic power of the authorities to scrutinise and control the convict population. It is the fourth Government House built here, the first built in 1788 was located on the promontory overlooking the landing place.

The Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property is a series of eleven outstanding heritage places across Australia. Collectively they are representative of the global phenomenon of the forced migration of convicts. The Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Property was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 31 July 2010.

The sites included in the serial listing are:

      • Kingston and Arthur’s Vale Historic Area, Norfolk Island (1788–1814 and 1824–1855)

      • Old Government House and Domain, Parramatta Park, New South Wales (1788–1856)

      • Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney, New South Wales (1819–1848)

      • Brickendon—Woolmers Estates, Longford, Tasmania (1820–1850s)

      • Darlington Probation Station, Maria Island National Park, Tasmania (1825–1832 and 1842–1850)

      • Old Great North Road, Wiseman’s Ferry, New South Wales (1828–1835)

      • Cascades Female Factory, South Hobart, Tasmania (1828–1856)

      • Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur, Tasmania (1830–1877)

      • Coal Mines Historic Site, Norfolk Bay, Tasmania (1833–1848)

      • Cockatoo Island Convict Site, Sydney, New South Wales (1839–1869)

      • Fremantle Prison, Fremantle, Western Australia (1852–1886)

    Source :

    Credit :