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“Well worth a look.”

The Tench (Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site)
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US$39.55*
and up
Hobart Half-Day Sightseeing Coach Tram Tour
Ranked #6 of 136 things to do in Hobart
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Hear incredible tales of crime and punishment as you are led through the courts and tunnels to the chapel, cells and gallows of this internationally-significant convict site, owned and operated by the National Trust. Join us for Guided Day Tours running up to 4 times daily on weekdays and 2 times on weekends, and for our Ghost Tour. Bookings recommended for Day Tours and essential for Ghost Tour. Please note that access to the site is by Guided Tour Only.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Well worth a look.”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

I visited the Penitentiary Chapel today as part of the Cert111 Tourism course at Drysdale and you know, it was really interesting.

Brian our guide was very knowledgeable and obviously very passionate about the work that he does. It is not sparkling and clean as someone has mentioned, however, I feel that because of that there is a very genuine feel to the place, just like we were visiting the day after it was closed as a Gaol.

I must book in for a ghost tour, Brian has some interesting stories to tell.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Paul N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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993 reviews from our community

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Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Tour of Hobart's Penitentiary Chapel”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

A must-see while in Hobart is the historic Penitentiary Chapel. The guided tour lasts nearly 90 minutes and the guides, volunteers all, provide a very detailed and highly researched commentary. You will visit every nook and cranny of the chapel and gaol with its courthouses, cells and solitary confinement cells which have to be seen to be believed. Well worth the $10 entry fee.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Sydneyhelen2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Hobart's horrible history”
Reviewed 5 May 2014

This would have to be the best value-for-money tour around. Over 90 minutes of authoritative information on the history of Hobart's prison and justice systems, and the opportunity to peer into long forgotten tunnels, punishment cells and, horror of horrors, being able to actually stand on the gallows where over 300 people were executed. Not ghoulish, but so interesting.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Judy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Informative and Enjoyable”
Reviewed 4 May 2014

Guide was enthusiastic and knowledgable. Information given was interesting and we enjoyed the authenticity of the atmosphere. We liked this tour very much. We had a 2 and 5 year old with us who were made to feel welcome. Recommend a visit here.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank hearnd0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“History lesson worth skipping”
Reviewed 2 May 2014

The National Trust have probably got their hands too late for this place to be of interest. Some interesting glimpses into the dire history of the island but the place is so dirty and dilapidated. Our guide was adequate but tired. Skip this and head instead to Port Arthur for a real encounter with the ghosts of the past.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank William S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brian R, Manager at The Tench (Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site), responded to this review, 3 May 2014
Thank you William for your review. Yes, we concentrate on portraying our Historic Site as an authentic unchanged glimpse into Hobart's Convict, Colonial and Prison History as it was used from 1831 until the 1980's. We strive to maintain it without changing or modernizing its character. Hence, yes, areas of the building have not been made sterile and spotlessly clean as some other Historic Sites have been.
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