Assignment depot which also operated as refuge, workhouse, prison and marriage bureau for unassigned convict women who were classified by a three class system which determined their level of employment or punishment.

Milestone
Formed
1802
Name
Alternate
Factory Above the Gaol
Property
Part of
Occupied
1802 - 1821
Occupied
1821 - 1848
Type

Factory Above the Gaol

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

Australia's first female factory at Parramatta (known as the 'Factory Above the Gaol') was Governor King's attempt at finding a solution to the problem of accommodating the colony's abundance of unemployed convict women at the same time as protecting them, and the young colony, against corrupt influences. In its industrial capacity, the factory in excelled in its early years. As a refuge-cum-guardian of public morality, it fell considerably short with severe over-crowding and deteriorating buildings.

Parramatta Female Factory

CC BY-SA 2.0
,
2015

The Parramatta Female Factory is the largest and oldest surviving convict women's site in Australia. Operating between 1821 and 1848, it was a refuge for women and children, elderly and sick women; a marriage bureau; a place of assignment and moral reform; a penitentiary; a women's hospital for the convicted as well as the free; and a workhouse - all rolled into one.