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Darlington Probation Station, French Farm Coastal Route, Darlington, TAS, Australia

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List National Heritage List
Class Historic
Legal Status Listed place (01/08/2007)
Place ID 105933
Place File No 6/01/095/0020
Summary Statement of Significance
The Darlington Precinct contains the most intact convict probation station and is therefore considered a significant place in Australia’s cultural history. 
The probation system was a form of convict management in Eastern Australia that was implemented between 1839 and 1854 at which time the transportation of convicts in Eastern Australia ceased.  Previous to the introduction of the probation station, most convicts were assigned to private masters or into government service.  The assignment system however was severely criticised in Britain because it did not consistently provide for the controlled punishment and reform of convicts.  Its critics likened it to slavery which had been outlawed by the British Government.
Probation was a uniquely Australian approach to convict management intended to provide punishment to ensure that transportation remained a deterrent, but also provided opportunities for reform and betterment.  The probation system classified convicts into different classes which then determined the labour they undertook, their living arrangements and any privileges. 
The probation system was developed and implemented by Sir John Franklin, Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania from 1837-1843.  He governed Tasmania at a time when transportation to NSW had ceased and large numbers of convicts were being transported. 
Darlington Probation station operated from 1842-1850 and was one of at least 78 probation stations established in Tasmania.  The Darlington Precinct is the most representative and intact probation station having thirteen buildings and other structures directly associated with the operation of the probation station.  These include ruins of separate apartments, ruins of convict barracks and chapel, bakehouse, cookhouse, officers’ quarters, oast house/hop kilns and miller’s quarters and mill foundations.  These buildings and structures are in a natural setting with few competing elements.  The place therefore exhibits a sense of what it would have been like during convict times.
Official Values
Criterion A Events, Processes
As Australia’s most intact example of a convict probation station, Darlington is considered to be a significant aspect of Australia’s cultural history.  With a natural environment setting that has few competing elements, the precinct possesses a rare sense of place. The intactness of the 13 buildings and structures and their relationship with each other uniquely demonstrate the philosophy behind the probation system.
The probation system was the last major phase of convict management in eastern Australia, implemented following the abolishment of the highly criticised assignment system. It formed a significant part in the pattern of convict history implemented in 1839 and continuing until 1854. Darlington Probation Station operated from 1842-1850. The philosophy behind a probation station was to use classification, segregation, education, religious instruction and stages of punishment to reform and manage convicts.
Of at least 78 probation stations established in Tasmania, Darlington Probation Station is the most outstanding representative example. Its isolated location made it an ideal choice for a probation station as it was away from free settlements and, being on an island, it also deterred escape.
The buildings remaining at the precinct illustrate the probation system philosophy. The mess hall and school room represent the education of convicts. The chapel, clergyman’s quarters and religious instructor’s quarters depict the focus on religious schooling. The prisoner’s barracks and ruins of the separate apartments demonstrate the classification system for convicts, whereby well behaved convicts could live together in dormitories while the worst class was housed in separate apartments. The solitary cells demonstrate the use of isolation for punishment. The convict barn and oast house/hop kilns represent some of the task work undertaken by the convicts.  No other probation station in Tasmania, or Australia is able to demonstrate this strong association as effectively as Darlington Probation Station.
Criterion H Significant people
Darlington Probation Station is significant for its association with the Governorship of Sir John Franklin.  Franklin was Lieutenant Governor of Tasmania from 1837-1843 at a critical time in Australia's convict history, following the departure of Colonel Arthur and the Molesworth Inquiry into transportation.  Governor Franklin was responsible for establishing the probation system to replace the assignment system.  The probation system was a major feature of the convict system in Australia and Darlington Probation Stationis the most representative and intact example of this system.
The bay-side settlement consists of a variety of convict period structures and early 20th century domestic and industrial features set amongst pasture and exotic plantings, fringed by native forest and dwarfed by the Maria Range to the east. The nominated area of Darlington Precinct includes the first and second convict settlement sites and the subsequent layers of the industrial Bernacchi period.
The first convict period 1825-1832
Commissariat store (1825) - The two storey brick commissariat store is the oldest remaining building on the island. Its location was determined by its proximity to the first landing point, the store jetty. The ground floor housed the provision store, spirit room and office and the upper floor contained two store rooms.
Penitentiary (prisoners barracks) (1830) - Built using over 200 000 bricks, the building originally consisted of six similar rooms (five dormitories and a chapel). Beams indicate the location of bunks in interior walls. Part of each dividing wall was removed in 1847 to make one large room. In the industrial era, the building was used by the cement works to house unmarried workers. The current timber veranda was constructed during the industrial period.
Cemetery (1825-1942) - 15 people are known to have been buried in the cemetery, located near the barn. Convicts were buried at a different, unknown site.
On the hillside to the west of the convict precinct, the footings of the commandant’s residence are still visible. To the south of the convict precinct the first sandstone quarrying began at Howells Point where worked blocks of sandstone can still be seen. Also remaining from this period are the duck pond, dam, mill lead and reservoir (Gilfedder:1997:p8).
The second convict period (probation station) 1842-50
Most buildings are in typical Colonial Georgian style demonstrating proportion, plain brick walling with white wash, simple rectangular paned sash windows, high hipped roofs and small or no eaves. The extant buildings from this period include:
Senior assistant superintendent's quarters and annexe (1847) - Located on the western side of the convict precinct the building is brick on stone foundations and measures 38 feet 10 inches by 30 feet (12 metres by nine metres). The senior assistant superintendent was responsible for the convicts in solitary confinement, the mess arrangements and was in charge of discipline in the absence of the superintendent. A standard design erected at several probation stations consisting of three rooms, a kitchen, a central hallway, store and closet and a small veranda at the rear.
Visiting magistrate's and superintendent's offices (c 1842-44) - Two rooms (the visiting magistrate’s office on the western side is larger), brick on stone foundations measuring 16.5 by 22.5 feet (5 by 6.8 metres). Originally the roof was hipped (now gabled) and the building had no veranda. The offices were maintained during the Bernacchi period and then converted for use as a shop and post office. The bars on windows are from this period.
Bakehouse and clothing store (c. 1842) - A simple brick on stone foundation building measuring 52 by 23.5 feet (15.84 by 7.16 metres) and divided into two rooms, the smaller clothing store and the larger bake house.  The large flagstone flooring was procured from the quarry in the direction of Point Lesueur (most other buildings in the station had wooden floors). Still intact is the 14 by 15 feet (4.47 by 4.57 metres) oven. The building was later re-used as a bakery, blacksmith’s shop and butchery. Alterations to the building include the addition of the door connecting the rooms and the rear door in the smaller room.
Cook house and bread store (c.1842) - Together with the bake-house and clothing store this building formed the eastern side of the muster ground. The plan is the mirror image of the bakehouse, the smaller room being used as a bread store, and the larger as the cook house. The cook house and oven have been demolished. The stone floor and some remains of the brick wall of the cook house can still be seen. The bread store remains but was converted into toilets in 1971.
Mess hall, school room and chapel (1845) - A large single storey brick structure used by first and second class convicts as a mess room by day and following supper as school room under the religious instructor and a catholic chapel. The room could seat 400 convicts at 20 tables. Protestants and Roman Catholics were taught on alternate evenings, where the party not receiving instruction remained seated at tables reading.  On Sundays the mess room served as a chapel for the Roman Catholics. Bernacchi made a number of changes including the addition of a chimney and at least one window on the north wall. A second chimney was later added. On the west side, a loading door was built onto the roof above the new main door. In the industrial period the floor was cemented and a door and windows let into the east wall. Most of the original windows were destroyed by these alterations.
Chapel/dayroom (c 1847-49) - One of four adjoined structures, each having separate pitched roofs and rear skillions. The chapel is brick on stone foundations with two windows on each of the northern and southern walls and a stone-flagged floor. Originally used by convicts to work during wet weather, it was also used as a school and a protestant chapel. During the industrial period, the building was used as a community hall, cinema and church and later as a shearing shed. The building is unchanged apart from an additional door on the eastern wall and an alteration to the original east doorway.
Assistant superintendent's quarters (1849) - Second of the four adjoined structures, the building comprises three rooms and a kitchen and is brick on stone foundations. Of originally three similar cottages (one for each of the Assistant Superintendents for each class of convicts), only one remains which was later connected to the Senior Assistant Superintendent’s quarters.
Smith O’Brien’s quarters (1842) - The third of the adjoined structures held political prisoner, Smith O’Brien. Two ground floor rooms measure 37 by 17.5 feet (11.28 by 5.33 metres).  The building at the rear was erected in the industrial period. The front of the house is shown in a photograph of the 1890s as being the same as at present except the earlier shingled roof has been replaced by one of corrugated iron.
Clergyman’s quarters (1849) - A fourth structure, 33 by 17.5 feet (10.06 by 5.33 metres), was added to the south end of the existing ones. It consisted of two rooms and is brick on stone foundations.
Officer's quarters (1842) - A simple two roomed brick cottage 31.5 by 17.5 feet (9.60 by 5.33 metres) on stone foundations. Seems little altered externally.
Convict barn (1846) - Located on the hillside north of the convict precinct the convict barn is one of the site’s largest buildings at 53 by 31 by 29 feet (16.1 by 9.45 by 8.84 metres) of brick on stone foundations. An attempt at ornamentation has been made on the end walls, where a faint triple diamond pattern in burned brick can be seen, the only demonstration of decoration on the island. The building has two main doors on the western and eastern sides which have been altered, perhaps in the industrial period, and the northern and small eastern wall doors also date from this period. There are windows in the end walls only, above which are circular windows. During the 1920s it became a machine repair and carpenter’s shop for the company’s railway system. Remnants of a steam shovel, a steam pump and other pieces of machinery are located outside the barn.
Miller's quarters (1846) and mill foundations (1845) - The brick, two room cottage is located on top of the hill overlooking the convict precinct and is the only remaining convict building with the construction date inscribed upon it, ‘1846’. The cottage measures 40 feet 3 inches by 15 feet 2 inches (12.28 by 4.63 metres) and apart from some wooden lean-to additions appears to be little altered. The windmill was constructed in 1845 for grinding corn. The stones forming the circle of 66 feet (20.12m) in diameter are still visible, marking the sweep of the mill’s tail.
Religious instructor's quarters (1843) – This building consists of four rooms, a central passage-way and an additional room at the rear, probably the kitchen/laundry. The quarters are brick on stone foundations with an elevated brick veranda approached by stone steps. Bernacchi later occupied the house and made some alterations including the addition of a room at the rear. The front steps were modified some time after 1888.
Oast house / hop kilns (1844 or 1845) – Now partly in ruins, but lying as it fell, the building was 66 feet long and 15 feet high (20.12 by 4.57m), brick on stone foundations with two circular drying towers 14 feet (4.27 metres) in diameter on the eastern wall. The main building would appear to have had three rooms on the ground floor and a loft for storage of grain and other government property such as charcoal, tools etc. The kiln was also used to prepare malt and perhaps some brewing. There were a number of alterations dating from the industrial period when Bernacchi is reported to have had his winery here. One wall has completely collapsed and the shingled roof has fallen inside.
Bridge (1842) - With the 1830s bridge no longer in existence, the present bridge crossing Bernacchi’s creek was later built in 1842. It has been altered at various times since and it is thought only the abutments and piers are original.
Separate apartments (c 1842) - Designed for chain-gang and crime class, 102 separate apartments stood nine feet long, about four feet wide and nine feet high (2.7 by 1.22 by 2.7 metres). A second storey was built in 1846, with new cells reached via a wooden veranda. The building was demolished by Bernacchi to make room for his ‘coffee palace’ which now occupies the site. The lower sections of the north, east and west walls remain and former cell divisions are clearly visible. Most of the foundations of the cells appear to remain just under the surface of the ground. Cell foundations are also intact under the floor of the ‘coffee palace’. The bricks from the demolished building were used to erect other buildings and for paving roads in the area.
Superintendent’s quarters (1842) - Formerly standing west of the convict precinct, the foundations remain indicating the size and layout of the building.
Hospital (1843) - Foundations of the front wall of the southern wing and part of the central section were uncovered in 1972. Excavation may reveal the whole outline of the building. Part of the wall which surrounded the hospital yard still stands beside the religious instructor’s house.
Solitary cells (1846) - Originally 23 punishment cells stood in a row behind the bakehouse (1842). These were replaced by two blocks of eight double-brick cells which opened alternately at the front and back so men could exercise separately. Foundations were uncovered in 1972, the walls then found to be one foot seven inches thick ( 52 cm or two bricks) instead of normal one foot 2.5 inches (38 cm or 1.5 bricks), perhaps for extra soundproofing. The cells measured four feet 10 inches by eight feet six inches and were probably nine feet high (1.48 by 2.58 by 2.74 metres). Only the foundations remain.
Muster ground and walkways - A quadrangle 420 by 128 ft (128 by 39 metres) is enclosed by the officers’ quarters, cooking and bake house and yards containing the dormitories and separate cells. The buildings on the north and south side of the muster ground were linked by paved walkways. The brick parapet-wall which bordered the muster ground site is still standing for much of its length. The lines of both north and south walkways are clearly visible.
Main structures remaining from the industrial periods
Some of the structures from the convict periods were re-used during subsequent industrial periods. Additional structures built include:
The coffee palace (1888) - Built over footings of the separate apartments which were demolished in 1886, the coffee palace consists of two dining rooms and a lounge room at the front and seven small rooms and a kitchen at the back. The building was used as a guesthouse during the industrial period and more recently the front three rooms were restored and opened to the public (Ludeke:2003:85).
The workman’s cottage (1889) - Built as part of the cement works, the cottage would have been home to a worker and possibly his family. The building is still in good condition and has been re-roofed.
Engineer’s house (1889) - Built to house the cement works manager, then reoccupied by the engineer, the house is now a ruin.
Bernacchi's cement works structure (1889) - A building east of the convict precinct on the Mount Bishop and Clerk Walk is all that remains of the cement works built by Bernacchi. The brick building consisted of two vaulted chambers in the east abutted by tailings from the quarry and a two storey section in the west. The cement works were subsequently modified for use as stables. Immediately behind the cement works in the hills are both brick and lime kilns, some built by Bernacchi and some built in convict times (Ludeke:2003:p79). At the top of the kilns is a quarry used as part of the cement works.
Terraces (1888) - A row of terraces accommodated workmen employed in the first development of the cement works. Constructed of bricks from the demolished separate apartments, the terraces have recently been restored.
School master’s house (1922) - In the cement works period of the 1920s a school was needed due to the large number of families on the island. The house was erected to accommodate the school master and is located behind the creek.

Exploration & Whaling
During his exploratory trip of 1642, Abel Tasman named ‘Maria’s Eylandt’ in honour of the wife of Anthony Van Diemen, the Governor-General of the Dutch East India Company. Subsequently, the island was visited by a number of explorers including du Fresne in 1771, Furneaux in 1773, Cox in 1789, Baudin in 1802 and Kelly in 1816 (Pretyman:1970:p1).
Commercial prospects for harvesting the seal skins and whale oil lured other parties to visit the locality, resulting in clashes with the indigenous inhabitants. Whalers were sighted at Maria Island since the early 19th century and there is evidence that whaling parties had been using Maria Island as early as 1825 but the location of the camp has not been determined (Nash:2003:p51). In 1833 a whaling station was established in the former convict settlement.
The first convict period 1825-30
Lieutenant Governor Arthur established a penal settlement at Darlington, Maria Island in 1825 for convicts who committed offences in the colony, but whose crimes were not of ‘so flagrant a nature’ that they should be banished to Macquarie Harbour (P&WS:1999). Many of the prisoners sent there were absconders (Maxwell-Stewart:2006:p47). Darlington was chosen due to its combination of a good anchorage, accessible shore, fresh water and shelter. Prisoners and officials were at first housed in log and bark huts or tents. However, within a year of arrival, permanent buildings were erected using bricks made on the island and sandstone quarried from the sea cliffs.  A large number of convicts who had experience in the British textile industry were working on road parties and chain gangs. In recognition of this, a textile factory to weave cloth and blankets was set up at Darlington complete with reservoir, weaving, spinning, milling, finishing and dyeing shops (Maxwell-Stewart:2006:p47). Industries such as shoe-making, tanning, timber cutting and pottery were also fostered. Brick-making activities and lime making commenced by 1831. Convict numbers were not large, and probably never greatly exceeded the 1828 figure of 145 prisoners (Godden Mackay CMP:1991:p13).
Darlington became notorious for convicts escaping by rafts or bark canoes. A number perished or gave themselves up, while a few (including George Lacey - a survivor of Brady’s bush-ranging gang) ended life on the gallows. The frequent escape attempts, allegations of laxity of discipline and difficulties of supply led to abandonment of the settlement and its convict population were moved to Port Arthur in 1832 (Knaggs:2006:p3).
The land with the vacated buildings was used for pastoral leases. By 1841 some buildings had been demolished and most were in poor repair (Godden Mackay CMP:1991:p13).
Governor Sir John Franklin and the probation system
In January 1837, accompanied by his wife, Lady Franklin and Captain Alexander Maconochie, Sir John Franklin arrived in Hobart Town as successor to Governor Arthur. Soon after his arrival a British parliamentary committee began its investigations into convict transportation. Assignment of convicts to free settlers or government public works had been the way in which the authorities employed the majority of convicts since the first settlements (ADB Online). The assignment system was severely criticised, likened to slavery and did not consistently provide for the controlled punishment and reform of convicts. The assignment system was phased out between 1838 and 1843. Governor Franklin proposed a replacement system of convict management involving stages of probation. If the sentence of imprisonment was for a term of less than seven years, the convict remained in a penitentiary in England. If the sentence was for more than seven years, transportation to Van Diemen’s Land was the result and the convicted person was required to go through stages of probation; the first stage involved at least two years at a probation station (undergone not in the colony but away from free settlers) and a systematic course of moral and religious instruction; the second stage involved two-four years on public works receiving wages and allowances. The third stage involved two-four years working as a free person but reporting regularly to certain stations plus working in government services between employment. Following the three stages of probation the convict could receive a ticket of leave, a ‘probationary and revocable pardon’ only valid in the colony in which it was granted (Brand:1990:20). Finally, the convict could receive a conditional or absolute pardon. Each convict had to go through each stage and could be reverted back a stage for bad behaviour (Pretyman:1970:17). The probation system was implemented in 1839 as an experiment but continued as a major phase of convict management until after transportation to Van Diemen’s Land ceased in 1853. It was a uniquely Australian approach to convict management, intended to provide punishment to ensure that transportation remained a deterrent, but also to provide opportunities for reform and betterment. Probation stations existed only in Van Diemen’s Land, although Norfolk island also participated in the probation system.
The second convict era 1842 – 1850
With the rise in convict numbers in Van Diemen’s Land following transport to New South Wales being discontinued in 1840 and the introduction of the probation system, the convict station at Darlington was reopened in 1842. The probation station was planned around the original Maria Island Convict Barracks (Kerr:1984:147). Some buildings from the original convict period were re-used for the purposes of the probation station and a major building program was initiated. Most of the convict structures on the island date from this period (Knaggs:2006:p5). The old penal station barracks was converted into accommodation for first and second class prisoners. This was separated from the rest of the probation station by a stockade. On either side of the entrance that led out onto the muster yard was a bookstore and a library that sought to instil convicts with the values of self-improvement. A new range of buildings were erected to accommodate the third class prisoners involving a double series of separate apartments which surrounded the third class yard. The muster yard was enclosed on the south by a cook house and bake house and various stores. A range of solitary cells was located at the rear of these.  The entrance to the muster yard was bounded on one side by the offices of the superintendent and the visiting magistrate and on the other by the chapel – a visual reminder that the way out lay in attending to religion and the rules and regulations of those in charge (Kerr:1984:147-51). As a probation station it was atypical in that it was generally well managed, it had an uninterrupted life of eight years, and was one of the first stations to be equipped with separate apartments (Kerr:1984:p147).
Darlington operated as a probation station for eight (1842-50) of the 13 years (1840-53) the system was in existence. It was one of the first of a group to be established, along with Salt Water Creek, Wedge Bay, Impression Bay and Cascades (Brand:1990:p17).  With over 400 acres worked for crops, agriculture was the primary activity of convicts, cultivating wheat, flax, hops and vegetables although lime was also quarried and burnt on an industrial scale (Brand:1990:p178). In 1846 a post mill was constructed enabling the settlement to grind its own flour.
In April 1845 James Boyd, one of the original wardens of Pentonville Prison, was appointed senior assistant superintendent. He was firm in his belief that ‘separation, watchfulness and restraint are, or ought to be, the grand cardinal objects to be sought for in all good systems of prison discipline’ (Boyd quoted in Syme:1848:p361). Although it made use of recycled buildings from the former penal station, Darlington was praised for the manner in which it conformed to the classificatory ideals of the probation system, both in management and architecturally.  In December 1845 Boyd wrote a detailed report on Darlington and noted how the men were classed: ‘The gang, which usually musters about 600 men, is divided into four classes, the first being composed of the best behaved prisoners; the second, of the tolerably good; the third, of the indifferent; and the fourth is the chain-gang and crime-class’ (Brand:1990). The prisoners were located in accommodation according to class. Men of the first-class were housed in 20 out-huts, holding from three to 24 men each. The whole of the second and third were accommodated in six large rooms in the convict barracks. These rooms were constantly illuminated and each housed 66 men where the berths were ‘arranged in three tiers’ and were ‘divided by separation boards, about 13 inches deep’ (Brand:1975:129-155&159-188).  There were 102 separate apartments for the chain-gang and crime-class and ‘men specially ordered to be kept separate on account of unnatural propensities’ (Brand:1990:23).The classification of prisoners according to behaviour and the ordering of the spaces which they occupied were closely connected.
Boyd reported serious crimes at Darlington, including the bludgeoning of an officer and conspiracies to attack, shoot or poison officials but details of homosexual activities were cut from the printed Parliamentary Paper.  In 1847 Darlington was cleared of all convicts to receive 369 prisoners, almost all direct from England (Knaggs:2006:p6).
In early November 1849, Irish political prisoner, William Smith O’Brien was sent to the island after refusing to give his word that he would not attempt to abscond.  During the 1840’s Smith O’Brien was a follower and one time leader of O’Connell’s Repeal Movement in Ireland. Later in the decade O’Brien formed the ‘Confederation’ which looked to the revolution in France as a model for Irish independence. In 1848 O’Brien was arrested and convicted of high treason. His death sentence was reduced to transportation and he and four of his colleagues arrived at Maria Island on 31st October 1849. O’Brien occupied two of the three conjoined cottages probably originally built between 1842 and 1849 as conjoined two-room Officer’s Quarters and now known as Smith O’Brien’s Building (Prettyman:1970:p24). In August 1850 an escape attempt by O’Brien was thwarted and O’Brien was removed to Port Arthur in October 1850.
Darlington was one of the largest probation stations, its peak population was 492 convicts in 1846 (Maxwell-Stewart:2006:p47). It was also one of the longest lived, operating for a total of nine years. It was only closed after the decision was made to confine all convicts still undergoing probation to the stations on the Tasman Peninsula in 1850 (Knaggs:2006:p8).
The first industrial era 1884 - 1896
Following intermittent agricultural leasing between 1852 and 1883, the island attracted interest from Italian entrepreneur, Diego Bernacchi, who started a wine-making and silk industry.  The Maria Island Company was floated in 1887 to add agriculture, cement, timber and fishery to the enterprises already undertaken. After Bernacchi became Managing Director, Darlington (renamed San Diego in 1888) became a bustling township of over 250 people of many nationalities with a school, shops, butcher, baker, blacksmith, shoemaker, post office etc (P&WS:1999). Cement works were set up in the late 1880s utilising the island’s limestone deposits (Pretyman:1970:28). The opening of the Grand Hotel in 1888 (now demolished), complete with dining, billiard and accommodation rooms, saw the promotion of the island as a pleasure resort and sanatorium.  Also constructed in Bernacchi’s time were the coffee palace, a row of workers’ cottages known as the ‘twelve apostles’ and the Bernacchi’s terraces (two sets of three terraced cottages built using bricks from the demolished convict separate apartment cells). Other old convict buildings were re-modelled to house workers, managers and shops. Bernacchi’s family resided in the old religious instructor’s house for a time (Knaggs:2006:9).
Despite Bernacchi’s efforts, the Maria Island Company went into liquidation in 1892. Bernacchi continued to promote the island’s fledgling cement industry and formed a new company for that purpose. It was short-lived, and in 1896 Bernacchi and his family left for Melbourne, and then to London. After Bernacchi’s departure, tourists continued to frequent the island where a boarding house was run in the old coffee palace. A small pastoral community also became established and San Diego once again became Darlington - a rustic retreat for a few holiday makers or the farming families that settled there.
The second industrial era 1920 - 1930
On 8 February 1924 Bernacchi returned to Darlington and opened the Cement Works Company and community life prospered for the 500 or so residents.  The existing Darlington buildings, including the Penitentiary, the Mess Room, the Visiting Magistrate's and Superintendent's office and the Coffee Palace, were modified for re-use. With failing health, Bernacchi left for Melbourne in 1924, where he died a little over a year later with his illusion of success unspoiled by the economic realities that soon followed (Knaggs:2006:10).  The company faced problems resulting from the depression and coal and cement production had ceased by 1930. The population of the island dwindled and buildings were dismantled and removed. The small number of people remaining ran sheep and cattle and fished.
A National Park
Following a brief attempt to revive the working of limestone deposits, the Tasmanian Government recognised the potential of the island, both as an historic site and a flora and fauna reserve.
From 1 June 1971, the island was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary under the control of the Animals and Birds Protection Board. The National Parks and Wildlife Service was formed in November of that year, and assumed responsibility for the island, which was proclaimed a National Park on 14 June 1972. Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania now manage the Island including the Darlington Precinct and associated features. A Marine Reserve was declared in 1991 protecting marine life in the waters surrounding the northern part of the island (Knaggs:2006:10).

Condition and Integrity
The settlement layout and landscape features are evident at Darlington Precinct with standing convict, agricultural and industrial structures from two convict periods and subsequent industrial periods are in good condition.
Most of the first and second convict period structures have been re-roofed with corrugated iron. The remaining structures and ruins on the site have been subject to conservation treatment to stabilise the fabric and restore their original limewash simplicity. A substantial conservation program over a decade in the 1990s has resulted in the conservation of several of the major buildings of the site.
The barn of the second convict period is in very good condition, all walls standing and the evidence of layered history of convict, cement works, agriculture and housing of artefact material are all still present. Poorly fired convict made brick contribute to deteriorating brickwork.
The separate apartments was partially demolished by Bernacchi to construct his industrial enterprise. There is, however, substantial external walls and subsurface evidence of the structure as well as plans and photographs as evidence of what was there.
Many of the ruins of the 1920s cement works, which were in a dangerous state of repair have been demolished, leaving a number of tangible reminders of the island’s two industrial periods, such as the cement silos, raw mill and foundations of  structures.
The traces of Bernacchi’s proposed wine industry is still evident in the rubble of the ‘twelve apostles’ which were built to house workers in the vineyards (Weidenhofer:1991:61). There are land formations of the vineyards and the cultural landscape is still in place despite periods of agriculture between periods of development.
In the summers of 1995 and 1996, a Maria Island Cultural Resource Survey, using student volunteers, catalogued artefacts and recorded additional historic sites. All records of these recording projects are maintained by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service.
About 376ha, Darlington, Maria Island, comprising an area bounded by a line commencing at the intersection of MGA northing 5283570mN with the High Water Mark at approximate MGA point 586027mE 5283570mN, then via straight lines joining the following MGA points consecutively; 586078E 5283541N, 586154E 5283533N, 586257E 5283575N, 586273E 5283621N, 586339E 5283706N, 586438E 5283770N, 586522E 5283857N, 586589E 5283907N, 586782E 5283965N, 587048E 5283977N, 587148E 5284006N, 587194E 5284068N, 587215E 5284162N, 587327E 5284370N, 587547E 5284301N, 587627E 5284307N, 587655E 5284378N, 587575E 5284535N, 587579E 5284702N, 587609E 5284762N, 587685E 5284806N, 587704E 5284883N, 587730E 5284911N, 587784E 5284911N, 587903E 5284877N, 587981E 5284865N, 588036E 5284824N, 588158E 5284662N, 588430E 5284450N, 588669E 5284295N, 588720E 5284221N, 588752E 5284066N, 588804E 5284012N, 588893E 5283973N, 589015E 5283969N, 589201E 5284006N, 589303E 5284058N, 589327E 5284108N, 589303E 5284201N, 589136E 5284350N, 589013E 5284452N, 588927E 5284543N, 588822E 5284704N, 588804E 5284776N, 588824E 5284851N, 588889E 5285000N, 588911E 5285173N, then directly to the intersection of MGA northing 5285205mN (approximate MGA point 588941mE 5285205mN), then northerly and southerly via the High Water Mark to the point of commencement. Also included is the jetty located at Darlington Bay.
Brand, I. 1975. The convict buildings of Maria Island Part 1. in Tasmanian Historical Research Association Volume 1, No. 3 September 1975.
Brand, I. 1990.  The Convict Probation System: Van Diemen's Land 1839-1854 , Blubber Head Press, Hobart.
Department of the Environment and Heritage (Knaggs, M). 2006 National Heritage List Nomination, Darlington and Point Lesueur Historic Precincts, Maria Island.
Evans, K. 1993. Hop Industry Historical Research Project Volume 1: A Social and Economic History. A report for the Parks and Wildlife Service.
Forward Consultants/ 1984. The Maria Island Conservation Report. For the National Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Forward Consultants. 1984. The Maria Island Conservation Report – Archaeologists Report. For the National Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Forward Consultants. 1984. The Maria Island Conservation Report – Building Fabric Analyses. For the National Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Gilfedder, F. and Assoc. (1997) Darlington, Maria Island: Heritage Vegetation Study, Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Godden Mackay Pty Ltd (1992) Darlington Precinct, Maria Island, Conservation Plan, Final Report prepared for Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Godden Mackay Pty Ltd (1995) Darlington Precinct, Maria Island, Smith O'Brien's Cottage, the Mess Hall, the Coffee Palace: Conservation Plans, Report prepared for Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Lawrence, S and Staniforth, M. 1998. The Archaeology of Whaling in Southern Australia and New Zealand. The Australian Society for Historical Archaeology and the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology Special Publication. No 10.
Ludeke, M. A. (2001). Tasmania's Maria Island: A comprehensive History and Visitor's Guide. Ludeke Publishing.
Macfie, P (1991). Historic Report on First Cement Works, Maria Island. Report prepared for Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania.
Maria Island National Park. A brief history of European occupation. Tasmania’s cultural heritage.  Pamphlet.
Maxwell-Stewart, H. 2006. Consultant’s report “ World Heritage Serial Nomination for Australian Convict Sites”. Department of the Environment and Heritage.
Nash, M. 2003. The Bay Whalers; Tasmania’s shore-based whaling industry. Navarine Publishing. Canberra ACT.
Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania (1999) Parks and Places: Maria Island: Historic Darlington Fact Sheet published by the Tasmanian Department of Tourism Parks Heritage and the Arts.
Prettyman, E.R. 1970. Some notes on Maria Island and its penal settlements. Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
Syme, J. 1848.  Nine Years in Van Diemen's Land, McCosh, Park & Dewars, Dundee.
Weidenhofer, M (1991) Maria Island: A Tasmanian Eden. B & M Reid.

Report Produced  Wed Sep 24 07:05:34 2014