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From convict prison to the Gothic ruins of tourist attraction


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Goc, NE 2002 , 'From convict prison to the Gothic ruins of tourist attraction' , Historic Environment, vol. 16, no. 3 , pp. 22-26 .

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This paper examined the transformation and commodification of Port Arthur from a convict prison to the Gothic ruins of a tourist attraction. Before the concept of preservation became the main emphasis of the Port Arthur site there was a period of time when historical and natural heritage bled into one another in a cycle of construction and destruction. this paper will explore the ways in which the site, in its ruined state, was interpreted and utilised from the late 1870s.
The concept of ruins as a tourist attraction in Australia has correlations with the European construct of teh Grand Tour and its modern counterpart -mass tourism. The romancing of the ruins of the old prison site began to occur very soon after bushfires swept through the settlement creating what some commentators referred to as "Australia's own Tintern Abbey".

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Goc, NE
Keywords: Gothic ruins, tourism, Port Arthur, early Australian tourist attraction,
Journal or Publication Title: Historic Environment
ISSN: 0726-6715
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