The Second Settlement of Norfolk Island was designed to be a living hell. Only the worst of the worst convicts were transported there with little hope of making it back to mainland Australia. Their punishment was to do manual labour from sunrise to sunset with no proper tools. They would get flogged for trivial offences. The prisons and related buildings were built close to the water and the buildings on Quality Row (houses for non-convicts and government offices) were built further up the hill to provide maximum surveillance and lessen the chances of successful escape by convicts. Some of the buildings have fallen to ruin over the years but you can still see the walls of the prison.
In this building we watched “The Trial of 15”, a quite-funny play about the history of the convict past. Fifteen different characters from the island’s early settlement to the arrival of the Pitcairners give evidence, thereby revealing the history of the island. I wasn’t surprised to learn that the play has been running for several sessions every week for more than ten years. Unfortunately we couldn’t take photos during the play.