The Matron’s Quarters was built at the southern end of Yard 4 and was originally designed with four main rooms, three for the use of the Matron, the other for use as a messenger’s room. This room housed messengers conveying correspondence to and from convict and government officials in Hobart.
The three remaining rooms housed the Matron’s parlour, bedroom and kitchen, with the amenities in a yard to the east where the front rooms of the house extension stand today. The domestic nature of this structure in comparison to the rest of the factory’s buildings is believed to be its saviour, being the only remaining building that relates to the Female Factory on site today.
An almost identical mirror image of the Matron’s cottage – the Sub-Matron’s cottage – was built in the south-western corner of Yard 4 at the same time as the main cottage was constructed. Foundations have been located through archaeological investigation, however little evidence of its existence survives today in the historical records.
A succession of owners and tenants occupied the cottage throughout the 20th century. In 2003 the cottage and garden was purchased by the Female Factory Historic Site Ltd.
Extensive conservation works have been completed and the cottage is now open to visitors and houses a number of displays. A guide is located inside the Matrons Quarters to answer any questions visitors may have.