Here is another photo of the garden I made at the back of our townhouse complex. I call it the Ragged Garden because it’s on the site of the former Lower Collins Street Ragged School that operated there for a remarkable 56 years – from 1858-1914.

Ragged schools were for children who were too poor to attend public primary schools, which were fee-paying at that time. Many of the children in the surrounding area, called Wapping, didn’t have suitable shoes or clothes to wear either – hence the name ‘ragged’ school after similar schools in London. As children often roamed the streets of Wapping and the dock area, the school’s teachers knocked on doors in the area to persuade parents to send their children to school.

There are many articles about the school in Hobart’s Mercury newspaper and a garden is mentioned in the Ragged School Association rules and recommendations. Inspector’s  reports and annual meetings of the Association often state that flowers decorated the classrooms.

See my article about how children found acceptance and self-esteem at the school, as well as an education, in Forty South Tasmania online: here