History gets unearthed

One of the coracles as it was brought to the surface.
One of the coracles as it was brought to the surface.

The coracles, which it is believed were used to carry the prisoners tools and materials as they constructed the tunnels 125 years ago, were half submerged under mud 20 metres underground.

Fremantle Prison curator Olimpia Cullity said the boats were slowly corroding away buried underground for all that time.

‘Their removal was difficult as they were large and fragile, semi-submerged in water and mud and deep underground,’ she said.

The coracles will be treated at the conservation department in the WA Museum to ensure they do not deteriorate further, before being put on public display at the prison.