Old Melbourne Gaol

Last week, we visited the Old Melbourne Gaol, a museum and former prison. Gaol, by the way, is just a British variant spelling of jail.

The building of the Old Melbourne Gaol began in 1841 and expanded following the discovery of gold in Victory, which led to rapid growth in population and increased crime. It held and executed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals including Ned Kelly. At one point, the Gaol occupied an entire city block and included exercise yards, hospitals, a chapel, a bath house, and accommodations for staff. It closed in 1924 and parts of the Gaol have since been incorporated into the RMIT University. The rest is a museum.

Australia

The Old Melbourne Gaol.

Australia

Cells have information about the prisoners. Women were also held and executed here.

Australia

The death mask of the notorious Ned Kelly.

Australia

The gallows.

Australia

The triangle where prisoners were flogged.

Australia

A view from an upper floor.

Australia

A few walled doors. I wonder what that’s about.

Australia

The Gaol is shown on the right. The RMIT Alumni Courtyard once held the Gaol’s hospital.

Australia

A peek through the Gaol’s original entry gate. This part of the site now belongs to RMIT University.

Australia

The original Gaol entry gate.

Admission to the Gaol includes a tour of the old City Police Watch House next door, which closed in 1994.

Melbourne

The cells at the old City Police Watch House.

Melbourne

The interior of a cell at the old City Police Watch House.

Melbourne

A padded cell at the old City Police Watch House.

Australia

A view of the exercise yard from a separate cell for isolated criminals at the old City Police Watch House.

Melbourne

Graffiti in the women’s exercise yard at the old City Police Watch House.

Although it’s small and not nearly as picturesque as Port Arthur, the darker and gloomier Old Melbourne Gaol is worth a visit.

Have you visited any historic prisons?

Comments

comments

2 Comments

  1. Wonderful photos and very interesting! It looks pretty grim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge