"Old Melbourne Gaol - An 'Arresting' Destination" Top 5 Page for this destination Old Melbourne Gaol Tip by leffe3

Old Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne: 28 reviews and 55 photos


Melbourne Old Gaol was Victoria's first prison, built in 1841 and which remained in use until its official closure in 1924 (although it was used as a military prison during WWII, mainly for short stay periods for those who went AWOL during leave or were arrested for being drunk and disorderly). During this period, it saw 136 hangings, with its most famous victim, Ned Kelly, being hanged in 1880.
(Dates of opening and closure of the prison vary from source to source).

It's a fascinating, if gruesome, place to visit. Only one wing of the prison is open to the public. During its heyday, the prison covered the whole block - nowadays its bluestone buildings have either been demolished or incorporated into the city campus of RMIT (although the Prison Chapel is still open to the public but is accessed through an entrance which is part of the University in Franklin St). Virtually all the cells are open to viewing (except those that have been incorporated into offices!!), although many are empty of any furnishings. Throughout the 3 floors of cells there are, however, a number of displays and, more interestingly, boards providing information about life in the prison - ranging from military use through to life as a hangman as well as the stories of many of those imprisoned or hanged in the prison. There's also a collection of Death Masks, including that of Ned Kelly himself as well as the weird hologram of the hangman's noose.

Opening Times:
Monday - Sunday 9.30am - 5pm (closed Christmas Day and Good Friday)

Entrance Fees:
Adults: AUD$12.50
Concessions: AUD$9.50
Children: AUD$7.50
Family: AUD$33.50 (2 adults, 4 kids)

There's also Old Melbourne Gaol By Night (usually Wed/Fri & Sunday) - a tour by candlelight and which involves history and re-enactments. AUD$25/AUD$16.50 for the privilege.

Address: Russell St
Directions: Between Victoria & LaTrobe Streets in the City
Phone: +61 3 8663 7228
Website: http://www.oldmelbournegaol.com.au/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 28, 2006
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