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Old Geelong Gaol PDF Print E-mail

  

Old Geelong Gaol

Geelong GaolThe Geelong Gaol occupied in 1853 after construction began in 1849 and was finally complete in 1864. It's design was based on the English Pentonville Prison and built by convicts who were housed in hulks moored in Corio Bay. The Geelong Gaol was operated as a high security prison until being decommission in July, 1991.

Little has changed at Geelong Gaol since it's closure. There are a few extras, including a gallows exhibit recreating the gaols 1863, and first,  hanging of James Murphy, a brutal criminal convicted of battering Constable Daniel O'Boyle to death at the Warrnambool Court House. He was the first of many prisoners to be executed at the gaol. Other exhibits include a period style cell, two 'Loss of Priveleged' cells, and cell 47, where a prisoner painted a 'Window of Freedom' on the wall. There is a watchtower open to the public which looks over the cells and parade ground, the doctor's surgery, the tailor shop, and the recreation room with its murals.

The gaol is an imposing and sombre building of solid bluestone (basalt) which was the prefered long lasting building material of the time. The steep steps to the watchtower and the impressive street facade are of particular note. Prisoners were held in small, unheated and unsewered cells for up to 14 hours at a time.

The gaol is now operated by the Rotary Club of Geelong and is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and daily during public and school holidays from 1pm to 4pm. Guided Tours and souvenirs are available.


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