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Old Geelong Gaol (HM Prison Geelong)

Based on the Pentonville (UK) model and built in various stages between 1849-1864 from local bluestone, brick and volcanic rock. The prison three-storey central block is cruciform with east and west wings serving as cells, the north wing as an administration block, and the southern wing as a kitchen, hospital and a tailoring workshop. It was first occupied in 1853 and was used in many roles until its closure in 1991.

 

From 1853-1865 it was a gaol for convicts until 1865-1872 was used as an industrial school for girls (street kids) housing 180 children aged 9-16 abandoned during the gold rush. In 1877-1940 it was a hospital goal and the Australian Army used it as detention barracks between 1940-1947. becoming again a hospital gaol 1947-58 and then a training prison from 1958 until closure in 1991.

 

A number of executions took place in the gaol itself but previously the condemned were executed in public in a paddock near the gaol known as Gallow's Flat. The last hanging in Geelong Gaol was Thomas Menard in October 1865 for murder.

 

Today the gaol remains mostly unchanged and is now operated by the Rotary Club of Geelong and open to the public. A gallows exhibit recreates the 1863 hanging of James Murphy, who battered Constable Daniel O'Boyle to death at the Warrnambool court house.

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Taken on May 12, 2012