Old Gaol Museum

Old Gaol MuseumNeil McKnight668 x 380 px. 56.7 Kb.

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Old Gaol Museum

Albany Old Gaol Museum offers a fascinat­ing look at the era of con­victs in the 1800s.

Built in 1852 by con­victs transpor­ted from En­gland as artisans and skilled labourers, the Old Gaol was orig­in­ally a con­vict hir­ing de­pot for ticket-of-leave men who worked for Albany's free settlers. Con­vict labour was essential to the ear­ly colony, build­ing Albany's main streets and the road to Perth.

The womens cells, the Great Hall and Warders' Quarters were added in 1875 allow­ing the com­plex to be used as a colonial prison and home to the War­der and his fam­ily.

Aborig­inal prisoners in the 1870s were housed in a special timber-lined cell, their carvings, still vis­ible, believed to be Australias oldest Aborig­inal cell art.

In 1892, the mass murderer Frederick Bailey De­em­­ing spent time in the Old Gaol dur­ing his transport­ation from South­ern Cross to the East­ern States.

Now ful­ly re­stored, the Old Gaol con­ta­in ex­tens­ive dis­plays of the times and usage of these stark quarters, home to artifacts from the orig­inal settlers of Albany and the re­gion's Aborig­inal peo­ple, and re­lics from the first and second World Wars.

Wan­der through the cell blocks and warders quarters, see the Hangman's Yard, hear ghost­ly tales, view aborig­inal cell art, see the de­ath mask of mass murderer Frederick De­em­­ing and ex­per­i­ence the ex­treme darkness of the Black Hole.

Aborig­inal prisoners in the 1870s were housed in a special timber-lined cell, their carvings believed to be Australias oldest Aborig­inal cell art.

Tours are self-guided, un­less by prior arrange­ment. For the courage­ous, book yourself into the special night tour and keep an eye out for ghosts said to haunt the gaol. Partial wheelchair access to most areas. Postcards, souvenirs and books of histori­cal in­terest are for sale.

The Old Gaol is loca­ted on the corner of Stirl­ing Terrace and Parade Streets, next to the West­ern Australia Museum and Brig Amity Re­plica.

Article updated 07/05/2017.