Oceania

Melbourne City – The Old Goal


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The old Melbourne Gaol can now be visited; they will even allow you back out. The oldest prison in Melbourne, the gallows here was used for 136 hanging executions. There are tours that take you into the prison where Ned Kelly was hung; you can even see the gallows where he and many others were done.There are a number of exhibits showing what life was like, about the criminals that were sentenced here and about those who were condemned to die. You can also see Ned Kelly re-enactments on Saturdays, or take one of the fascinating ghost or candlelit tours at night. One wonders if you were a ghost why you would hang around (excuse the pun) in a prison. Still, a visit here is an extremely fascinating look at early prison life and Victorian attitudes to crime. Old Melbourne Gaol was the first extensive prison complex in Victoria with the first of its buildings constructed in 1841-44. Additional buildings, wings and demolitions marked its development through the years. It ceased operating as a prison in 1929 except for a brief period in World War II when it housed Australian soldiers found to have been absent without leave. In 1972, the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) was given management of Old Melbourne Gaol as a tourist attraction. The National Trust is Australia’s largest community conservation organization safeguarding Australia’s heritage for future generations.

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