Old Melbourne Gaol
The Old Melbourne Gaol is a large, historic prison in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The bluestone building was the first large prison built in Victoria. It was the location of many executions, including Ned Kelly who was hanged at the prison in 1880. It closed in 1929 and is now a museum.
Melbourne was first settled in 1835 and its first small gaol was built in 1839. A second gaol was built in 1841 next to the Supreme Court buildings. In 1852 work started on a new gaol based on the Pentonville Model Prison design. This had its own outside wall of solid bluestone. A second stage started in 1857, and the wall was extended in 1859. In 1860 the north wing, chapel, central hall and entrance was built. A western wing for female prisoners was started in 1862, and the outside wall was finished in 1864. There were also 17 jailer's houses, a chief warden's house and a hospital. It was built on a high point at the edge of the city. However a report in 1870 said the gaol should be closed and the prisoners moved to a more suitable location. The prison finally closed in 1929.
During World War II, the gaol was used as a military prison for Australian soldiers. After the war it became a storage building for the Victoria Police. Some of the buildings were pulled down to allow for the building of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, now Victoria University. In 1972 the buildings were taken over by the National Trust as a museum.