Old Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 24 Reviews

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    Where Ned Kelly was hanged!

    by aussiedoug Updated Oct 30, 2005

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    Juxtaposition with the new office skyscraper in ba
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    I came away from this place with mixed feelings.

    Firstly it was absolutely fascinating, a really interesting place to visit to get the historic background information on Melbourne in its early days & the way criminals, petty or otherwise were treated & dealt with.

    However, it would be really easy to come out of here really depressed, for a number of reasons. Just the feel of the place inside gave palpable evidence to the horrid repression of the human spirit that took place in here.

    It is famous in Australian history as the place where Ned Kelly said his famous last words, "Such is life!" before he was hanged by the neck until dead. Even today we still don't know if he was a hero or a villain. I guess it all depends of your perspective. Ned's death mask can also be seen at the Gaol. Please note the English spelling Gaol as it was used then & not "jail".

    The Old Melbourne Gaol is a National Trust administered property & if you are a member you will have reduced admission fees.

    Also, you may be lucky enough to catch one of the
    "Night Performances - a blend of theatre and history:
    Experience the gaol by candlelight with hangman 'Michael Gately' as he recounts stories of the gaol, its inmates and his infamous art. Not for the faint hearted or children under 12 years old. Tickets available from Ticketek 13 28 49 or www.ticketek.com.au" info taken from the National Truest website

    If you're in Melbourne & you have the time I really recommend a visit here.

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    OLD MELBOURNE GAOL

    by aussiejen Updated Oct 17, 2005

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    GALLOWS
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    The Old Melbourne Gaol is best known as the place where Ned Kelly (Australia's infamous bushranger) was hanged in 1880. Consequently there is a lot of interest in his life.
    If you visit on a Saturday you can watch a live performance of "Such A Life" which tells the Ned Kelly story at 12.30pm and 2.00pm. This is included in the entry price of $13.50 per adult.
    "Hangman's Night Tours" are generally held 4 nights a week. Bookings are essential, phone Ticketek on 13 28 49, or go to www.ticketek.com.au
    This 3 story bluestone building is one of Melbourne's oldest surviving buildings. Construction began in 1841, the 1st cell block opened in 1845.
    On the ground floor, outside the cells, you will find storyboards about early Melbourne and the building of the gaol. Inside the cells, there are stories about executed prisoners.
    The story about Ned Kelly and his gang is told at the far end of the gaol. Here you can also see his death mask.
    Open 7 days a week. Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday.

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  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    Old Melbourne Gaol

    by keeweechic Updated Mar 4, 2005

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    The Old Melbourne Gaol was originally part of a gaol complex that was constructed in 1852-4. It was the first to be built in bluestone in preference to sandstone and had its own perimeter wall. At the time it was a model prison. It served as a prison for the last time in the Second World War to hold soldiers who were AOL.

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    NED KELLY

    by BerniShand Updated Jan 9, 2005

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    Australias most famous outlaw Ned Kelly was hanged here in 1880, his last words were "such is life"...... acceptance of the fact that in those days execution was an employment hazard for a bank robber,

    he was injured in the siege at Glenrowan, when he was captured, so as soon as he was well enough they executed him

    you can see the beam he was hung from and his death mask...........we were suprised to see that he had a strong resemblance to the character Nick Cotton from the BBC soap `Eastenders` ......... perhaps there is something going for the phrenology theory after all

    also on show is some of the armour made and worn by the Kelly gang, and a child size version if any younger visitors would like to dress up for a photo opportunity

    the scaffold here is still in working order, using it on husbands and wayward offspring is of course forbidden, and there is an display entitled "Art of Hanging" which is either educational or macarbe depending on your viewpoint

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    THE RESIDENTS

    by BerniShand Written Jan 8, 2005

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    some of the death masks

    there is an amazing collection of death masks here all of which look far too life like
    [ or should that be death like ?]
    several eminent doctors during Victorian times believed that the shape of the skull was indicative of the personality, this study [ phrenology ] was said to be able to identify the "criminal type", death masks of hanged criminals were often made, and their skulls studied after death, these death masks are on display at the gaol, with the history of the person and the catalogue of their crimes

    l found them very interesting, but very spooky

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    GO TO JAIL

    by BerniShand Written Jan 8, 2005

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    the cell block

    Melbourne Gaol was the place we enjoyed most in Melbourne, its very spooky and l wouldnt recommend it if you are prone to nightmares, the death masks of hanged convicts are rather gruesome

    the building is built of bluestone, and was built in stages from 1841 to 1864, a population boom during the goldrush and the ensuing growth of crime meant the gaol had to be expanded very quickly

    the gaol was closed in 1923 and much of it was demolished, but there is enough remaining to give you a good idea of prison life

    entrance costs $12.50 and the gaol is open from 9.39 to 4.30, we spent 2 hours here looking around
    there are guided Night Tours which cost $20 advance booking is necessary call 13 28 40
    it was scarey enough for me on a wet afternoon, l dont think ld sleep too well after a night time tour

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Old Melbourne Goal - the eerie

    by mvtouring Written Mar 30, 2004

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    Melbourne Goal

    A must do outing for better effect you should go in the evening. They have actors that take you through the prison dressed like a keeper and tell you the history of the museum with some props for special effect. At its high time it was a model prison. It served as a prison for the last time in the Second World War to hold soldiers who were AOL.

    The gaol saw 135 hangings in the time that it was in operation. The most famous victim was Ned Kelly.

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  • Old Melbourne Gaol

    by grkboiler Written Nov 29, 2003

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    I passed by the gaol every day on the way to class, and didn't stop in until my last week in Melbourne. It was very gloomy and morbid, but it was worth it.

    The Old Melbourne Gaol gives a visitor a perspective of what life was like in a prison in the 1800's. It is a great historical site in Melbourne. The museum is in an actual cell block (the only one remaining) and contains artifacts from some of its most notorious criminals, including the infamous Ned Kelly. The life stories of some of the 135 prisoners who were executed are featured in a few cells, complete with plaster death masks of some of their heads. There are also some displays about the prison's time as an army detention barracks during WW2.

    Exhibits are great and reading the displays takes you back in time. The museum is open 7 days a week.

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    Old Melbourne Goal

    by mvtouring Written Sep 7, 2004

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    Melbourne Jail

    You have to visit the jail, especially at night time. It is excellent entertainment to go on the evening excursion.

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