Old Melbourne Gaol
Melbourne Gaol is a bleak setting but an interesting attraction
nonetheless. It was the scene of 135 hangings,
including that of Australia's most famous outlaw, Ned Kelly
(Kelly's armour and death mask are on display.)
has such a strong association with hanging that it's not surprising
that there is an exhibition on the "Art of Hanging", featuring
the "Hangman's Box" and its contents. The gaol is
a relatively small and narrow building with cells either side
on three levels. The upper levels have timber floors and iron
rails. Interestingly, the hangings took place on the first
landing, where a trap door is cut into the floor.
This then becomes the hangman's box. When the prisoner was
hung and his body dropped through the trapdoor, he would have
been hanging in the main ground-floor corridor of the gaol.
This must have been an horrific experience for the other prisoners.
on display, which is known as the "Particulars of Executions",
gives all the gory details and details
the last moments of those hanged. Education packages include
a collection of death masks that were used in the "science"
of phrenology - the study of the skull to predict criminal
performances by staff are a feature of the gaol. You can follow
a warder by candlelight as he makes his way through the Gaol,
giving an account of its history and telling stories about
those who were hanged there.
Melbourne gaol is open seven days a week, 9:00am to 5:00pm, but is
closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.
There are a number of options to pre-book your ticket to visit the Old Melbourne Gaol, try one of these:
landing on the first level where prisoners were hung.
As a prisoner was hung, the trapdoor would open and
his body would drop through and hang in the main corridor. Hang 'em high