Old Melbourne Gaol

For almost 80 years, the Melbourne Gaol was a place of punishment and execution, where men, women and children were incarcerated for crimes ranging from murder to vagrancy.

A visit to the Old Melbourne Gaol will introduce you to stories of the many inmates who spent time in its cells, including those incarcerated for minor misdemeanours who were housed alongside the state’s most dangerous criminals. 

The Gaol’s most infamous inmate, bushranger Ned Kelly, spent the last few months at the Gaol before going to the gallows.

Construction on the Melbourne Gaol began in 1841, and within six years of its official opening the new Gaol was already overcrowded. The discovery of gold in 1851 triggered a huge increase in population, making law and order difficult to enforce.  These factors together with poverty and lack of social welfare meant a larger gaol was urgently needed and expansion began. Completed in 1858, it is this block that remains today. 

The Gaol complex continued to expand and by 1864 it spread over two city blocks and included labour and exercise yards, male and female hospitals, a chapel, a bath house and accommodation for staff.  

Together with the City Watchhouse, which closed its doors in 1994, and the former Magistrates Court, the legal precinct offers a unique insight into the history of Victoria’s justice system.

Experience the precinct during a day or night tour. Children’s school holiday activities are offered throughout the year.


See & Do

 

Place Details

Opening Times

Open 7 Days
10am to 5pm

Night Tours run on selected days.

Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day.

Admission

Adult: $35
Concession: $30
Child (5 - 15 years): $22
Family (2A + 2C): $85
1 Adult Family (1A + 2C): $65
Extra child: $10

FREE General Admission for National Trust Members.

Location

377 Russell St, Melbourne CBD
(between Victoria Street and La Trobe Street)

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

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Plan your visit

Old Melbourne Gaol

Address:

377 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD

Closed:

Christmas Day & Good Friday

Entry Fees:

Adult: $35
Concession: $30
Child (5 - 15 years): $22
Family (2A + 2C): $85
1 Adult Family (1A + 2C): $65
Extra child: $10

FREE General Admission for National Trust Members.

What we offer:

Highlights

"Ah, I suppose!" - the last words of Ned Kelly as he stood on the gallows at the Old Melbourne Gaol, 11 November, 1880

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Education Programs

The Gaol offers challenging and engaging programs for junior and senior secondary levels in humanities and legal studies. Four Court Room Dramas encourage students to analyze text and evidence. Gaol and Watch House tours offer introductions to Melbourne's colonial history and concepts in crime and punishment.

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Venue Hire

The Gaol can be transformed into an unexpected and unique setting for corporate events, weddings and private functions.

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Become a Volunteer

Help us to inspire the community to appreciate, conserve and celebrate its natural, cultural and Indigenous heritage.

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