Old Melbourne Gaol
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337 Russell St · interesting places nearby
Old Melbourne Gaol information
Built in 1841, this forbidding bluestone prison was in operation until 1929. It's now one of Melbourne's most popular museums, where you can tour the tiny, bleak cells. Around 135 people were hanged here, including Ned Kelly, Australia's most infamous bushranger, in 1880; one of his death masks is on display.
The dire social conditions that motivated criminals in 19th-century Melbourne are also highlighted, including the era's obsession with phrenology. If you're curious to see how it'd feel to be an inmate here, sign up for the City Watch House experience , where you get 'arrested' and thrown in the slammer (more fun than it sounds). During peak times you can visit the court room where Squizzy Taylor stood trial.
You can also join a ghost hunt or the Hangman’s night tour ; check the website for its schedule. Evening events are not recommended for children under 12.