Located in Byron Street and just up the hill from the Court House is Gundagai’s historic police station and gaol.
The first part of the gaol, a police station/lock-up was built shortly after the Court House and opened for business 1859. The main cell block, gaoler’s residence and the rather unique local slate wall with rendered capping you see today were added between 1859 and 1880. Like the Court House, the Gaol and Police Station were designed by colonial architects, Alexander Dawson and Walter Liberty Vernon.
The Gaol was built to house men and women prisoners serving short term sentences (less than 12 months) for things like horse and cattle stealing or larceny. Additionally, those unable to pay fines for lesser misdemeanours such as the utterance of foul language, absconding from hired service or ‘speeding’ on a horse would also end up here for a while.
More serious criminals were only held here pending court appearances and, if convicted, would be sent elsewhere to serve their sentences. The gaol’s most famous short term internees were bushranger Andrew Scott (Captain Moonlite) and his gang and another bushranger, John Molloy (Jack in the Boots) to whom I, very briefly, refer in my separate review on Carberry’s Inn – Five Mile Creek.
The Gaol closed in 1909 but continued to be used as a lock-up (police station cells) until the late 1970s when a holding cell was added to the current police station which you can see, just across the street.
While I didn’t, you can go inside the former gaol where the gaoler’s residence, the external kitchen block, the hospital (original gaol), the gaol including exercise yard, an outhouse and other archaeological remains can be seen. To do so you need to collect a key and self guided audio tour from the Visitors Information Centre, a few hundred metres down Sheridan Street at number 249.
The entrance fee in 2017 was A$10 but I am not sure if this is per person or per group – it seems rather excessive if per person. Check with the Visitor Information Centre.
Address: Corner of First Avenue and Byron Street
Directions: Behind the Court House. Telephone contact below is the Visitors Information Centre.
Phone: 02) 6944 0250