Yes, I was in gaol yesterday. I went on the Boggo Road History Tour. And yes, they let me out afterwards.
The Gaol was built in 1883, and survived until 1989. Even what is left is imposing – and all who passed it on Annerley Road, Brisbane, knew that it had a lot of history. Mostly bad.
I have visited many gaols in my travels around Australia. Adelaide Gaol was another I was familiar with as in the early days of our country’s history the gaols were close to the city. I remember as a young girl sitting in the steam train as it made it’s way into Adelaide central railway station, it passed the old gaol, and we could see prisoners working in the gardens there, with a prison officer or two standing guard over them.
Now that gaol, as many of the old ones are, is a tourist spot. I visited it in around 2012, as part of my round Australia trip. I also went to Gladstone (South Australia) Gaol in 2013. Again it was a place familiar to me as we (my family) used to visit Gladstone way back in the 1950’s and 60’s as we had relatives there. Fremantle Gaol, Geraldton Gaol and others on my trip. I always find the stories fascinating.
I found this video on YouTube yesterday, which does take you on a tour of the place – but I do recommend you do it in person.
Video of Boggo Road
Here are some of my photos from my tour.
Most of the gaol was built in the 1880’s, though some of the buildings were put there in 1901. Still old, stark and rather spooky, which all adds up to a great story to share with visitors.
Certainly in those days prisoners were treated very badly. It would also have been very difficult for the prison warders too.
It was a great tour and I recommend it. For more information go to the Boggo Road website.