Visiting the Old Beechworth Gaol

I have mentioned before that on my trip to Beechworth we also went to the Old Beechworth Gaol (jail).

It is here at the gaol that you start to hear a lot more about Ned Kelly. He is a famous bushranger from our history.

I am not going to go into who he is and what he did. I do have an excerpt from Wikipedia about him.

Edward Kelly (December 1854 – 11 November 1880),[a] better known as Ned Kelly, was an Australian bushranger, outlaw, gang leader and convicted police-murderer. One of the last bushrangers, he is known for wearing a suit of bulletproof armour during his final shootout with the police.

If you want to learn more about him, then click here.

As it says above one of the reasons, I think, that made him and his gang stand out was because of their bulletproof armour that they wore.

Here are replicates of them. Sorry, the photos aren’t great. The lighting in there was really bad. If you go to the link I showed you before you can see a much better photo of it. He was shot 18 times apparently. Interesting idea. Though they were captured and ultimately Ned Kelly was hanged, though not there.

The gaol is no longer a working prison. It closed not that long ago I believe. If I remember correctly, I think it closed because of OH&S. The stairs weren’t safe or something like that. Interesting.

They now have tours that allow people to go in and see it.

I don’t really understand the fascination with gaols. I have it as well. The tiny cells they had to live in with almost no natural light. Couldn’t imagine spending all my time in my bedroom, I suppose. The stories are always interesting.

I loved this one. How they painted the bottom part of the wall in the exercise yard so the prisoners would stand out and not blend into the wall. Easier to see what they were up to.

Part of what is there now is new and they would not have had the steps up to the wall back then. I am fairly sure the roller door at the back is new as well.

One thing I didn’t expect to see was a swimming pool. Looking at it through the bars.

Apparently, if you were a model prisoner then you may have been allowed to spend time in the pool.

The history of the gaol is interesting. I did enjoy hearing about it. I guess the one thing I didn’t like, you know there is always something, was how many people were doing the tour. It was a lot and for our safety we wore our masks. We were the only ones.

You would think that with all the stuff with the pandemic and COVID they would do smaller groups, which is what we expected. Sadly the more people who do each tour the more money they get and the safety of those people doing it comes second. Really a reflection on society a lot these days. Especially when you start seeing headlines that say the number one killer in Australia this year is going to be Coronavirus. As long as people are making money, does that really matter? (yes that was sarcasm)

Anyway, I’m just going to leave you with a gallery of images from the gaol now. I hope you enjoy them. Do you find them fascinating too? Maybe terrifying too?

 

16 Responses

  1. I enjoy exploring old historic buildings of any kind so I am sure I would have enjoyed this peek behind prison walls. We have visited a few old prisons over the years, including a historic prison here in Philadelphia, and they are always a bit creepy to me (claustrophobia plus imagining all the misery) but also fascinating.

    • I love exploring them too, especially like them when they haven’t been tidied up. Old prisons are some of the best. I really wanted to go to the prison in Philadelphia when I was in New York, but it wasn’t meant to be. Thank you Laura.

  2. I don’t understand the fascination with outlaws all together, but I am a person who cannot watch horror movies either 😒😂. Thank u for the stories and the photos!

    • I really don’t like the way people start to hero worship them, they were thugs really. We don’t think that about common day ones. You’re welcome Svetlana and thank you.

  3. Americaoncoffee

    Amazing photos. Your share reminds me of my trip to Alcatraz, which I enjoyed very much…

  4. Merci pour ce reportage original.
    Bonne fin journée

  5. HI LEANNE, I JUST WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THE FOLLOWING PICTURES DO NOT COME UP IN YOUR SLIDE SHOW. NUMBERS 1, 2 4, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 16.
    NOT SOMETHING YOUWANT TO HEAR, BUT THOUGHT YOU MIGHT LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT.
    HAVE A GREAT DAY LEANNE 🙂

  6. It’s an amazing place, Leanne but I don’t want reservations!

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