Old Melbourne Gaol is a former prison turned museum at the top of Russell St in Melbourne’s CBD. A solid and formidable looking bluestone building, the jail is famous for having housed many of Victoria’s most notorious and infamous criminals, including the bushranger Ned Kelly.
During the Gaol’s operation as a prison between 1845 and 1924, a total of 135 people were hanged here and today’s museum displays the death masks, information and memorabilia that belonged to the prison and its unfortunate inmates.
Rumored to be haunted, the Gaol capitalizes on its reputation by offering night tours and stages a live performance each Saturday relating to the life and death of its most famous inmate, Ned Kelly.
The Old Melbourne Gaol also gives visitors the chance to ‘stand in the shoes’ of a prisoner or a judge inside the City Watch House and the Old Magistrates’ Court. The City Watch House Experience is the chance to be ‘arrested’ and locked in a cell for a short period, while in the Old Magistrates’ Court you can be play at being the accused, judge or jury.