The gaol logo is quite glaringly garish leaving no questions as to the nature of the business carried out within it's walls. It's like come see the gallows; fun for the whole family.
@kieran.wicks #question from @kieran.wicks #OneTownataTime #Dubbo #OldDubboGaol #Tourguide #TourDiary #TouringMusician #Historian #PenalColony #Convicts ♬ original sound - Kieran.Wicks
Dubbo's Brick Heart
The Old Dubbo Gaol is one of the most well-recognised places in Dubbo. Few however would realise the significance of Dubbo institution to the history of Dubbo.
Dubbo's First courthouse and lockup were built in 1847. Although they were only simple one room slab huts, they were the first official buildings in what would become the City of Dubbo. Built before the village of Dubbo had even been surveyed, these early buildings were at least partially responsible for the positioning of Dubbo in its present location.
As Dubbo grew from little more than a stock route to a thriving village, the mechanisms of law and order followed suit. In 1859 the Dubbo Lockup was proclaimed as a Gaol, and between 1862 and 1863 a new lockup and courthouse were built. These too soon proved inadequate and in 1877 construction began of the current gaol.
The current gaol operated continuously from 1877 through to 1966, when it was finally closed. In that time hundreds of men and women would be held between its walls for crimes both great and small. Eight men would be executed at the Gaol.
Some of the more well-known individuals held at Dubbo Gaol include notorious murderer Albert Andrew Moss, bushranger John Dunn, and a young Kate Leigh, who recorded her first arrest here in Dubbo. Those who were desperate enough tried to escape and although a few were successful, most were not.
When the Gaol closed in 1966, it was at first decided it would be demolished to make way for a modern multi-storey office for the state government. Fortunately, the local residents of Dubbo protested this decision. In response to this pressure, management of the gaol was given to Dubbo City Council, and in 1974 after much hard work restoring the Old Dubbo Gaol, it was opened as a tourist attraction.
Today you visit the Old Dubbo Gaol and experience the history of a 19th Century gaol first hand. Discover what life was like for the prisoners, explore the grounds, and investigate the stories of those condemned to death here in Dubbo.