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The New Gaol

The New Gaol (Jail) was commenced in 1836 but was not completed until 1847. It was built with the aim of reform by isolation, and contained a central pentagonal building of 84 cells, two lockup rooms ten turnkey's rooms and ten yards. Each cell had stone walls and floors and a timber ceiling; was 6ft long, 5ft wide, almost 11ft high, and was occupied by up to 3 prisoners. The complex also contained another 40-cell block, two service buildings, 12 solitary confinement "apartments" about which the Royal Engineer wrote "...the convicts regard the...new cells with dread...they are the most perfect specimens of prison construction I have seen...", and two "dumb cells" which prevented the transmission of light and sound - sending their occupants insane.


The Gaol's Gates

The New Gaol housed convicts who resisted the penal colony's harsh discipline, and who were sentenced to working on chain gangs, to solitary confinement, or to death. Other prisoners were housed in the Prisoners' Barracks.

Ruins of a row of cells.

Ruins of a row of cells in one of the gaol's radial arms.

Ruins of one of the gaol's two "dumb cells".

Ruins of one of the gaol's two "dumb cells". During the Third Settlement the gaol fell into disrepair and was quarried for stone during the early part of this century.



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