Old Melbourne Gaol –
Completed in the mid 1800s and located in central Melbourne, the Old Melbourne Gaol is constructed in blue stone and still contains the original cells and historic features. In these cells some of Australia’s most notorious criminals were held, including the infamous bush ranger Ned Kelly.
One of Australia’s most fascinating and unique spaces, the Gaol has capacity for up to 120 guests for a banquet dinner, or 350 for a cocktail reception. Add to the experience with some entertainment of an educational element, including guest appearances from Ned Kelly to duty sergeants and gaol governors; or bands, DJs and roving performers.
Old Magistrates Court –
Many of Victoria’s most notorious criminals stood here for committal and bail hearings including gangster Squizzy Taylor, Julian Knight and Chopper Read when the Court operated from 1911 to 1994. The Old Magistrates Court sits on the site of the original Supreme Court of Victoria where Ned Kelly was sentenced to death by Judge Redmund Barry in 1880.
The Court is a perfect setting for creative conferencing, an intimate dinner for up to 60 guests, or a unique way to enjoy pre dinner drinks before heading in to the Watch House or Old Melbourne Gaol.
Former City Watch House –
The Former City Watch House operated as Melbourne’s central custody centre or ‘holding place’ for people arrested and awaiting trial. For almost a century, every person arrested in Melbourne was lodged in the City Watch House opposite the Russell Street Police Station.
Today the cell block reverberates with the sounds of tourists walking where some of Australia’s most infamous prisoners were once held. The precinct includes Melbourne’s oldest prison, the historic Magistrate’s Court and former Police City Watch House and has been the heart of crime, law and order in Melbourne since the 1840’s. Bushranger Ned Kelly and notorious gangster Squizzy Taylor have spent time within its walls.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be arrested? The Watch House Experience is a 40 minute interactive experience like no other. With a Charge Sergeant as guide, visitors are ‘arrested’ and encounter what it is like to be locked up. Nothing has changed in this minimalist site since the police and inmates left in the 1990’s. After the role play, visitors self guide through the watch house taking in sound points and multimedia imagery that is educational and informative.
The Alumni courtyard situated adjacent to the Gaol main hall is a great space enclosed by the Old Melbourne Gaol bluestone walls. Redeveloped by RMIT the centre grounds have been finished with an artificial turf bringing colour and year round consistency to the precinct.
The area is the perfect open air space for events looking to be outside while maintaining a private feeling. The courtyard can be used in conjunction with the Gaol main hall or other precincts to offer guests a wide range of choice and spatial diversity during large scale events.