Albany Old Gaol Museum offers a fascinating look at the era of convicts in the 1800s.
Built in 1852 by convicts transported from England as artisans and skilled labourers, the Old Gaol was originally a convict hiring depot for ticket-of-leave men who worked for Albany's free settlers. Convict labour was essential to the early colony, building Albany's main streets and the road to Perth.
The womens cells, the Great Hall and Warders' Quarters were added in 1875 allowing the complex to be used as a colonial prison and home to the Warder and his family.
Aboriginal prisoners in the 1870s were housed in a special timber-lined cell, their carvings, still visible, believed to be Australias oldest Aboriginal cell art.
In 1892, the mass murderer Frederick Bailey Deeming spent time in the Old Gaol during his transportation from Southern Cross to the Eastern States.
Now fully restored, the Old Gaol contain extensive displays of the times and usage of these stark quarters, home to artifacts from the original settlers of Albany and the region's Aboriginal people, and relics from the first and second World Wars.
Wander through the cell blocks and warders quarters, see the Hangman's Yard, hear ghostly tales, view aboriginal cell art, see the death mask of mass murderer Frederick Deeming and experience the extreme darkness of the Black Hole.
Aboriginal prisoners in the 1870s were housed in a special timber-lined cell, their carvings believed to be Australias oldest Aboriginal cell art.
Tours are self-guided, unless by prior arrangement. For the courageous, book yourself into the special night tour and keep an eye out for ghosts said to haunt the gaol. Partial wheelchair access to most areas. Postcards, souvenirs and books of historical interest are for sale.
The Old Gaol is located on the corner of Stirling Terrace and Parade Streets, next to the Western Australia Museum and Brig Amity Replica.
Article updated 07/05/2017.