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HM Prison Geelong was a maximum security Australia prison located on the corner of Myers Street and Swanston Street in Geelongmarker, Victoriamarker, Australia. The prison was built in stages from 1849 to 1864. Its panopticon design is based on Pentonvillemarker Prison in Englandmarker. The prison was officially closed in 1991 and prisoners were moved to the newly built HM Prison Barwonmarker in Laramarker.


The gaol was built by prisoners who slept on high security barges on Corio Baymarker during construction. The three-storey central block is cruciform with east and west wings serving as cells, the north wing as an administration block, and the southern wing as a kitchen, hospital and a tailoring workshop. The Australian Army used the prison as a detention barracks during, and for a few years after, World War II.

The government closed the gaol in 1991 and the Rotary Clubmarker of Geelong now operates it as a public service project. It is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and daily during public and school holidays. The gaol remains mostly unchanged. A gallows exhibit recreates the 1863 hanging of James Murphy, who battered Constable Daniel O'Boyle to death at the Warrnamboolmarker court house. He was the last person hanged at the gaol. Cell 47 is of special interest as it contains a mural painted on a wall by a prisoner, titled Window of Freedom.

The Gaol is now referred to as the "Old Geelong Gaol". Some believe the goal may be haunted and several paranormal research groups have visited the site.


  • 1853 - 1865 Gaol for convicts and prisoners
  • 1865 - 1872 Industrial school for girls (street kids)
  • 1877 - 1940 Hospital gaol
  • 1940 - 1947 Army detention barracks during World War II
  • 1947 - 1958 Hospital gaol
  • 1958 - 1991 Training prison

Notable prisoners


Name Year of birth Date of Execution Comments
George Roberts December 16, 1854 Poisoned George Scott
John Gunn 1854
James Ross 1856
Owen McQueeny October 20, 1858 Murder of Elizabeth Lowe
James Murphy November 6, 1863 Murder of policeman
Thomas Menard October 28, 1865

See also


  1. Ghost Research International

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